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Learning design and technology through social networks for high school students in China


The subject of design and technology was introduced to the curriculum for high schools in China 10 years ago. However, the teaching and learning of this subject have become difficult for both teachers and students because there is a lack of qualified teachers with design background to deliver this subject in a way to stimulate the learning interests of the students. This paper presents a research that is aimed at improving this situation by integrating the teaching and learning of design and technology within a computational environment as part of social networks sites. The purpose is to enable the collaboration among the students and interaction between teachers and students. In this research, a series of investigations were conducted, by following through several taught subjects in design and technology in prominent high schools in China. Based on these investigations, a theoretical framework for web-based design learning and teaching system in the style of social networking is developed, implemented and tested, emphasizing three features of design: innovation, collaboration, and interaction. This framework has been tested among high school students and teachers in a high school in Nanjing. It identified and validated necessary techniques and design features required to make an education-related social networking site effective and affective for the students and teachers. The results of this research indicated that social networking sites have significantly positive values in design education, especially for the collaboration and interaction on the subject of design and technology.

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This study is supported by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Devices and Systems of Ministry of Education and Guangdong Province, College of Optoelectronic Engineering, Shenzhen University;.


This work was supported by the research project 2016M590801 sponsored Chinese Post-doctoral Science Funding.

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Correspondence to Hao Jiang.

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Jiang, H., Tang, M., Peng, X. et al. Learning design and technology through social networks for high school students in China. Int J Technol Des Educ 28, 189–206 (2018).

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  • Social networking
  • Design education
  • Learning skill
  • Collaborative design
  • Interaction