Teacher development and platform security are top concerns for school leaders when implementing online learning
August 30, 2021, Hong Kong –– As the new school year commences, hybrid teaching and learning model will continue to be an integral part of Hong Kong’s education system. According to a new survey conducted by The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) and commissioned by Microsoft Hong Kong, over two-thirds (66.8%) of school leaders say that online teaching can promote creativity in pedagogical delivery, while three-quarters (76.2%) see online learning motivating students to become self-regulated learners. Additionally, close to eighty percent (78%) say that online learning integrated in the hybrid learning approach can enhance students’ self-learning abilities.
The survey also reflected that professional development programs are mostly needed in tandem with changing modes of teaching. Ninety-five percent of school leaders believe that teacher development courses should be provided to facilitate effective online teaching and learning.
With hybrid learning here to stay, local principals expressed concern around the cybersecurity and privacy issues that online teaching and learning carry. Ninety-eight percent recognize the importance of keeping the identities and data of teachers and students secure. Professor Kong Siu Cheung, the Principal Investigator of the study and Director of Center for Learning, Teaching and Technology of EdUHK, emphasized that school leaders are keen to put more effort to promote good practices in protecting data privacy and data security when online teaching and learning become popular.
“The pandemic has further deepened our teachers’ and students’ online footprint to teach and learn. We are pleased to learn that technology is enabling our teachers to provide real-time feedback and gamified learning content to raise student interest and achieve higher student engagement,” said Mrs. Shirley Duthie, Principal of The Education University of Hong Kong Jockey Club Primary School. “As we continue to embrace hybrid learning, we will keep upskilling our teachers’ digital literacy through online courses and collaboration with companies such as Microsoft, and meanwhile proactively raise awareness of privacy and cybersecurity among teachers, parents and students to keep our digital classrooms safe while fostering effective collaboration and communication for our students.”
The report, titled “Hybrid Learning Experience among School Leaders and Educators in Hong Kong”, surveyed 319 primary and secondary school principals, and vice principals from aided schools, Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) schools, government schools and private or international schools in Hong Kong.
Following an unprecedented year-and-a-half, 83% of the city’s K-12 school principals support the introduction of online teaching and learning. The survey also showed that 80% of educators are planning or implementing platforms and tools to facilitate online learning and teaching, including video conferencing for classes, assignment collection and distribution, and assessments, among other online activities.
“Digital transformation is happening not only in the world of business, but also in education,” said Fred Sheu, National Technology Officer at Microsoft Hong Kong. “As hybrid learning becomes an integral part of school education, educators need to consider the long-term role of technology and deepen their usage of it to improve students’ learning experience and performance. Digital skills are crucial for the next generation to succeed in the real world. Weaving technology into their education journey is the first step. We look forward to continuing to instill digital ability and confidence in educators, and empowering schools in Hong Kong to leverage technology to nurture our future talent.”
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