On Characteristics of Educational Technology in China

By Li, Kang | International Journal of Instructional Media, Summer 1998 | Go to article overview

On Characteristics of Educational Technology in China


Li, Kang, International Journal of Instructional Media


CHINESE EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY IS THE TECHNOLOGY OF THE MODERN EDUCATIONAL MEDIA

1. The Definition of Education Technology in China

During the 1920s to the 1930s, slide, film, and the phonograph were used in the educational process. It marked the beginning of educational technology (ET) in China. The Chinese experts gave it a special name "Electrifying Education", which means electrical equipment used in the educational process. (Xiao Shuzi, 1988 ) [1] It is also interpreted as "Audio Visual Education". In order to make better academic exchange to foreign experts, people also called it "Educational Technology". But for years there was no precise definition of ET in China until the end of 1970s, when ET(Audio Visual Education) was developed. One of them exerts the most influence. It states that ET is "To apply modern educational media and properly combine them with traditional media, to transmit educational information, as result the best effect of teaching and learning is achieved". (Nan Guonong, 1984) [2] The essential characteristics of ET in China, by analyzing the definition, is to apply electron technique media, transmit educational information and to achieve the superior process of human learning.

Since the mid-eighties, because of the influences of the standpoints of ET in America, Chinese experts have assimilated the views about instructional design, development and evaluation, and have accepted the term of "Educational Technology". Some new definitions have been given in China. One of the statements declares that ET is "the design and development of modern educational media, and the technology and educational process that apply modern educational media and technology to conduct the best way of communicating educational information and achieve the best effects of human learning" (Li Kang, 1995) [3]. The heart of the definition is modern educational media and technology. Although it adds the content of instructional design and development, it contains more factors of techniques and operation.

2. The Specific Properties of Educational Technology in China

If one wants to know more about educational technology (ET) in China, one has to know something about its specific properties.

The main specific property of ET in China is that modern educational media are designed, developed, applied and evaluated in order to get the best way to communicate educational information. Traditional media, compared with what is called modern educational media, indicate text, blackboard, chalk, model, material, handing chart etc. Modern educational media indicate projector, overhead projector, recorder, TV, computer (hardware) and instructional material (software). Of course ET is not simply modern educational media, as it incorporate design, development and the application of modern educational media in the course of education. It also contains the teaching method and the teaching mode that are formed by applying modern educational media to instruction.

It is not a field for ET to design, and develop traditional educational media in China. In other words, traditional educational media are not simply objects of study for ET, there are other subjects, such as didactics and pedagogy. During the concrete practice of education, ET doesn't exclude traditional educational media and other learning resources, rather it stresses to combine modern educational media with traditional educational media.

There are two key elements that form ET in China. One is modern educational science, especially modern didactics and theory of communication. The other is modern educational media and technology. (Nan Guonong).[4] Neither of them can be dispensed with. Modern educational science only is not ET, it is theoretical basis and guideline of ET. It goes without saying that ET is a final outcome that combines modern educational science with modern educational media and technology.

It is the basic purpose for ET to improve educational scale, enhance learning and teaching process and make learning and teaching more effective. …

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