IOE Hosts China–Russia Summer School on EdTech
Earlier this July, IOE’s leading experts in education digitization, renowned guest speakers, and Chinese students with a keen focus on ICT in education convened online for the China–Russia Summer School on EdTech 2020. The event has heralded the first time for China and Russia to hold a joint academic forum of this kind since the COVID outbreak.
Marking one of the pivotal commitments on the cooperation agenda between the HSE Institute of Education (IOE) and Zhejiang University, the China–Russia Summer School on EdTech was held for the second straight year in 2020. The Summer School seeks to provide a comprehensive venue for accomplished professionals and their junior peers to share insights into how the latest ICT help advance learning and development for modern-day educational and social outcomes.
The School was originally slated to take place on IOE’s historic grounds in downtown Moscow, so participants were only too enthralled to get a vibrant and invigorating experience of learning firsthand from distinguished experts in EdTech while also setting off on a captivating journey across the dimensions of the cultural heritage of the Russian capital city.
Yet, policies to fight off the COVID pandemic shattered the plans for physical networking almost elsewhere around the world, and a decision was made by the School Committee to take the forum to the digital realm this year. So, in the end, Chinese students were learning about ICT via and thanks to ICT, which turned out to be a genuinely innovative, rewarding, and synergistic experience for everyone.
The School program opened with a welcome session on Zoom. Highly ranked officials who were special guests for this year’s forum, Advisor for Education at the Chinese Embassy in Russia, Mr. Shihai Cao and Director of the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education, Mr. Tao Zhan passed on their greetings and best wishes to the School participants. The experience of holding the Summer School 2020 in the digital mode marks an innovative approach, and it helps further push cultural and academic ties between Russia and China while also reinforcing the competitive stand of Russian and Chinese education on the global arena, Mr. Shihai Cao noted during his welcome address.
The School’s academic agenda mingled robust theoretical insights and engaging hands-on experiences during online group work, so the participants could leverage their skills across dimensions of educational ICT. Namely, the students learned about how a university-wide LMS was designed and deployed at HSE and how the innovative world-class HSE Master of Data Science program was implemented. Guest experts representing leading Russian IT powerhouses delivered a series of lectures on their EdTech products. The cultural program involved a virtual tour of downtown Moscow, lectures on Soviet and Russian education, online games, etc.
The fact that the School was held remotely this year did not take anything away from the learning and networking experiences of the participants, so he himself could finally take a glimpse of how the life of Chinese students goes, Arsen Khabibullin, a sophomore in the HSE Department of Sociology says when sharing his impressions of the forum. “It turns out that we Russian students and our Chinese counterparts share very much in common in how we plan our day, choose majors and minors to attend, and what we do to stay motivated and engaged,” he comments.
“Over the course of the School, we took a sightseeing tour of Moscow, and I should honestly say that it was absolutely great, even though it was only held online. I’ve already been to Russia before, yet my keen ambition is to come again so I could see Lake Baikal. Engaging in a SWOT analysis of Russian and Chinese education under scenario of a complete transition to online learning has become an experience unlike any other, especially given that we had to work remotely on pretty challenging tasks when finalizing our project, visualizing the data, building a mind map and so on, but in the end we did it,” Dan Sun, a student at Zhejiang University says.
“At first, I thought that we were only going to watch e-lectures during the Summer School, but the actual agenda did not take long to prove me wrong. Hands-on sessions and team work with Russian students on joint projects have all made this School a very special experience for me,” Wuxian Zhang, a Master’s sophomore at Zhejiang University comments.
IOE and Zhejiang University have the holding of the Third EdTech Summer School on their joint blueprints for 2021, so hopefully the School faculty, guest experts, and students will be able to meet in person next year.
More coverage of the School in leading Chinese media
Learn more about IOE International Summer Schools