Asia Pacific Education Review

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 147–157 | Cite as

Relationship between ICT supporting conditions and ICT application in Chinese urban and rural basic education

  • Di Wu
  • Cong-Cong Li
  • Wen-Ting Zhou
  • Chin-Chung Tsai
  • Chun LuEmail author


To investigate the relationships between schools’ ICT supporting conditions and ICT application, a total of 2567 primary and secondary schools from 47 prefecture-level cities were surveyed. The questionnaire was administered to collect the ICT supporting conditions in school (ISCS) and the ICT application in school (IAIS) for each school. Among the ISCS factors, the ICT Environment and School Scale were indicated as being significant predictors of IAIS. In addition, the significant predictive relationship between the ISCS and the IAIS factors for rural schools was much stronger than for urban schools. This indicates that the rural and urban schools in China are now at different ICT development stages. Furthermore, rural schools should focus on the improvement of physical ICT infrastructure and the quality digital resources, whereas urban schools should try to improve teachers’ inadequate epistemic beliefs and design thinking ability. Nevertheless, there are other external and individual-level factors that could directly and indirectly influence schools’ ICT application in education.


ICT supporting conditions ICT application Rural and urban divide Different ICT development stages 



Funding of this research work was supported by 2016 National Social Science Fund Youth Project, China, under Grant No. 16CGL058.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest in the work reported here.

Ethical approval

The current study was conducted upon approval from the institutional review board at the authors’ universities. Informed consent was obtained from all the participants in the scope of the study. While reporting the results of the study, it was paid attention not to reveal the participants’ identities.


