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Evaluation of Smart Education Development of World Digital Education Conference Parallel Session Held in Beijing

On February 14, the Evaluation of Smart Education Development of World Digital Education Conference (WDEC) Parallel Session was held in Beijing. Mr. Chen Jie, Vice Minister of Education, attended the conference and delivered a speech.

Chen Jie pointed out that promoting the digital transformation of education and developing smart education are strategic choices to cope with the changes of the times and the society, and a common goal pursued by all countries in the world. The WDEC specially set up a parallel session on “Evaluation of Smart Education Development”, aiming at conducting in-depth research and discussion on how to establish a new evaluation paradigm and evaluation system that is inline with the characteristics of the digital age, adapts to the development of smart education, and leads the trend of smart education. Chen Jie emphasized that China is willing to, under the framework of equality, mutual learning, dialogue, and inclusiveness, work with other countries, international organizations and relevant experts to extend a pragmatic cooperation and build an academic research network to share practical experiences, create a sound development environment, jointly promote the digital education reform, so that we can open a new chapter in the development of smart education.

Nadiem Makarim, Minister of Education, Culture, Research and Technology of Indonesia, pointed out in his speech that Indonesia has carried out the most thorough reform in education supported by the largest digital transformation in the country’s history, and formulated the policy of emancipating learning. The government can use technology as an important equalizer in the education system. Learning from the best practices of countries in the digital transformation of education will pave the way for a better future for Indonesia. Niki Kerameus, Minister of Education and Religious Affairs of Greece, said that Greece realizes that while hardware and software are important, it is more important to have a healthy ecosystem that contains at least three keys to learning: connectivity, content, and competency, enabling teachers, learners, and families to use new digital tools to advance the goals set for teaching and learning.

Experts attending the conference delivered keynote speeches on the “Evaluation of Smart Education Development”. Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills at the OECD, pointed out that smart education will completely overwhelm our imagination. We need technology to help students get fully prepared and actively participate in social life, advise young learners, support teachers, and establish a truly effective partnership with enterprises. We need strong cooperation from high-level educators with professional knowledge. Zhu Zhiting, a full professor from East China Normal University, pointed out that the research on education digital transformation should adhere to the principles of problem-driven and concept-oriented analysis, future-oriented and ability-oriented design, learning-centered and adaptive services, human-computer collaboration and data empowerment, lifelong learning and accompanying records, multidimensional evaluation and credible evidence, iterative evolution and continuous innovation, system openness and ecological development, and focus on the design of action framework, ecosystem and risk prevention mechanism for digital transformation of education. Christine Goh, Director of National Institute of Education, Singapore, pointed out that with the widespread use of technology in the learning environment, educators need to give priority to consider teaching purposes and design to understand why certain spaces and designs may be more appropriate than others for specific educational goals and students they serve. She also said that it is necessary to carefully use technology to help every teacher and learner develop well. Zhang Minxuan, Director of UNESCO Teacher Education Centre (TEC), pointed out that the developed countries and emerging industrial countries are scrambling to invest in the process of digital transformation of education and have carried out several rounds of strategic planning and layout; Iterative and evolving development is a remarkable feature of the process of global education digital transformation. The key to development and construction lies in connectivity, content and capacity building, and we should be highly vigilant against the ethical risks caused by digital changes. Cao Peijie, Deputy Director of the Institute of Future Education, Chinese Academy of Educational Sciences, pointed out that the characteristics of smart education are embodied in the digitalization of educational environment, the individualization of curriculum teaching and the precision of educational governance, so as to cultivate next generation with solid value and beliefs, better digital literacy, innovation ability and lifelong learning ability. Research emphasis should be given to the characteristics and inherent laws of smart education, the paradigm of data-driven educational governance, and the talent training mode empowered by digital technology. Zhang Yongkai, Deputy Director of the Beijing Municipal Education Commission, pointed out that, according to the practice of Beijing in developing smart education, building a high-quality smart education system that is networked, ubiquitous, personalized and for lifelong needs requires the leading role of smart education evaluation, innovates the educational concept, promotes the reforms of education model and evaluation, establishes a smart model of law-based education governance, and improves the lifelong learning system. Dirk Hastedt, Executive Director of International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, pointed out that IEA seeks to understand and assess students' digital abilities and provide insights on how to effectively support the learning of these abilities. IEA data can be used to monitor progress and identify challenges, and provide evidence for decision-making through systematic collection and analysis of international comparative data. Huang Ronghuai, President of Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University, pointed out that smart education is the target of digital education transformation. Monitoring smart education is helpful to show the challenges and development trends faced by the application of digital technology in education and realize sustainable development of education. The public service system of smart education is conducive to realizing equitable and high-quality education development and promoting the digital education transformation. Manos Antoninis, Director of “Global Education Monitoring Report”, UNESCO, pointed out that the 2023 Global Education Monitoring Report focuses on the challenges existing in equal educational opportunities, educational quality, educational technology development and educational system management and how technology can be used to address these challenges. To realize the potential of technology, three conditions need to be met: equitable access, laws and regulations protecting learners, and teacher preparation. MA Xiaoqiang, Director of Institute of Education Statistics and Data Analysis, CNAES, pointed out that we should constantly consolidate the digital base of smart education with platform optimization, comprehensively promote smart education with deep application of technology, promote “smart” management ability of smart education with data, and finally form a new pattern of talent cultivation in the digital age to improve the overall quality of the people.

Li Yongzhi, President of CNAES, moderated the opening and closing ceremonies. He summarized that the parallel session had a focused theme, sparkling highlights, fruitful results and extraordinary importance, fully demonstrating its international academic atmosphere and influential significance. He emphasized that CNAES is willing to take the release of the Smart Education Bluebook and Smart Education Development Index as an opportunity to continuously promote the practical exploration of smart education, deepen the research on the theory and evaluation of smart education, strengthen dialogue and cooperation with experts and scholars from all over the world, facilitate digital technology to better serve teachers and students, serve education and teaching, accelerate the digital transformation of education, so that we can jointly create a bright future of smart education.

Wang Ming, Vice President of CNAES, moderated the keynote speech session. Evaluation of Smart Education Development of World Digital Education Conference Parallel Session is sponsored by the Ministry of Education and the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, and organized by CNAES, held both offline and online. More than 200 representatives from four countries and two international organizations in China, relevant departments of the Ministry of Education, directly affiliated units and universities, the national education and scientific research units, educational administrative departments in some areas and representatives from primary and secondary schools attended the offline conference. In addition, nearly 80,000 people from 14 countries watched the live broadcast online.


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