The role of ICT infrastructure in its application to classrooms: A large scale survey for middle and primary schools in China

Chun Lu, Chin Chung Tsai, Di Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


With the ever-deepening economic reform and international trend of ICT application in education, the Chinese government is strengthening its basic education curriculum reform and actively facilitating the application of ICT in education. Given the achievement gap of ICT infrastructure and its application in middle and primary schools between urban and rural areas, a divide exists between the needs of constructing ICT infrastructure and the patterns of promoting ICT application in education. This paper reports a survey conducted on the infrastructure and application of ICT in middle and primary schools in urban areas (city and county) and rural areas in China based on their demands for promoting ICT in education. The survey focused on 2,168 middle and primary schools, including 717 schools in cities (33.1%), 487 schools in counties (22.5%) and 964 schools located in rural areas (44.5%). Based on stepwise regression analysis, it was revealed that ICT infrastructure had different influences on its application for schools in urban and rural areas. Schools' proportion of ICT aided courses in counties, and utilization of multi-media classrooms in rural areas may be more associated with the infrastructure. These conclusions would be particularly useful for policy-makers in Asia. Moreover, the analysis model could highlight some areas where improvement plans could be implemented to reduce the digital divide. However, ICT infrastructure was found to play an insignificant role in "utilization of multi-media classrooms" or "proportion of ICT aided courses" in city schools, and thus its role in city schools should be reinterpreted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-261
Number of pages13
JournalEducational Technology and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Factor analysis
  • ICT application in education
  • ICT infrastructure
  • Large scale survey
  • Middle and primary schools
  • Stepwise regression analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Engineering(all)


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