Junyi Academy:Educational Innovation Through Technology

Since the end of 2012, Taiwan’s Junyi Academy has put more than 10,000 free educational videos and 40,000 inter­active practice questions online. Its platform has more than 1.5 million registered users, and every month more than 200,000 students actively log on and learn with it. From elite schools to rural classrooms, from private cram schools to remedial classes for disadvantaged groups, the technology-aided learning it facilitates is moving education beyond classrooms and textbooks. By changing how students learn, Junyi is helping the disadvantaged as well as the gifted.

On a rainy afternoon, we arrive at Zhi­min Junior High School in Yuanli Township at the southwest corner of Miaoli County. However remote and rural the loca­tion, the students in the classroom we visit each have a tablet and are logged in to Junyi Academy as they complete a worksheet. The teacher, Zeng Jia­wei, moves from student to student, providing guidance and checking on their answers.

Launched in 2017 in a collaboration between the Miaoli County Department of Education and Junyi Academy, the classroom provides supplementary re­medial math­ematics education during regular class time.

The school’s director of academic affairs, Zhang Shu­ping, explains that the classroom is filled with students who were identified in seventh grade, their first year at the school, as weak in math. When other students are taking their regular math classes, these students go to the remedial math classroom. It has its own bandwidth, which enables students to log on to the Junyi Academy. Hence it and others like it are called “Junyi classrooms.”

With the help of video teaching, children can understand the course content even if they don't keep up.
With the help of video teaching, children can understand the course content even if they don’t keep up.

Taiwan’s Khan Academy

Founded amid a rising tide of web-based education projects, Junyi Academy first went online in 2012. “Hoping to do things that help education in Taiwan,” its founder, Fang Shin­jou, who is also chairman of Chengzhi Education Foundation, got authorization to use resources from Khan Academy, the largest free self-study site on the web. His aim was to provide free, first-rate educational materials tailored to Chinese-­speaking learners in the Internet age.

Junyi has also become the biggest platform for online learning among Taiwan’s elementary and junior high schools. Behind the scenes, another key figure in its rise is Ray Lu, known as “Taiwan’s Kahn,” who is now chairman and CEO of Junyi Academy.

First in his class from elementary school through senior high School, Lu was still an intern at a hospital in 2012. One day, scanning newspaper headlines at a breakfast joint as he drank his soy milk, he came across an article titled “Bill Gates’ Favorite Tutor.” It told the story of how hedge-fund analyst Salman Khan founded Kahn Academy.

When working as a home tutor years earlier, Lu had noticed that when students came across a concept they didn’t understand, if they couldn’t find someone to explain it to them they would often get stuck, unable to understand their textbook and reference materials.

If students whose parents were able to pay for sup­plement­ary education encountered such obstacles, the situation was naturally much worse for those who couldn’t afford tutors or cram schools, or who lived in remote areas without educational resources.

Inspired by Khan, Lu started in his spare time to make videos about high-school English and math, giving clear, in-depth explanations of under­lying concepts. He posted the videos on YouTube in the hope that students who wanted to learn would watch them. The students could watch the videos over and over until the concepts entered long-term memory. In this way he could help to close the educational gap between the haves and have-nots.

Junyi through technology tools to provide children with "personalized education" that meets their needs and exceeds the limits of time and space.
Junyi through technology tools to provide children with “personalized education” that meets their needs and exceeds the limits of time and space.

Lu’s virtuous desire to share knowledge caught the attention of Junyi founder Fang Shin­jou. In 2013 Fang invited Lu, who was by then a licensed doctor, to join the KIPP-Inspired Schools foundation as a special instructor for video teaching projects. Chang Hui­-cheng, the founder of Sharestart, says of Lu: “He forsook the much-admired field of medicine with its ‘gold rice bowl’ for the ordinary status of a teacher with its ‘iron rice bowl.’”

Faced with a choice between practicality and pursuing his dreams, Lu chose the latter, steadily taking steps to achieve his aim of “providing free educational resources for all.”

