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Tech has role to play in education: Insider

By Cheng Yu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-11-26 15:53
Primary school students play at Binhu National Forest Park, April 21, 2017. [Photo by Zhang Dagang/For China Daily]

Technology can play a role in promoting education but should not cross certain lines, according to an industry insider.

Ronald Ferguson, a renowned economist from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, said technology can supplement education to some extent by acting as a tool.

"In China, tech is playing a role and improving efficiency, especially for children from rural areas who are not able to get access to high-quality education," Ferguson said.

He made the remarks in an interview during the Global Education Summit 2019 held by leading companies and institutions in the field, including China Development Research Foundation and TAL Education Group.

Ferguson noted in the United States, the most advanced technologies are mostly applied in the private business sectors rather than education.

"Yet we notice a group of companies is looking for artificial intelligence to explore the potential of technology," he added.

However, Ferguson said it is not a good idea to leverage tech in grading students. Tech should be used to support children and help improve teacher efficiency rather than punish kids, he said.

"But if the tech was used to check whether students are concentrating, it will be among the worst technologies that I can imagine," he added.

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