王枫博士致辞:哥伦比亚大学自适应学习联合实验室落成典礼
(英文)

 

Good afternoon!
 
Professor Baker, Vice President Murphy, members of the Columbia University community, and all our invited guests,
It is my great honor to be here with you, to witness a historic moment in the field of adaptive learning, in educational research, and in the global EdTech industry. We are officially opening the Classba Research Lab on Adaptive Learning at Teachers College, Columbia University. This is the first ever research lab established by a Chinese education company in the United States, particularly as a collaborative research partnership with a world-class American university.
 
As a leading educational research institution, Teachers College, Columbia University has contributed to the advancement of education in the United States and has influenced numerous educators around the world. Among its many renowned faculty members, John Dewey was widely viewed as “the father of progressive education” and one of the most influential American educators in the 20th century.
 
Many of us, however, may not know that, John Dewey was also the mentor of a young Columbia graduate student from China named Hu Shih (胡适). After receiving his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1917, Hu Shih went on to lead the “New Culture Movement” (新文化运动) in China and became “a leading figure in the emergence of modern China”. Education was a key theme of this movement and had a lasting impact that essentially changed the trajectory of China’s history.
 
About 100 years later, we congregate here today on the campus of Teachers College, standing “on the shoulders” of John Dewey and Hu Shih. New technologies have transformed the world and become integral to our everyday life. We have passed the times of semiconductors, computers, and the Internet. We are now living in a world of smart phones and social networks, powered by big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, among many other latest technology advancements. We are gratified to see that these technologies have finally matured to a point where they can have a meaningful impact on education.
 
As a leading EdTech company in China, Classba.com is on a mission to bring personalized learning to all children around the world. We just closed one of the largest seed rounds in the global EdTech industry, with a total of about $5 million in funding to support our mission. (Just FYI, the average amount is about $900,000 for a seed round in the U.S.)
 
Thanks to the funding we have received, we are now building a world-class R&D team aspired to develop an advanced adaptive learning system for millions of students in China. We are establishing our own education centers in cities of various sizes across China, offering highly personalized tutoring services that integrate learning and technology. Our vibrant learning communities help create highly engaging learning environments that promote interactions among students, instructors, and parents.
 
Today at Teachers College, Columbia University, we are excited to work with Professor Baker and his colleagues to collaboratively build our adaptive learning research lab, to tackle some of the fundamental issues on technology in education. Our collaborative research will generate rich datasets for the advancement of adaptive learning technologies. Our work together will help bring personalized learning to all children in China and in the United States. Our efforts will help make this world a better and fairer place through education.
 
In the 20th century, Hu Shih changed the history of China through a new culture movement. In this new century, we are hoping to change the education of China through a new education movement, that is, through meaningful integration of learning technologies into everyday education.
 
The opening of our new lab is a small step per se, but a tremendous step forward for all people across borders.
 
Thank you!