China, 8/4/06

A few more observations from a different day at the conference:

  • The focus in teacher education in China with regards to technology seems to be on teaching pre-service teachers to use technology, even though there is some talk about connecting technology and pedagogy.
  • Some of the younger scholars (especially graduate students in the 22-28 or so age group) are interested in mobile technology such as handheld devices and mobile phones. This is not surprising, given the proliferation of mobile phones among Chinese in their teens and twenties. I saw plenty of them just walking around in Shanghai!
  • Another observation related to mobile phones and digital cameras in China is that smaller is better. When I asked some of the graduate students why people like small devices, they told me that the Chinese tend to be smaller physically, on average. Interesting thought which hadn’t occured to me.
  • The younger generations (those in college especially) are somewhat of a reflection of the changes taking place in China and the juxtapositions it’s creating:
    • They know their culture and roots (family is still strong), but are also forward thinking
    • They are inquisitive and want to learn about cultures other than their own
    • They want good jobs when they graduate, but now how difficult that will be given the current job market in China
    • They use lots of technology (mobile phones, SMS, Internet, digital cameras, blogs), but may not be familiar with the very latest such as RSS

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