  1. Aduwaogiegbaen, S. E. O., & Iyamu, E. O. S. (2005). Using information and communication technology in secondary schools in Nigeria: Problems and prospects. Educational Technology & Society, 8(1), 104–112.Google Scholar
  2. Afshari, M., Bakar, K. A., Luan, W. S., Samah, B. A., & Fooi, F. S. (2009). Factors affecting teachers’ use of information and communication technology. International Journal of Instruction, 2(1), 77–104.Google Scholar
  3. Al Mulhim, E. (2014). The barriers to the use of ict in teaching in Saudi Arabia: A review of literature. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 2, 487–493.Google Scholar
  4. Albugami, S., & Ahmed, V. (2015). Success factors for ICT implementation in Saudi secondary Schools: From the perspective of ICT directors, head teachers, teachers and students. International Journal of Education & Development Using Information & Communication Technology, 11, 36–54.Google Scholar
  5. Bauer, J., & Kenton, J. (2005). Toward technology integration in the schools: Why it isn’t happening. Journal of Technology & Teacher Education, 13(4), 519–546.Google Scholar
  6. Bhuasiri, W., Xaymoungkhoun, O., Zo, H., Rho, J. J., & Ciganek, A. P. (2012). Critical success factors for e-learning in developing countries: A comparative analysis between ICT experts and faculty. Computers & Education, 58(2), 843–855.Google Scholar
  7. Bingimlas, K. A. (2009). Barriers to the successful integration of ICT in teaching and learning environments: A review of the literature. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics Science & Technology Education, 5(4), 235–245.Google Scholar
  8. Chigona, A., & Chigona, W. An Investigation of Factors affecting the Use of ICT for Teaching in the Western Cape Schools. In ECIS, 2010: Citeseer.Google Scholar
  9. China, Ministry of Education (2012) The 10-Year Development Plan of Educational Informatization. In Minstry of Education (Ed.),
  10. China, Minstry of Education (2016). The 13th Five-Year Plan for Educational Informatization. In Minstry of Education (Ed.),
  11. China Education Yearbook Editorial Board. (2015). China education yearbook 2015. Beijing: People’s Education Press.Google Scholar
  12. Crisan, C., Lerman, S., & Winbourne, P. (2007). Mathematics and ICT: A framework for conceptualising secondary school mathematics teachers’ classroom practices. Technology Pedagogy & Education, 16(1), 21–39.Google Scholar
  13. Desai, S. V., & More, A. D. (2014). Barriers to successful ICT integration into teaching- learning environment. International Journal of Research in Advent Technology, 2(2), 29–31Google Scholar
  14. Divaharan, S., & Ping, L. C. (2010). Secondary school socio-cultural context Influencing ICT integration: A case study approach. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(6), 741–763.Google Scholar
  15. Dong, B., Zheng, Q., Qiao, M., Shu, J., & Yang, J. (2009). BlueSky Cloud Framework: An E-Learning Framework Embracing Cloud Computing. Paper presented at the Cloud Computing: First International Conference, CloudCom 2009, Beijing, China, December 1–4, 2009. Proceedings, Berlin, Heidelberg.Google Scholar
  16. Dongsong, Z., & Lina, Z. (2003). Enhancing e-learning with interactive multimedia. Information Resources Management Journal, 16(4), 1–14. Scholar
  17. Drossel, K., Eickelmann, B., & Gerick, J. (2017). Predictors of teachers’ use of ICT in school—the relevance of school characteristics, teachers’ attitudes and teacher collaboration. Education and Information Technologies, 22(2), 551–573. Scholar
  18. EDUCATION, U. S. D. O. (2017). Reimagining the role of Technology in education: 2017 national education technology plan update. In O. O. E. Technology (Ed.), Retrieved from
  19. Ertmer, P. A. (1999). Addressing first-and second-order barriers to change: Strategies for technology integration. Educational Technology Research and Development, 47(4), 47–61.Google Scholar
  20. Fraillon, J., Schulz, W., & Ainley, J. (2013). International computer and information literacy study: Assessment framework. International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, 33(4), 95–103.Google Scholar
  21. Gerick, J., Eickelmann, B., & Bos, W. (2017). School-level predictors for the use of ICT in schools and students’ CIL in international comparison. Large-scale Assessments in Education, 5(1), 5.Google Scholar
  22. Hongqi, C. (2009). Integrating urban and rural education: System reconstruction and institutional innovation—the dualistic educational structure in China and its declassification. Educational Research, 11, 3–10 (+ 26)Google Scholar
  23. Jung, I. (2005). ICT-pedagogy integration in teacher training: Application cases worldwide. Educational Technology & Society, 8(2), 94–101.Google Scholar
  24. Khosrow-Pour, M. (2008). Encyclopedia of information science and technology (vol 1). Southfield: IGI.Google Scholar
  25. Kinuthia, W. (2009). Educational development in Kenya and the role of information and communication technology. International Journal of Education and Development using ICT. 5(2).Google Scholar
  26. Korte, W., & Hüsing, T. (2007). Benchmarking access and use of ICT in European schools 2006: Results from head teacher and a classroom teacher surveys in 27 European countries. Barcelona: Elearning Papers.Google Scholar
  27. Laiqin, S., & Yuyou, Q. (2012). Flowing to towns of rural compulsory education students: Features, problems and management strategies. Modern Education Management, 5, 58–61.Google Scholar
  28. Lim, C. P. (2007). Effective integration of ICT in Singapore schools: pedagogical and policy implications. Educational Technology Research and Development, 55(1), 83–116.Google Scholar
  29. Liu, C., Zhang, L., Luo, R., Rozelle, S., & Loyalka, P. (2010). The effect of primary school mergers on academic performance of students in rural China. International Journal of Educational Development, 30(6), 570–585.Google Scholar
  30. Lu, C., Tsai, C.-C., & Wu, D. (2015). The role of ICT infrastructure in its application to classrooms: A large scale survey for middle and primary schools in China. Educational Technology & Society, 18(2), 249–261.Google Scholar
  31. Mavrogordato, M. (2012). Educational equity policies and the centralization of American public education: The case of bilingual education. Peabody Journal of Education, 87(4), 455–467.Google Scholar
  32. Moses, P., Bakar, K. A., Mahmud, R., & Su, L. W. (2012). ICT infrastructure, technical and administrative support as correlates of Teachers’ laptop use. Procedia—Social and Behavioral Sciences, 59, 709–714.Google Scholar
  33. Nielsen, W., Miller, K. A., & Hoban, G. (2015). Science teachers’ response to the digital education revolution. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 24(4), 417–431.Google Scholar
  34. Nieto, S., Ramos, R., & Duque, J. C. Rural-urban differences in educational outcomes: Evidence for Colombia using PISA microdata. In ERSA conference papers, 2012.Google Scholar
