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Online teaching, distance learning discussed at symposium

Author  :  Cao Zinan     Source  :    China Daily     2020-03-18

For the majority of students across China, the first semester of the year of 2020 started with distance learning. That has become a part of Chinese students' daily routine as online education has been encouraged amid the novel coronavirus outbreak and postponement of regular classes.

At the online symposium, "Review and Prospect of Educational Informatization Amid the Coronavirus Pneumonia", hosted by the Institute of South-South International Education Think Tank on Sunday, more than 50 senior education experts, scholars, front-line educators and enterprise representatives shared constructive opinions on online education and teaching and the construction of medium - and long-term education informatization amid the current outbreak.

Facing the epidemic, online teaching activities have been carried out across China, and the scale, speed, scope and number of participants are unprecedented, said Cen Jianjun, former minister counselor in the education section of the Chinese embassy in the US, and director of the Institute of South-South International Education Think Tank.

We should seize this opportunity to make full use of modern information technology, expand the supply of online education resources, continue to build a sound online education system, and promote the healthy and rapid development of online education in China, he added.

The sudden outbreak gave us a chance to experience the world's largest "internet plus education" mode, said Zhu Yongxin, a member and deputy secretary-general of the 13th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference national committee.

He emphasized that "Online education is not only possible but necessary."

"We can tell from the recent practice that the efficiency of internet education is quite high, but there is still a long way to go. It's necessary to improve the level of internet hardware, education curriculum system, network literacy and other aspects, and promote educational reform through big data, the internet and artificial intelligence, Zhu said.

A number of participants also stressed online education's key part in helping the equitable distribution of resources and balanced development of education.

Tang Min, counselor of the Counselors' Office under the State Council, and executive vice-president of the Youcheng Foundation, focused on the subjects of promoting education equity, teaching content reform and lifelong education.

He shared the case of a rural school in Southwest China's Guizhou province and pointed out the important role of internet education in promoting the sharing of quality education resources and eliminating the unfair distribution of educational resources.

"I also hope the whole society can continue to implement the experience of educational informatization learned during this outbreak into the future teaching," said Tang.

Wang Guangfa, vice-president of the Association for the Promotion of South-South Cooperation and principal of Beijing Royal School, said the school has been sharing its high-quality educational resources via satellite with schools in remote backward areas, such as Jinggangshan, Liupanshui and Yan'an.

"Online teaching is the general trend of education in the information age, and the combination of online and traditional teaching should be constantly improved to meet the challenges of future education," Wang suggested.

Other participants also shared their diversified insights regarding online education.

"Online education also poses a great challenge to teachers. It will make a group of excellent teachers stand out while eliminating some, said Qin Zengchang, co-partner of bianchengmao, a platform providing online education to four to 16 year olds.

Editor: Yu Hui

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