25 September 2023, Hong Kong – Microsoft Hong Kong is taking another stride in advancing Sciences, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) and artificial intelligence (AI) education in Hong Kong’s K-12 schools. Together with the Education Bureau of Hong Kong SAR Government (EDB), Microsoft Hong Kong is launching Partners in Learning (PiL) Program 5.0, a key initiative that aims to equip schools and teachers with the necessary tools and knowledge to effectively prepare students for the future.
The PiL Program aligns with the Hong Kong Government’s commitment to promoting STEAM education and championing innovation and technology learning. The latest PiL Program will continue to enhance modern learning and teaching models, promote a blended learning mode, and support STEAM education through Microsoft’s Cloud technologies. Since the pandemic, over 780,000 education users have activated Office 365, with over 300,000 Teams users within the school community.
Dr. Choi Yuk-lin, JP, Secretary for Education said, “Apart from the Government’s efforts, the IT industry has also played a vital and indispensable role in promoting IT in education in Hong Kong. Since the signing of the first MOU on PiL in 2004, Microsoft has been a key partner of the EDB in implementing IT in education strategies. Today, the signing of the MOU signifies the commencement of a deeper and more collaborative partnership between the EDB and Microsoft. When blended learning mode and STEAM learning are now the global trend in education, the comprehensive support from Microsoft, in terms of training, resources and tools that comes with this 5-year MOU at this juncture, has become particularly timely and significant.”
Democratizing AI and fostering AI literacy
As part of Microsoft Hong Kong’s ongoing commitment to empowering the education sector, the company is also driving AI adoption and fostering AI literacy environments. Following successful collaborations with higher education institutions, Microsoft is partnering with different partners and associations to make Generative AI accessible to K-12 schools in Hong Kong.
Facilitating AI development in schools with customized solutions
In collaboration with Microsoft Global Training Partners (GTP), they play a pivotal role in promoting STEAM and AI development in schools by leveraging Azure OpenAI Services to deploy secured Generative AI platform for K-12 schools in Hong Kong. The network of GTP offers professional development experiences in five areas, including Education Transformation Framework, Modern Classroom Teacher Academies, Future-Ready Skills and Industry Certifications, Minecraft Education, and Hacking STEM.
Amidst the current enthusiasm surrounding Generative AI, Microsoft’s GTP have tailored various ready-to-deploy Generative AI SaaS models to empower educators to modernize their learning and teaching approaches in K-12 settings. Teachers can harness the tools to sketch course framework, generate assignment and test paper for their students. Furthermore, teachers can also leverage the capabilities of GPT to proofread and correct students’ assignment, offering suggested corrections. Echoing Hong Kong 2022 Policy Address to enrich coding education, students can learn code generation through Generative AI and to build their own applications and tools in the process. With the assistance of large language model, students can conduct language translation through natural language, thereby to improve students’ language skills efficiently.
Advancing AI skills for educators
Microsoft has also rolled out Microsoft Learn for Educators (MSLE) Program to provide comprehensive support to teachers, helping innovate their teaching practices and achieving excellence in education. By offering free Microsoft’s Official AI Curriculum and training materials to all educators, the program aims to empower them to equip students with AI-related technical skills and educate them on the responsible use of AI. To date, the MSLE program has certified 100+ educators including Microsoft Innovation Educator Experts (MIEE) in Hong Kong and Microsoft expects this program to nurture more innovative professional educators in the future.
“We are excited to launch the fifth PiL program with the EDB to benefit K-12 schools in Hong Kong. Our aim is to guide and support students in becoming future-ready leaders. With the local AI education initiatives in place, we will provide support to local schools to prepare their students to complete their AI learning journeys. By empowering schools, teachers, and students to embrace AI technology, we are laying the foundation for a digitally literate generation,” said Cally CHAN, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong and Macau.
Microsoft Hong Kong is dedicated to upskilling talent with the necessary digital skills, driving innovation in Hong Kong, and preparing the next generation for success in the digital era through different programs and customized solutions for the education sector. Microsoft and EDB first joint hands to launch the PiL Program in 2004. Since then, over hundreds of training workshops were organized for more than 20,000 teachers in Hong Kong to equip them with the latest e-learning knowledge and skills for enhancing learning and teaching effectiveness. In addition to providing online training, Microsoft has organized monthly face-to-face gatherings for teachers to share best practices and keep abreast of the latest products for nurturing future ready students. Microsoft Hong Kong’s AI Education program consists of three key initiatives, namely Microsoft #AI4Good Schools, Microsoft AI Pilot Schools and Microsoft AI Innovation Lab, is set to enhance AI teaching and learning experiences for local K-12 schools, aiming to empower the education sector to achieve more.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.