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LCQ7: Information Technology for Learning

    Following is a question by the Hon Tsang Yok-sing and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur K C Li, in the Legislative Council today (April 18):


     In July 2004, the Education and Manpower Bureau published a paper on Empowering Learning and Teaching with Information Technology, which set out seven strategic goals.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the latest progress and effectiveness of the various measures formulated to achieve these goals?


Madam President,

     In 1998, the Government published the "Information Technology for Learning in a New Era: Five-year Strategy 1998/99 to 2002/03" which set out the strategy to integrate information technology (IT) into learning and teaching.  After reviewing the effectiveness of the Strategy and consulting the public, the Government published in July 2004 the policy document entitled "Empowering Learning and Teaching with Information Technology" which set out seven strategic goals to further embed IT into learning and teaching.  The progress of the major initiatives under each of the seven goals is set out below:

Goal 1: Empowering Learners with IT

     The Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB) developed in 2005 an Information Literacy framework to provide up-to-date IT learning targets for students.  The framework set out the necessary IT skills that students should acquire to enable them to use IT as a tool for information retrieval, knowledge acquisition, communication, collaboration, analysis and personal development.

Goal 2: Empowering Teachers with IT

     Since September 2004, EMB has organised 207 professional development programmes on the integration of IT into learning and teaching for teachers.  The Bureau has selected four schools as Learning Centres in which teachers experienced in using IT in learning and teaching would devote their efforts in developing innovative IT learning and teaching methods.  The results will be shared with teachers in other schools.

     To broaden teachers' understanding of global development of IT in education,  EMB hosted the Hong Kong International IT in Education Conference in 2006 which featured more than 120 presentations and workshops.  In late 2006, the IT in Education Partnership Incentive Scheme was launched to encourage teachers to collaborate with other organisations, including IT companies, to develop more effective pedagogical solutions of using IT to strengthen learning and teaching.  Currently, a total of twenty projects are in progress and they are expected to be completed by early 2009.  EMB will organise seminars for teachers to share the outcome of these projects.

Goal 3: Enhancing School Leadership for the Knowledge Age

     School leadership and effective school-based IT development plans are of paramount importance in integrating IT into learning and teaching.  EMB has organised regular e-leadership training and symposia to assist school leaders in drawing up school-based IT development plans.  Furthermore, we have published in 2005 a Self-evaluation Platform on IT in education to assist schools in conducing self-evaluation on the progress and performance of their school-based IT development plans.

     EMB has selected 21 schools which are successful in implementing school-based IT development plans as Centres of Excellence.  These Centres will share their successful experience and good practices in using IT to enhance learning and teaching with other schools.

Goal 4: Enhancing Digital Resources for Learning

     From 2005 to 2006, a grant of $30 per student was disbursed under the Electronic Learning Credits Scheme to schools for acquiring digital interactive learning materials.  In 2005, $3.9 million was allocated to the Hong Kong Education City Limited to produce digital learning materials and obtain licences of quality overseas digital learning materials for use by local schools.

     In 2005, EMB launched an incentive scheme to encourage public-private partnership in developing teaching software for teachers.  The software developed with subsidy under the scheme will be made available to all schools free of charge for the first three years before their commercial launch.  There are currently 22 projects under this scheme.  Twelve pieces of software have been developed and the rest will be completed by February 2008.  

Goal 5: Improving IT Infrastructure and Pioneering Pedagogy Using IT

     In 2005, $137.3 million was allocated to more than 900 schools to replace and upgrade IT infrastructure.  In addition, $6.3 million was allocated to schools for the procurement of e-learning platforms or upgrading existing systems to support e-learning platforms.

     EMB has piloted in ten schools the use of interactive whiteboard.  This is a multimedia device that enables teachers to show interactive multimedia learning materials in classrooms to make teaching more effective and stimulate more interaction between teachers and students.  There are also other pilot schemes on the pedagogical application of web conferencing and mobile technology in progress.

Goal 6: Providing Continuous Research and Development

     EMB has produced an interactive e-platform designed for sharing of good practices on IT in education to facilitate research and development in this respect.  More than 200 exemplars illustrating effective use of IT in learning and teaching are now available on the platform.  

Goal 7: Promoting Community-wide Support and Community Building

     To bridge the Digital Divide, EMB, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Council for Social Service, has launched the Computer Recycling Scheme to provide families in need with used computers, technical support, and Internet connection service free of charge.  So far, more than 10,000 families have benefited from this scheme.  In addition, we have partnered with the Hong Kong Computer Society to launch the ITeHelp call centre service to provide technical support to students, teachers, and school IT technical support personnel.

     EMB has also disbursed a special non-recurrent grant on a need basis to schools for organising programmes to help parents who are not conversant with IT to understand the proper use of IT for learning.

     Tertiary institutes have been commissioned to conduct an evaluative study on the effectiveness of various initiatives under the seven goals.  Phase one of the study, conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Education, aims to collect the views of teachers, students, and parents on the adequacy of the support provided to them to use IT for learning and teaching.  The report on the opinion surveys will be uploaded onto the EMB website by mid-2007.  Phase two of the study, conducted by the University of Hong Kong, aims to assess the impact of using IT on the learning outcomes in selected areas such as Chinese, Mathematics and Science.  The study will be completed by the end of 2007 and the study report will be uploaded onto the EMB website when available.  

Ends/Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Issued at HKT 13:20


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