The 2024 World Digital Education Conference (WDEC) drew to a close on Jan. 31 in Shanghai. Minister of Education Huai Jinpeng attended and addressed the closing ceremony. Vice Minister of Education Chen Jie, who is also Director of the National Committee of China for UNESCO, and Shanghai Vice Mayor Xie Dong, delivered speeches, while Vice Minister of Education Wang Guangyan presided over the closing ceremony and Vice Governor of Hubei Province Shao Xinyu attended the event.
Minister Huai commended this year’s WDEC as a fruitful and consensus-building event, an avenue for seeking cooperation and innovation, and a platform for promoting development and trust. Focusing on the theme of “Digital Education: Application, Sharing, and Innovation”, attendees from around the world engaged in extensive discussions on topics such as improving teachers’ digital literacy and competence, digitalization of education and the development of a new learning society, artificial intelligence and digital ethics, digitalization of educational governance, and governance of digital education. Through in-depth exchange, they strengthened mutual learning and mutual recognition of experiences, jointly planned how to respond to challenges, and consulted on how to enhance cooperation and exchange in various areas, such as infrastructure construction, development of high-quality resources, sharing and application of platforms, and alignment of policies and standards. The conference heralds a new chapter in the development of digital education for humanity. The digital transformation of education has become a global trend, a necessity of the times, and the desire of all teachers and students. He also said that we need to work together, by unlocking the door of hope and the door leading to the development of digital education for all countries, to gain the wisdom of digital education, lead the development of digital civilization, and inject new vitality into global educational development and transformation.
Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education of UNESCO, delivered a video address to the conference. She said that UNESCO has supported more than 17 countries in developing digital education policies, bridging the digital divide, and enhancing national capabilities. She also said that UNESCO will focus on capabilities, content, and connections based on a people-centered vision and will guide the digital transformation of education to benefit students, teachers, researchers, and society at large.
During the closing ceremony, the Compilation of International Digital Education Cases, the Global Digital Education Development Index (GDEI), and the China Smart Education Development Report (2023) were released, while the inaugural issue of the international journal Frontiers of Digital Education (English) was launched, and the Shanghai Initiative of the 2024 WDEC was announced. A handover ceremony also took place during the event.