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Global Smart Education Conference 2022 Opened in Beijing – Promoting the Systematic Integration of Science & Technology and Education and Building a New Ecosystem of Smart Education

Pubdate:2022.8.26. 14:14 Author:editorSource:Beijing Normal University

Promoting the Systematic Integration of Science & Technology and Education and Building a New Ecosystem of Smart Education –

Global Smart Education Conference 2022, Beijing


On August 18, the “2022 Global Smart Education Conference” was held in Beijing with the theme “Intelligent Technology and Digital Transformation in Education”. The conference invited experts and scholars from the educational, scientific, technological, and business circles from China and around the world to discuss several points, namely:

  • Blending intelligent technology development and education from the perspective of science and technology enabling education,
  • The learning crisis and the future of education from the perspective of students,
  • The teacher education and teaching innovation from the perspective of teachers,
  • The development of intelligent regional education, rural education transformation and education digital governance from the ecological perspective.

The conference was held online and offline and live-streamed on Metaverse. More than 4 million viewers watched the conference online on the first day.

Group Photo of Guests at the Opening Ceremony


Implement the Strategic Action of Digital Education, Promote the Sustainable Development of Education

The digital transformation of education is needed in the development of an intelligent era in response to every round of scientific and technological revolution. Countries and international organizations have introduced digital development strategies. In 2021, UNESCO mentioned in a report[1] the “Reimagining our futures together: A new social contract for education” that “we should reform the curriculum and the teaching methods to respond to globalization, climate challenges and the digital revolution”. In order to promote the further implementation of the 2030 education agenda, the Education Reform Summit will be held during the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2022, with a core topic of Digital Learning.

Director-General LEI Chaozi


On behalf of ZHONG Denghua, who is the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Education of China, LEI Chaozi, the Director-General of the Department of Science, Technology and Informatization, addressed the conference. He emphasized that the Chinese government has always given priority to education during economic and social development. The government also adhered to fair, inclusive, and high-quality development, reform and innovation. At present, the new form of education promoted by intelligent technology puts forward new and higher requirements for educational reform. The Chinese government has attached great importance to the impact of new technologies in education, actively promoted the digital transformation and intelligent upgrading in education, built a Smart Education Platform in China, and expanded the coverage of high-quality education resources. Moreover, it strengthened the application of educational big data and actively created a digital education governance system with Chinese characteristics. Overall, it accelerated the improvement of the infrastructure for information technology in education, and built a high-quality education support system. LEI Chaozi proposed to reshape the educational goal in the intelligent era, vigorously promote the digital transformation of education, and strengthen the opening and cooperation of smart education to achieve the sustainable development goals of education.

Vice President of Beijing Normal University MA Jun


Colleges and universities play an important role in the reform and development of education. The President of Beijing Normal University, MA Jun, pointed out several important issues, namely:

  1. More attention is needed for the teachers training in rural areas, especially in remote and ethnic areas
  2. A need to actively promote the transformation of teachers’ roles and improve teachers’ digital literacy
  3. Rely on AI, big data, virtual reality and other technologies, and provide supports for the pre-service and post-service integration reform of teacher education
  4. Encourage teachers to be proactive in the front line of teaching and be able to carry out research to provide solutions for the better integration of intelligent technology into education and teaching.

Beijing Normal University attaches great importance to using the new generation of information technology to drive the innovative development of education and promote the balance of education, and actively put it into practice. In the future, Beijing Normal University is willing to work with people from all disciplines to jointly promote the digital transformation of teacher education.

Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering ZHAO Qinping


ZHAO Qinping, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, pointed out that the current digital transformation of education and smart learning are becoming a new stage for the development of education informatization. In the process of the systematic reform of education, the digital ability of teachers, students and managers is the key focus. Users are the most important factor in education. Therefore, technology should be applied by users to serve teaching and improve people’s digital literacy and skills. The innovative development of education informatization is a systematic project. It is important to seize the opportunity of new infrastructure construction in education and provide digital learning content, platforms and tools for better teaching and learning to improve the level of digital education services and governance.

