Coding is an educational tool for proper child growth

[Interview] Lee Da-in, CEO of ALUX

"Natural education that elicits interest is important.'

이다인 에이럭스(ALUX) 대표. /구아현 기자 

▲ Lee Da-in, CEO of ALUX. /Reporter Gu Ah-Hyeon


The importance of coding education in the era of artificial intelligence (AI) is increasing day by day.

The Ministry of Education has significantly expanded coding education for future education and will make coding education mandatory starting in 2025. Target and training mistakes also double. Currently, the number of information education hours is 17 hours for 5th and 6th-grade elementary school students and 34 hours for middle school students, but from 2025, it will be significantly increased to more than 34 hours for all grades in elementary schools and more than 68 hours for middle schools. While existing AI education was at the level of a special activity, it has now become a subject that can be directly linked to entrance exams.

'Software-centered universities,' a program created to allow students entrance to universities solely based on their programming skills, was created as well. In this atmosphere, the coding education market is rapidly expanding. The size of domestic edutech is expected to reach 10 trillion won by 2025.

As the importance of coding education continues to be highlighted, parents' concerns increase. The gap between generations in coding has grown, and questions about what kind of education is helpful have arisen. ALUX, established in 2015, is working to resolve parents' concerns by becoming a coding education support group. Equipped with both an educational research center and a production line factory for robot development and production, the company not only plans coding education, but also produces various hardware for AI-based coding, such as coding blocks and coding robots.

Overseas education is also being promoted. ALUX organized the global robot coding competition in Malaysia as well, and they are expanding their drone business, including small drones and drone stadiums.


  • 에이럭스가 개최한 글로벌 로봇대회 G-PRC에 참여한 말레이시아 학생들이 직접 만든 코딩로봇을 가지고 대결을 하고 있다. /에이럭스 

▲ Malaysian students who participated in G-PRC, a global robot competition held by ALUX, are competing with coding robots they made themselves. / ALUX


ALUX claims that a variety of experiences are necessary for proper coding education. Lee Da-in, CEO of ALUX, said, “The most important thing is to allow children and adolescents to feel natural interest.” 

The importance of education has increased in terms of entrance exams, but ultimately, to develop creative coding thinking capabilities, it is important to gain a sense of accomplishment and interest through various experiences. This is because, unlike Korean, English, and mathematics where clear answers exist, coding must be creatively and efficiently structured to suit an individual's purpose.

CEO Lee Da-in emphasized that logical thinking is important in this process. She said that coding education can be of great help in essay writing about how to solve a problem. 


 

▲ ALUX’s coding robot. It is a coding robot that implements movement based on computer block coding and can create various shapes in 360-degree blocks. /Reporter Gu Ah-Hyun


- Why is coding education necessary for children and adolescents?

“Changes in society due to digital development will become more severe in the future. Coding skills have become essential for members of society. No matter your profession, if you do not understand how to use digital products, it can become difficult to function as a member of society. You can create services through coding to apply your ideas to real life. These experiences serve to increase the sense of accomplishment and creativity of growing children. Trying your hand at coding can be an experience that can help you create socially good services. This is because you also learn ethical awareness about technology. Recently, digital has become a tool for expressing emotions. Coding is being used to organize and express thoughts.”


- What is important when first learning to code?

“The average age at which people first learn to code has become much younger. These days, people start coding around 7 or 8, but they are not yet good with computers. That is why it is important to provide education that is easy and fun to learn. The goal is to create a natural sense of interest. It is important to visually see the code written on the computer with your own eyes. This is called ‘physical coding.’ When I enter the code into a computer to make a robot move according to my conditions, the robot moves immediately. This is also the reason for research and expansion of product businesses such as robotics and drones.”


- Private coding education has increased. What is the differentiation or competitiveness of ALUX’s unique educational content?

“The hardware research center and the educational content research center are operated separately. We enable coding education to be implemented overall through physical teaching aids. This is to provide a sense of accomplishment and realization. Content is designed to enable constant trial and modification rather than to convey knowledge. We have established a curriculum to help students develop their problem-solving skills and creativity. We tried to structure the educational curriculum in a manner that naturally aroused interest.

“ALUX's unique competitiveness is that it can respond immediately to educational content according to trends through hardware research and production.”


- With the popularity of AI, adults are also interested in coding education. Is there a demand for related training?

“Adult coding education is being carried out in conjunction with the government’s policy of nurturing 100,000 SW talents. There is an increasing number of college students, regardless of major, completing SW·AI development expert training courses and getting jobs in the field. Additionally, demand for jobs in the IT industry continues to rise. Rather than providing SW education for adults, ALUX is focusing on nurturing coding education teachers by operating a platform called ‘IMSSAM.’” 


 

▲ Lee Da-in, CEO of ALUX, is explaining the 'unplugged' teaching tool that allows for coding like a computer on the product's own LCD window, without Wi-Fi or a computer. /Reporter Gu Ah-Hyeon


- As coding education is newly introduced, there seems to be a marginalized class. What do you think about these issues?

“This is an important aspect. Social and economic gaps are growing due to digital divide and alienation. ALUX focuses on education for future talent, but conducts education for the digitally vulnerable and all other citizens through projects such as digital learning centers and digital guides in cooperation with each government agency.

