Taipei, Taiwan – December 23, 2015 – AVer Information joined four schools in Taiwan, Poland and Armenia last week to hold a “Make Friends” international exchange activity, with AVer’s EVC900 distance learning system allowing students from all three countries to make presentations and hold discussions just as though they were in the same room. Students used performances, food, videos and other multimedia to introduce the joys of their nation’s celebrations, with AVer’s EVC900 distance learning system providing crystal clear video and audio quality. Parents and students who could not participate viewed the activity live on YouTube, allowing cultural exchange to transcend the usual constraints of time and distance.
Representing Taiwan were New Taipei Municipal Bei Da Senior High School and Taichung Municipal Dongshan Senior High School. Bei Da Senior High School emphasizes international education and bilingual learning, with the goal of nurturing students’ international awareness. The school has focused its resources on acquiring the technology necessary to accomplish this goal, and has already held numerous international exchanges using interactive video communication and distance learning in place of traditional, unidirectional teaching through explanations. This makes communication more immediate, simulating the feeling of being in the same location and therefore increasing student interest by bringing international education into their lives.
Bei Da Senior High School’s students eagerly participated in the Make Friends activity, using fluent English and vivid acting to present Taiwan’s major festivals, share Taiwanese culture, and express their own passions. Students acted out the Tale of the White Snake, recounted the origins of Dragon Boat Festival, and vividly described the meaning behind zongzi, a food traditionally associated with Dragon Boat Festival.
Located in Taichung City, Dongshan Senior High School takes “harmony between humanities and technology” as its guiding principle and emphasizes well-rounded development and a diverse curriculum. Unique facilities such as a digital television station let Dongshan Senior High School fully exploit the educational possibilities of digital media by letting students learn about synchronous and asynchronous network systems. This was the first time the school participated in a Make Friends activity. Students used storytelling to tell the history and traditions of Taiwan’s holidays, and demonstrated Taiwanese high school students’ environmental awareness and concern for the world by linking Taiwanese holidays to environmental issues.
Students from Poland and Armenia also shared their countries’ harvest festivals. Although Polish and Armenian festivals have similar origins, their celebrations are quite different, allowing students observe that behind seemingly large cultural differences there are in fact many fundamental similarities. During the question and answer segment participating students used fluent English to ask and answer questions, demonstrating how the digital era speeds interaction and allows students to gain knowledge, learn independently and develop more diverse ways of thinking.
AVer Information and these four schools hope that the Make Friends activity can encourage friendly relations between different peoples by allowing students from different backgrounds to share their culture and values. Not only does this expand students’ horizons, it can also improve their mutual understanding and respect, making them more responsible global citizens. With the ubiquity of the internet, students all over the world can potentially take part in this kind of activity, opening the door to greater global understanding and helping young people join together to make our planet a better place.