Branko Ruzic, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development, Serbia

The First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development in Serbia, Branko Ruzic, expressed that the practical exploration of China’s digital transformation of education had brought great inspiration to Serbia. Serbia is actively improving the construction of educational infrastructure, enhancing the digital ability of schools, teachers and students, promoting the digital transformation of education, and improving the flexibility and quality of education.

Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Nigeria

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs in Nigeria, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, stressed that high-quality education is the best investment, in which everyone can receive an education in a healthy and sustainable society. The Nigerian government is implementing the requirements of the United Nations SDG4 in increasing investment in education, eliminating the digital divide, and promoting the supply of sustainable educational resources. She also referred to the cooperation between Nigeria and the Chinese Digital Technology Company that had played a positive role in curriculum reform and the improvement of teachers’ teaching levels.

Azat Atayew, Deputy Minister of Education of Turkmenistan

The Deputy Minister of Education in Turkmenistan, Azat Athalye, said that the application of digital technology in education is a trend for future development. With the development of network technology, online learning methods and traditional education models will gradually be integrated. Turkmenistan is committed to building a digital education system, improving the digital infrastructure, establishing an international cooperation network, and promoting the technological upgrading of the education system.

ZHAN Tao, Director of UNESCO IITE

UNESCO is committed to helping and supporting the planning and practice of member states in the field of AI and education, building a global education cooperation network, ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education, and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. ZHAN Tao, Director of UNESCO IITE, pointed out that achieving this goal depends on the joint efforts of global partners. He believes that China’s forward-looking plans and innovative practice presents encouraging examples. UNESCO IITE and Beijing Normal University have carried out close cooperation. In particular, since the outbreak of COVID-19, the two sides’ exploration of smart education has received strong support and positive response from experts and scholars around the world.


Presentation of the results of the National Smart Education Strategy Joint Research Plan & launching of the Initiative for Global Smart Education Network (GSENet)

At the opening ceremony, on behalf of the project expert team, Prof. HUANG Ronghuai, who is the Co-Dean of the Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University, reported the research results of the “National Smart Education Strategy Joint Research Plan” and launched the “Initiative for GSENet”.

Results report of the “National Smart Education Strategy Joint Research Plan”

The “National Smart Education Strategy Joint Research Plan” was jointly launched by the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE), Commonwealth of Learning (COL), International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) and Beijing Normal University (BNU). Various institutions worked together to sort out the experience of smart education in various countries and explore the development strategy of smart education. It has formed a series of research achievements such as the National Smart Education Framework, the Global Smart Education Policy Analysis, the National Smart Education Evaluation index, the National Public Service System for Smart Education, and the Smart Campus Design for Future Education.

In order to better promote the development of global smart education and effectively promote the digital transformation of education, the project research team gives five suggestions for the future development of smart education:

(1) Teachers, managers, and stakeholders should recognize the important role of smart education;

(2) Governments should promote the development of smart education according to strategic levers;

(3) Policymakers should review, analyze and formulate relevant national education policies from the aspects of information infrastructure, digital education resources and platforms with the goal of smart education;

(4) Local government and school leaders should design smart campus and a new generation of the learning environment; and

(5) All stakeholders should promote and strengthen cooperation under the smart education strategy.

The vision of the Initiative for GSENet mainly includes three aspects: (i) The information and communication technology have a revolutionary impact on education; (ii) Equitable, inclusive and high-quality smart education is the expectation of all people; and (iii) The GSENet will jointly promote the development of smart education at the national, regional and school levels. Therefore, GSENet’s mission is seeking to use emerging technologies to promote equitable and inclusive quality education for all, in order to achieve the Goals of SDG4.


