Information and Communication Technology in China: Connecting 200 Million Children for Better Education

Information and Communication Technology in China: Connecting 200 Million Children for Better Education

Xiaobin Li (Brock University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/jicte.2009041004

Abstract

This article provides an overview of the recent development of information and communication technology (ICT) utilized in Chinese elementary and secondary education. Specifically, the article discusses the positive impact ICT has on Chinese education, as well as the existing problems in the application of ICT. The potential for further developing education with ICT in schools is considered. In addition, challenges are discussed, and recommendations are made with regard to providing better education with ICT. The target audience of this article is policy makers, educators, ICT professionals and researchers.
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Ict In Elementary And Secondary Education

The significant social development in China requires that elementary and secondary education be available for all children. It also requires that education be effective and efficient. In making elementary and secondary education available for all and in making it more effective and efficient, ICT can play a greater role. The rapid ICT progress may help the Chinese education system deal with the challenges brought about by the increasing demands to make education available for all and to further improve the education system.

Although China has a vast population, it still lacks sufficient human talent. One of the country’s main strategies is to develop such talent by turning its large population into an advantage, changing its economic growth model from a resource-intensive one to a knowledge-intensive one. To develop human talent and build a knowledge-intensive economy, China needs to expand preschool education, improve elementary education and universalize secondary education. In addition, some Chinese learning facilities and teaching methods are out of date (Li, 2007). In renovating learning facilities and updating teaching methods, contemporary ICT will be helpful. The Chinese government is developing satellite and broadband-based distance learning to increase education availability, improve learning effectiveness, reduce operational costs, and provide equitable learning resources for all students.

In 1997, the Ministry of Education started a project of experimental schools for the development of educational technology. Over the years these experimental schools have made progress in building an ICT environment and in promoting the application of ICT in teaching and learning. These schools have made strong efforts to create and improve systems that apply ICT to teaching and provide ICT education to all their students.

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