Tech that tears down classroom walls

Lu was promoted to chairman and CEO of Junyi Academy in December of 2017. Standing 180 centi­meters tall, he wears an untucked blue shirt on the day of our interview. When asked about how Junyi is changing edu­ca­tion in Taiwan, it brings out the teacher in him as he scribbles English words on a whiteboard: “smart assist­ant,” “training coach,” “policy advocacy.” It feels as if we are watching a live educational video broadcast.

“Junyi integrates AI, big data, and smart software to create a ‘smart assistant’ that can serve as a tool to help teachers and students continue learning outside of class,” he explains.

The smart assistant has all of Junyi Academy’s free videos, covering curriculum from elementary school to high school, including math, natural sciences, English and so forth. More than 10,000 videos have been collected featuring experienced teachers, and there are practice questions to answer after watching them.

“Technology offers great opportunities for students to learn at their own pace and for instructors to truly teach to students’ abilities,” Lu emphasizes.

Technological companion

Apart from enabling students to watch self-study videos at home, Junyi also encourages schoolteachers to make use of its resources in the classroom.

Having studied medicine, Lu believes that teachers are a lot like doctors: In the classroom they must diagnose problems and look at their students’ educational histories (much like doctors looking at patients’ medical records) to analyze their strong and weak points.

Junyi’s resources can allow them to put more emphasis on differentiated instruction and remedial teaching, and facilitate more experiential activities—for instance, letting students engage in thematic discussions or adopting problem-based learning. Its technology is thus upending traditional modes of education.

Junyi educational platform makes learning more than just one-way teaching, and gives teachers more energy to teach children according to their aptitude.
Junyi educational platform makes learning more than just one-way teaching, and gives teachers more energy to teach children according to their aptitude.

As a non-profit organization, Junyi has put a special emphasis on helping the disadvantaged. Junyi started working with Yi­lan County in 2014. In 2016, it began to work with the K-12 Education Administration of the Ministry of Education to provide support to 20 schools in Ping­tung and Miaoli counties.

Currently, there are about 10,000 teachers in Taiwan who encourage their students to use the Junyi platform, and 1000 who directly use the platform during class periods.

Google grant

Originally inspired by Khan Academy, Lu was able to meet his idol Salman Khan in person in the United States in 2014. For its international exchange programing, Junyi Academy invited John Bergmann, founder of America’s Flipped Learning Network, and Brian Greenberg, CEO of the Silicon Schools Fund, to visit Taiwan.

The two educa­tion innovators saw with their own eyes how remote rural schools were making use of the Junyi platform to improve the learning atmosphere among poorly motivated students, and they both affirmed that Taiwan was among the leaders of educational innovation in Asia.

In 2018 Junyi became the first organization in Taiwan to receive financial support from Google.org. With a two-year US$1 million grant from Google, Junyi increased support for classrooms serving disadvantaged students.

Thus far it has selected 9 NGOs to support training for those classrooms, empowering more students to take advantage of Junyi’s resources.

We believe that igniting children's learning motivation can lead them to go further and more steadily on the learning path.
We believe that igniting children’s learning motivation can lead them to go further and more steadily on the learning path.

In 2017 Junyi introduced webpages for parents, and this year it has launched a smartphone app enabling conversations with Junyi “virtual teachers.” During summer vacation, the educational achievement gap typically widens.

So this summer Junyi has introduced “weekly parent‡child study plans” in the hope that parents can lead their children to establish learning goals. If the goals are met, the children can receive rewards of some kind. In this manner, students won’t be academically idle during summer break.

The digital age of personalized learning

For the many elementary students who use Junyi, the platform is like a super­computer that can teach and provide practice questions. It can also tabulate scores and give badges of attainment. Behind this “computer” are all manner of young professionals in STEM fields such as information science, electronics, and engineering.

They have forsaken the high salaries of private-­sector employ­ment to contribute their expertise to this non-profit, working as a team to achieve the platform’s success.

Junyi’s aim is to personalize learning via technology. “Every child can become a lifelong learner,” says Ray Lu, describing the organization’s vision. “And that includes disadvantaged students and students making middling and poor marks. They can gain mastery of subject matter and build skills for their futures.”