Seize the Opportunity of Digital Transformation and Build a New Ecology of Smart Education

At the ” Digital Transformation and Smart Education Forum”, which was held on the first day of the Conference, the Director-General Lei Chaozi gave a keynote report entitled “Seize the Opportunity of Digital Transformation and Build a New Ecology of Smart Education”. He pointed out that the digital transformation of education is not only essential for building a digital China, but also a strategic choice to seize the climax development. It is also an internal demand for the high-quality development of education, and the only way for China’s education to rise from a basic equilibrium to a high-level equilibrium, and from an educational country to an educational power. At the beginning of this year, the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China made an important deployment for the implementation of the national digital education strategy, focusing on building the Smart Education Platform of China. The construction and application have gradually risen, which will help accelerate the systematic reform of education and comprehensively realize the digital transformation of education. He mentioned that in order to jointly cope with global crises and challenges, we should further stimulate and release the vast energy of technology and education integration, strengthen international exchanges and cooperation, contribute to global education development and the realization of the 2030 education goals, and highlight the responsibility and undertaking of the education system in building a community with a shared future for mankind.

GONG Ke, Executive Director of China Institute of New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Strategies

Prof. GONG Ke, former Chairman of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) and Executive Director of China Institute of New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Strategies, pointed out that the digital transformation of education is the digital innovation of teaching tools and the digital reform of teaching content and teaching mode. The success of digital innovation of teaching tools hinges on the research and development of teaching facilities using digital technology. The success of the digital reform of teaching content and mode requires a sound digital technology curriculum system, as well as an open, inclusive, multidisciplinary, and problem-oriented learning environment. He proposed three measures: (i) putting a premium on basic subject learning and integrating interdisciplinary and cross-field knowledge transformation; (ii) combining technical and social attributes in the teaching process to promote learning through practice; and (iii) developing a team of qualified teachers with expertise and responsibility.

ZHANG Jingzhong, an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

ZHANG Jingzhong, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, pointed out in a report titled “Intelligent Mathematics Education Technology for In-depth Disciplines” that the basic education software of disciplines is full of vitality, and the mathematical intelligent education software could alleviate the burden of teaching and make learning enjoyable. He believes that there are five ways for intelligent mathematics education technology to facilitate the digital transformation of education, that is, (1) building a digital and intelligent teaching resource operating environment; (2) staying open and integrated to upgrade educational resources and software and hardware products; (3) co-creating and sharing resources and shifting from a supply-driven model to a demand-driven model; (4) building an application environment for the integration of mathematics teaching and learning, i.e., an Internet Mathematics Laboratory; and (5) building a technological model with intelligent mathematics education technology to change the way of teaching and learning.

Professor ZHONG Binglin from Beijing Normal University

Digital transformation is essential for educational reform and progress. The integration of IT into education and teaching presents new challenges for the role of teachers, their relationship with students, and the learning process. ZHONG Binglin, a professor at Beijing Normal University and a member of the National Education Advisory Committee, indicated that the support of the digital economy talent pipeline, fundamental theories, and critical technologies are desperately needed for the digital transformation. He added that it is necessary to assemble a high-quality and professional faculty through systematic project research and development, curriculum training, etc., and comprehensively improve teachers’ informatization and digital literacy. The rapidly developing digital economy has given rise to a critical governance proposition for the digital transformation of education. He stressed that it is necessary to actively respond to the new challenges for the digital transformation of education, including rethinking what education should be and how to deliver it, strengthening team building, and optimizing the governance system.

Professor ZHENG Qinghua, Executive Vice President of Xi’an Jiaotong University

Professor ZHENG Qinghua, who is the executive Vice President of Xi’an Jiaotong University, mentioned spoke about the fourth industrial revolution and educational innovation. He emphasized that the new generation of information technology, represented by AI, is rapidly catalyzing the fourth industrial revolution and setting off a new wave of the industrial revolution – technological revolution – which in turn reshapes the education revolution. Professor Zheng analyzed the historical revelation of the development of higher education, discussed the new missions and challenges imposed by the new era, and put forward critical tasks and measures for future innovation based on the status quo. This included a profound understanding of education laws and direction; focusing on the fourth industrial revolution to innovate discipline and major setting; strengthening the training of talents in fundamental disciplines; emphasizing the deep integration of theory and engineering practice; vigorously utilizing AI and other technologies to empower educational innovation and development.

