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疫情之下,为在线教育变革按下“加速键”

Post COVID-19: An Accelerated Era of Online Learning

· Past events

COVID-19自2019年底席卷全球,目前已导致全世界有超过300万人感染。在病毒发展局势尚不明朗之下,各大中小学也开始“停课不停学”,充分利用线上的教学资源,作为疫情期间的教育应对方案。很多传统高校也不得不从线下转到线上,不仅是授课模式的变化,教师也摇身一变,走进屏幕成为“网红主播”。整个教育行业呈现出加速拥抱互联网的趋势。
4月23日,Ladies Who Tech北京区带来了今年第一场创始人系列活动,邀请到教育科技公司的四位创始人,结合自己的亲身经历,给大家谈一谈疫情会为教育科技行业带来哪些持久性影响。
The COVID-19 crisis has significantly reconfigured how we work, live and learn. With more than three million cases worldwide, it remains uncertain how a post-pandemic society will function, but a consensus has already emerged in the industry of Edtech: the coronavirus has been a catalyst for global implementation of online classrooms, pushing school faculty and teaching models to accommodate ongoing learning despite disruption to classes.
On April 23, Ladies Who Tech Beijing hosted its first Founders Series of the year, where we explored the future of education technology in the eventual aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak. We were thrilled to introduce an international panel of four female founders at the online event – Cindy Mi at VIPKid, Sara Gu at ClassIn (where this event is hosted on), Monica Brady-Myerov at Listenwise and Jill Hodges at FireTech – who shared their entrepreneurial journeys in education technology and discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the sector. 

成立教育科技公司的驱动力 The Motivation of a Founder
“使命”和“热情”是被嘉宾们提到次数最多的两个词。如Listenwise的创始人Monica Brady-Myerov所说:“我创建Listenwise是因为我发现我的女儿通过听力来学习比通过阅读文字要来的更快。于是我萌生了一个想法,为什么不通过听故事的方式,让我的女儿来认识这个世界,来学习探索这个世界呢?”
一旦萌生了这个想法,Monica就无法停下来,直到成立公司,带领团队打造自己的产品。
同样,VipKid创始人米雯娟也强调了“使命”和“热情”的重要性。VipKid的使命是鼓励和赋能每一个孩子,把学生的价值视为公司最核心的价值。
她说:“学生数量的增长,自然会吸引到优秀的老师;学生取得好的成绩,家长自然会在平台上投入更多。这是一个正向的促进。”
这也是为何在疫情之下,在英语学习平台多样化的今天,VIPKid仍然能有月均100万用户的新增和1亿次的视频播放浏览量。
"Mission" and "passion" were the two words most frequently mentioned by our guest speakers. As Monica Brady-Myerov, the founder of Listenwise, said: "I created Listenwise after noticing that my daughter learns much faster by listening to the radio than by reading a textbook. So I came up with an idea of allowing my daughter to learn and explore the world via stories.”
Once this idea emerged, Monica couldn't stop working on what was originally a side-project until she founded the company and took it to the next level.
Similarly, VIPKid founder Cindy Mi also emphasized the importance of "mission" and "enthusiasm" in every member of the start-up team. VipKid's mission is to encourage and empower every child, regarding students as the core value of the company.
She said: "You've got to be willing to spend every waking minute working and not feel tired. Everyone has to be good at what they do and deliver results. In the case of Edtech companies, the increase in the number of students will naturally attract excellent teachers; students who achieve good results will naturally lead parents to invest more on the platform. This is a positive promotion.”
This is the reason why VIPKid was able to achieve an average of one million new users per month and 100 million views of video playback during the pandemic!

当被问及如何看待线上教育和线下教育的对比,线上教育是否有可能取代线下教育的问题,Firetech的创始人Jill Hodges说:“对于幼年的学生,线下教育还是有必要的。可能他们无法集中长时间的注意力在电脑屏幕,而且,对于一些社交性的教学活动,线下互动是非常有必要的。但是,我也非常看好线上教育的发展,因为线上的好处很明显,它能够同时容纳更多的人,同时为更多的学习者提供同质的资源,而且因为数量大,价格就更低,对于公司来讲,利润更高。“
同时, Jill认为线下教育可以作为他们新产品的一个R&D中心。“每当我们有新产品要上线,会先从线下开始推广,这便于我们更直观的去了解学生和父母的使用体验,不断改进让我们在线上能够做的更好。”
When asked about the differences between online and offline education, and whether online education is likely to replace classrooms, Firetech founder Jill Hodges said: "For young students, offline education is still necessary. They may not be able to focus on computer screens for extended periods, and for many social teaching activities, offline interaction remains necessary. However, I am also very optimistic about the development of online education because of its overwhelming benefits. Obviously, it can accommodate more people at the same time, and provide more learners with homogeneous resources. The prices are lower but the profit margins are higher.”
At the same time, Jill believes that offline education can serve as R & D for their new products. "Every time we have a new product to go online, we will first start promoting it offline, which will allow us to more intuitively understand the experience of students and parents, and such continuous improvement allows us to do better online.”