“We will strive to create a warm world with social contribution and development, including smartphones, artificial intelligence, and kiosk education for children, middle-aged people, and the elderly.”


- I heard that the 'AI education algorithm,' for which ALUX has acquired a technology patent, is a technology that provides the optimal curriculum in real-time according to the learner's learning patterns through machine learning on its own data. How did you build your own data set?

“Because we are providing robotics, artificial intelligence, and coding education to more than two-fifths (2,500 students) of all elementary schools, it is not difficult to collect data on our own platform. We studied how data can be used to create meaningful algorithms using logic and machine learning. Based on this research, we are reducing errors in what students need to learn by using statistical figures rather than using real-time algorithms.”


- What efforts have you made to create differentiated educational content?

“In 2018, we produced broadcast videos with YouTube creators on the topic of coding for the first time in Korea on public broadcasting and started a licensed educational content business through this. In reality, the market response and the speed at which the market accepted coding education were slow. In the beginning, there was no production line for product development, so I felt that there were limitations to being a company that specialized in 'education planning.' Two attempts were made in reaction to this realization: a preparation for developing hardware directly and for future online education.

“The first attempt at change was successful through merging with PROBO, a coding robot manufacturer, in 2020, and with the onset of COVID-19, the preparations for online education paid off.”

She claims that changing the perception of coding education is still a task.

"Parents’ interest has increased as developers’ wages have been widely reported due to the development of AI technology and talent shortage, but it has not become widespread,” she said. “We need a new change in perception of education in line with the trend of the times.”

CEO Lee is in charge of the education division and operations at ALUX, an edutech company specializing in robots. She also led the education planning and operation of the ‘Global PRC Robot Coding Competition,’ in which over 70,000 people participated. I talked to CEO Lee about various topics, including coding education and global trends. 


로봇대회 G-PRC에 참여한 학생이 드론 경기에 참여하고 있다. /에이럭스 

▲ A student who participated in the G-PRC robot competition is participating in a drone competition. /ALUX


- Korea is a country with a high passion for education compared to other countries. What is the situation in other countries, including Malaysia, which hosted the robot competition this time?


“The awareness of Korea’s high academic enthusiasm and level of education is advantageous for doing global business. This is because there is a perception that Korean products are good. In Singapore, entrance exams are held during elementary school. That's why I believe receiving coding education early and portfolios and awards to be very important. In the case of Malaysia, the scope of the country is large and there is a sizeable gap between rich and poor. The demand for coding education is increasing, especially in Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur, which are wealthy regions with a passion for education. ALUX is creating meaningful experiences in the larger region by inviting people to Korea and providing opportunities to travel to the United States through local competitions. In the case of the United States, as the performance of Chinese products is slowing down, relatively inexpensive and high-quality Korean products are gaining export opportunities. Alux was also able to seize this opportunity and expand the U.S. market.”


- You recently participated in the British Education Fair. What did you feel about the experience?


“BETT Show is the world’s largest education fair. Educational institutions, education companies, and teachers from around the world participate. What I felt after seeing the edutech market in various countries is that there do not seem to be many cases of established curricula commensurate with the high interest in artificial intelligence education. However, there were many attempts, as we noted that there was a lot of hardware linked to various commercial solutions (Teachable Machine, Scratch, etc.). Products that connect all devices and content, such as smart classrooms, also stood out. It also felt like solution companies such as Samsung, Google, MS, and Lenovo were trying to increase their share of the edutech market. In addition, ALUX’s VINU product received local attention for being an ‘unplugged’ tool that allows you to do everything like a computer on the product’s LCD window without Wi-Fi or a computer.”



- What is ALUX’s business operation value?

“It is about creating content and technology that the world needs, and through that, creating a world that evolves ‘Content the world needs’ means quickly developing products that fit trends at the point of contact with consumers.”


- I heard that you are expanding your business globally through the global robot competition. What is the status of overseas expansion?


“Robot competitions serve as a big marketing point in overseas markets. Holding a large global competition like G-PRC is meaningful in itself, but planning and creating the competition operation rules and format is also of great significance and is attracting attention. “Currently, we have achieved significant export performance of over $100,000 to China, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United States, and are pursuing global expansion to the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Brunei, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Brazil.”


- What are your future plans and vision?


“I want to become a company that uses technology to create a better society. We want to create a virtuous cycle in which children who complete digital education such as coding, drones, and robots taught at ALUX have a positive impact on society. In the future, many people will receive a different education than in the past. Through this process, I want to contribute to society by growing ALUX into a leading company that provides education appropriate for the times.”






ALUX

CEO Chi-heon Lee, Da-in Lee 


Business License Number  587-81-00224
Business Establishment 

1602-ho, C-dong, Seed Cube Changdong, 61, Madeul-ro 13-gil, Dobong-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Service Inquiry  alux@aluxonline.com
Business Partnership Inquiry  02-3665-8956 · Fax 02-3665-8957 

Copyright ALUX, Inc. All Rights Reserved



ALUX

CEO Chi-heon Lee, Da-in Lee


Business License Number  

587-81-00224
Business Establishment  

1602-ho, C-dong, Seed Cube Changdong, 61, Madeul-ro 13-gil, Dobong-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Service Inquiry

alux@aluxonline.com
Business Partnership Inquiry 

02-3665-8956

Fax 02-3665-8957 


Copyright ALUX, Inc. All Rights Reserved