Renato Opertti, a Senior Expert from IBE-UNESCO

Renato Opertti, a senior expert from IBE-UNESCO, made a keynote speech on the theme of “Curriculum Reform in the Post-pandemic Era.” He introduced the Chinese version of the “Guidance Framework for Blended Education, Learning, and Evaluation” issued by the IBE-UNESCO and Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University. The framework identifies key strategies for implementing blended education, learning, and evaluation, as well as providing principles for reforming the curriculum and the teaching practice. It also extensively adopts technologies to facilitate blended learning of teaching, learning, and evaluation He mentioned about flexible teaching, promoting the development of human potential and the distribution of equal educational opportunities, which eventually leads to contributing to the realization of Sustainable Development Goals.

Professor Rory McGreal, Chairholder of the UNESCO/International Council for Open and Distance Education Chair in Open Educational Resources

Professor Rory McGreal, Chairholder of the UNESCO/International Council for Open and Distance Education Chair in Open Educational Resources, delivered a report and shared his practical experience focusing on micro-certificates, open educational resources, and digital transformation.

WANG Hongtao, President of Beijing Ziguang Technology Development Co., Ltd.

The prevalence of new business and service models and enterprises plays an essential role in the tech-driven digital transformation of education. It also provides ubiquitous cloud and intelligence support and solutions for educational activities. WANG Hongtao, who is the president of Unisplendour Co., Ltd., mentioned that technological innovation is crucial to developing the digital economy. In addition to the introduction of talents, technology enterprises need to implement personalized learning and large-scale individualized teaching through the bi-directional empowerment of education and technology to bridge the digital gap and foster the development of innovative talent of the highest caliber.

The “Teacher Education in Metaverse World Forum” held in the afternoon of the first day of the conference discussed teachers’ practices, evaluation, and management models in the educational Metaverse for helping teachers better adapt to the development trend of tech-enabled educational innovation. In addition, The “Digital Literacy and Smart Learning Forum” deeply discussed the application scenarios of sustainable smart education, as well as tech-driven differentiated teaching and personalized learning.

QIN Changwei, who is the secretary general of the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, attended the Conference, and professor ZHOU Zuoyu, who is the vice president of Beijing Normal University, presided over the opening ceremony of the conference.

QIN Changwei, Secretary General of the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO

Professor ZHOU Zuoyu, Vice President of Beijing Normal University, hosted the opening ceremony of the conference


The conference included 12 themed forums, namely:

  1. Opening Ceremony & Forum on Digital Transformation for Smart Education,
  2. Forum on Teacher Education in Metaverse World,
  3. Forum on Promoting Digital Literacy in Smart Learning Environment,
  4. Forum on the New Ecology of Regional Smart Education,
  5. Teacher Forum on Technology Empowered Teaching Innovation,
  6. Student Forum on Learning Crisis and Futures of Education,
  7. The 6th International Conference on Smart Learning Environments,
  8. Forum on Smart Village and Transformation of Rural Education,
  9. Forum on AI-driven Open Education,
  10. Forum on Digital Governance of Education
  11. Forum on Reform of School Education in the Intelligent Era,
  12. Forum on Leveraging Intelligent Technology for Education Innovation & Closing Ceremony.

This conference was co-hosted by Beijing Normal University and UNESCO IITE; co-organized by Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University, Faculty of Education of Beijing Normal University, China Institute of Education and Social Development, Collaborative Innovation Centre of Assessment for Basic Education Quality, and the National Engineering Laboratory for Cyberlearning and Intelligent Technology, as well as more than ten domestic and foreign universities, research institutions and international organizations, and sponsored by NetDragon Huayu Education, Unisplendour Wisdom Education, H3C Group, Lenovo, iFlytek, etc.