MandarinPro是一家从线下开始发展到目前线上线下同时发展的中文培训公司,主要是帮助商务人群解决他们在生活和在工作中的语言问题。
MandarinPro的创始人Lily Wang表示,疫情对他们的业务利弊并存。消极的一面:“对线下有直接的冲击,因为MandarinPro目前是线下和线上同时在运营。针对我们很多的to-C客户在短时间内不能很快回来中国,线下客户的上课率受到了很大影响。好在我们的to-B客户很稳定,像外企高管还有使馆客户都在继续接受我们的服务。“ 
好的方面是线上需求猛增。“除了我们的很多客户不能回来北京,大部分都已转为线上客户,另外疫情期间,很多新客户想利用这段时间充电提高中文水平,所以加快了线上这块的发展。因此,目前我们也不排斥好的资本和非常欢迎优秀的技术人才加入我们,通过这段时间高效的完善我们的线上产品,以满足当下的市场需求。”
MandarinPro is a Chinese language training company which has developed from operating offline to both online and offline. The company focuses on helping business professionals improve their Mandarin language abilities and solve their language problems in life and work.
According to founder Lily Wang, COVID-19 had both negative and positive effects on the business. First of all, there was a disruption to offline classes and her clients were not able to travel back to China due to the lockdown. 
On the bright side, online demand has soared as most of their clients have swapped to attend online classes. In addition, new registration increased as many new customers saw the free time they had during the lockdown as an opportunity to improve their Chinese.

疫情之下对于教育科技公司的影响 Impact of COVID-19 on Edtech Companies
四位创始人都表示疫情带动了线上教育的发展。ListenWise新用户的注册率增长了四倍,付费用户是原来的两倍。VIPKid也在过去的两个月,新增了200万的注册用户。ClassIn(该次活动的虚拟场地)的创始人Sara表示:“疫情让全世界的老师共聚在线上平台,连接世界各地的优秀学习资源,让学生能够在家更高效的学习。 
Sarah补充说,在短期内,疫情过去之后在线教室的使用率可能会下降,但她相信许多教师仍然会热衷于继续利用这些平台,并与世界各地的教育工作者保持紧密联系。
All four founders agreed that the pandemic has accelerated the development of online education. The registration numbers of new users on Listenwise has quadrupled, and the number of paid users has doubled. VIPKid has also added two million registered users in the past two months.
Sara Gu, the founder of ClassIn, said: "The pandemic crisis allowed teachers from all over the world to gather online to discuss and exchange excellent learning resources to help students learn more efficiently at home. At the same time, students are quickly becoming self-disciplined and independent learners.”

教育科技公司的未来展望 The Future of Edtech
对于教育行业未来的展望,四位创始人都表示,未来学习者的学习都将会变得更加独立,学习的方式会更加灵活。
疫情短期催生了线下教育向线上教育的转型,线上教育的发展是很有潜力的。首先因为线上教育的资源整合度更加灵活,而且线上教育一旦形成规模,利润空间是非常大的,规模经济显著。第二是因为线上教育提供了一个平台,让学习者不论身处何方,只要有互联网,便能与世界各地优秀的教师共同学习沟通。整个行为和线下比起来,更加高效便捷。
Regarding the future of the Edtech industry, a quick consensus emerged on the learning habits of future generations: Students will become independent learners and learning methods will become more flexible as parents continuously source for high quality learning platforms.
The pandemic has spurred the transformation of offline education to online in an exceedingly short time period, and our founders see great potential in the future development of online education. Firstly, due to the flexibility of resource integration, profit margins will be greatly increased once the business is scaled. Secondly, online education can transcend geography and physical boundaries, allowing students to learn and communicate with excellent teachers all over the world, making the experience more accessible.

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