  35. Nyambane, C. O., & Nzuki, D. (2014). Factors influencing ICT integration in teaching—a literature review. International Journal of Education and Research, 2(3), 1–17.Google Scholar
  36. Obiadazie, R. E. (2014). Application of information and communication technology (ICT) in teaching and learning process of students with disabilities. Afrrev Stech An International Journal of Science & Technology, 3(1), 176–196.Google Scholar
  37. Pacurar, E., & Abbas, N. (2015). Analysis of French secondary school teachers’ intention to integrate digital work environments into their teaching practices. Education and Information Technologies, 20(3), 537–557.Google Scholar
  38. Pelgrum, W. J. (2001). Obstacles to the integration of ICT in education: Results from a worldwide educational assessment. Computers in Education, 37(2), 163–178.Google Scholar
  39. Pelgrum, W. J., & Voogt, J. (2009). School and teacher factors associated with frequency of ICT use by mathematics teachers: Country comparisons. Education and Information Technologies, 14(4), 293. Scholar
  40. Ramzi, S., Afonso, A., & Ayadi, M. (2016). Assessment of efficiency in basic and secondary education in Tunisia: A regional analysis. International Journal of Educational Development, 51, 62–76. Scholar
  41. Ready, D. D., Lee, V. E., & Welner, K. G. (2004). Educational equity and school structure: School size, overcrowding, and schools-within-schools. Teachers College Record, 106(10), 1989–2014.Google Scholar
  42. Rekabdarkolaei, S. M., & Amuei, F. (2013). Evaluation of ICT literacy differences in trainee student teachers from the view of sexuality. Campus-wide Information Systems, 25(3), 176–188.Google Scholar
  43. Sari, A. (2014). Influence of ICT applications on learning process in higher education. Procedia—Social and Behavioral Sciences, 116, 4939–4945.Google Scholar
  44. Shaofeng, W. (2014). Literature review of research on compulsory education equity. Review Comparative Economic & Social Systems, 3, 213–218.Google Scholar
  45. Singapore, Minstry of Education (2015). Masterplan 4. In E. T. Division (Ed.),
  46. Skryabin, M., Zhang, J., Liu, L., & Zhang, D. (2015). How the ICT development level and usage influence student achievement in reading, mathematics, and science. Computers in Education, 85, 49–58.Google Scholar
  47. Tezci, E. (2009). Teachers’ effect on ict use in education: The Turkey sample. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1(1), 1285–1294.Google Scholar
  48. Tondeur, J., Keer, H. V., Braak, J. V., & Valcke, M. (2008). ICT integration in the classroom: Challenging the potential of a school policy. Computers & Education, 51(1), 212–223.Google Scholar
  49. Toprakci, E. (2006). Obstacles at integration of schools into information and communication technologies by taking into consideration the opinions of the teachers and principles of primary and secondary schools in Turkey. e-Journal of Instructional Science and Technology (e-JIST), 9(1), 1–16.Google Scholar
  50. Tsai, C.-C., & Chai, C. S. (2012). The “third"-order barrier for technology-integration instruction: Implications for teacher education. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 28(6), 1057–1060.Google Scholar
  51. Valsamidis, S., Kontogiannis, S., Kazanidis, I., & Karakos, A. (2011). E-learning platform usage analysis. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, 7(1), 185.Google Scholar
  52. Vanderlinde, R., Aesaert, K., & van Braak, J. (2015). Measuring ICT use and contributing conditions in primary schools. British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(5), 1056–1063. Scholar
  53. Vanderlinde, R., Dexter, S., & van Braak, J. (2012). School-based ICT policy plans in primary education: Elements, typologies and underlying processes. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(3), 505–519. Scholar
  54. Vanderlinde, R., Van Braak, J., & Tondeur, J. (2010). Using an online tool to support school-based ICT policy planning in primary education. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26(5), 434–447.Google Scholar
  55. Vuorikari, R., Kampylis, P., Scimeca, S., & Punie, Y. (2015). Scaling up teacher networks across and within european schools: The case of eTwinning. Singapore: Springer.Google Scholar
  56. Wang, D., Wang, J., Li, H., & Li, L. (2017). School context and instructional capacity: A comparative study of professional learning communities in rural and urban schools in China. International Journal of Educational Development, 52, 1–9. Scholar
  57. Wang, M. (2004). Two major problems in the process of China’s modernization: the urban-rural gap and the regional inequality. Issues in Agricultural Economy, 2004(5), 4–12.Google Scholar
  58. Wang, M. (2014). The current practice of integration of information communication technology to english teaching and the emotions involved in blended learning. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology. 13(3), 188–201.Google Scholar
  59. Wastiau, P., Blamire, R., Kearney, C., Quittre, V., De Gaer, E. V., & Monseur, C. (2013). The use of ICT in education: A survey of schools in Europe. European Journal of Education, 48(1), 11–27.Google Scholar
  60. Williams, D., Coles, L., Wilson, K., Richardson, A., & Tuson, J. (2000). Teachers and ICT: Current use and future needs. British Journal of Educational Technology, 31(4), 307–320.Google Scholar
  61. Wu, D., Yu, X., Lu, C., & Shi, Y. (2014). Research on the indicator system of the development of education informatization. Open Education Research, 20(01), 92–99.Google Scholar
  62. Wu, I., & Chen, W. S. (2013). Evaluating the e-learning platform from the perspective of knowledge management: The AHP approach. Journal of Library & Information Studies. 11(1), 1–24.Google Scholar
  63. Xianlong, W., & Yunwu, W. (2015). Research review on promoting education equity through education informatization in China over the past decade. Modern Educational Technology, 25(2), 12–18.Google Scholar
  64. Yeung, S. Y. S. (2009). Is student-centered pedagogy impossible in Hong Kong? the case of inquiry in classrooms. Asia Pacific Education Review, 10(3), 377–386.Google Scholar
  65. Zhang, J., Fang, Y., & Ma, X. (2010). The latest progress report on ICT application in Chinese basic education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(4), 567–573. Scholar
  66. Zhao, H., & Ma, H. (2012). The construction and analysis of chronology of China’s policies and regulations on education informatization. Modern Distance Education Research, 2012(5), 23–30.Google Scholar
  67. Zyad, H. (2016). Integrating computers in the classroom: Barriers and teachers’ attitudes. International Journal of Instruction, 9(1), 65–78.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Education Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Engineering Research Center for E-LearningCentral China Normal UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Program of Learning Sciences and Institute for Research Excellence in Learning SciencesNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

Personalised recommendations