Junyi is committed to making every child a lifelong learner, so that they have the ability to learn autonomously to face the problems and dilemmas in life.
Junyi is committed to making every child a lifelong learner, so that they have the ability to learn autonomously to face the problems and dilemmas in life.

Author|Esther Tseng
Photographer|Jimmy Lin
Translator|Jonathan Barnard
















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有位平常學習上較落後的孩子,跟我分享,是磨數營讓她愛上數學。甚至跟我說 : 努力沒有做不到的事!

屏東躍愛課輔班 林綺漩 老師


在 106 學年度,均一與苗栗縣和屏東縣分別合作進行「結合均一的課中補救」試辦計畫。藉由一般課堂的時間,抽離需要額外學習扶助的孩子到「學習扶助班級」,搭配均一平台的使用,有效診斷學生的學習斷點,提供個人化學習。

經過三年的顯著成效與現場教師的正面迴響,109 學年度起,均一在苗栗、屏東推動學習扶助「深化」模式,除了繼續數學課中學習扶助外,期盼藉由更深度投入的專案教師、更具規模的教師社群、更系統性的增能與支持,為學習扶助的師生帶來更有效的教與學。



帶孩子走出教室裡的無力感 —— 苗栗延慶老師分享


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我們在台灣擴大推廣 Code.org 的 Hour of Code 一小時玩程式,團隊夥伴製作中文化插電與不插電的程式課程、結合創意的教學設計,讓 Code.org 這套全球廣受好評的程式課程,在台灣的使用濃度達到世界排名第九、亞洲排名第二,讓臺灣的程式教育能夠與國際接軌。課程資源與師資培育,都逐步與國際接軌。


太平國小 陳宜均老師

為了讓孩子透過程式學習運算思維,均一也設計了一系列 Scratch 課程,採取專案導向學習 (Project-Based Learning),以深入淺出的講義或影片引導,經由不同領域主題,’當孩子面對給予的任務,將學習如何解構問題、摘要重點、發現規律,循序漸進地練習程式的思考。


數電快閃教室計畫,是團隊夥伴到教學現場透過「數學 X 電腦科學」的跨領域課程,將好玩、互動性高的電腦科學融入數學的課程內容,讓孩子覺得原來數學可以這麼有趣,學到的知識也可以加以應用。均一也透過此課程和現場老師分享跨領域教學,探索更多的學習可能

後續雖遇上五月份的疫情,團隊發揮創意推出「線上快閃教室」,以線上的形式,快閃 18 所國小的線上教室,帶來「自學力就是你的超能力」主題分享,總計有 329 位學生參與,我們希望藉由這個活動,讓孩子在疫情期間能夠找到自己學習的目標和節奏。

當我們 Code 在一起說故事

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此課程也獲選「 第三屆未來教育.臺灣100 – 全臺年度百大創新教學專案」的獎項殊榮。


KIST: 拯民國小.宋亭緻老師



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在 2021 年 的停課期間,有一種老師大量增加了,他們是守護孩子學習不中斷的「抗疫老師」,在短短幾天內,設法與孩子取得聯繫、使用各種數位工具,並給予遠距支持。





「讓孩子不會只是之前的挫折一直累積到最後,讓他可以在這裡找到讓他產生信心的地方。」/ 靜怡老師

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子婕老師雖罹患罕病,仍完成中央大學數學、資工雙主修,更因為從小便與媽媽在教會服務弱勢孩童。研究所時對數位教學產生興趣、畢業後即投入弱勢教育。2020 年導入均一教學後,子婕老師與課輔團隊投入其中,幾乎天天討論到深夜。雖然孩子的學習成就並沒有一飛沖天,但她認為,孩子的正面心態、學習品格才是第一順位。

「我希望這些孩子記得,小時候有這麼一群人拼 死拼活努力去愛他們,他們是值得被愛的。」/ 子婕老師




在子婕老師參與的弱勢課輔班計畫中,均一在兩年內培訓了 110 位教師,其中有 87% 的老師過去未曾使用數位平台輔助教學,在經過師資培訓後,提升了 20% 老師的教學信心,大多數老師更能夠獨立於課堂中教學,陪伴孩子探索數位學習平台,找到適合的學習內容。




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