Learning Chinese History through Augmented Reality

Supported by the Education Bureau’s funding for promoting Chinese History, Heung To Secondary School (Tseung Kwan O) has introduced a set of Augmented Reality (AR) education solutions in school to enhance students’ learning motivation.

Technology enhances learning motivation

‘Using technology, such as AR and VR (Virtual Reality), to facilitate learning and teaching is a major trend which we cannot escape from,’ said Mr Ng Pik-kin, Coordinator of the eLearning Team and Panel Head Teacher of the Liberal Studies Department of the school. ‘We can see that after using educational technology, students’ learning interest has been enhanced and self-motivated learning among students can also be achieved.’

Mr Ng noted that the AR solution made it possible for students to learn Chinese History in a gamified way which was more interesting and exciting, instead of just listening to teachers and reading their own textbooks. The game elements such as gaining experience points and competition among players created positive learning atmosphere for students to interact and share with each other their learning strategies and knowledge acquired.

To further increase student engagement, Mr Ng’s school even invited students to draw historical figures and converted their works into virtual game cards for students with achievements to collect.

How does the solution work?

Mr Ng and Ms Chan Siu-ling, Panel Head Teachers of the Chinese History Department of the school, are responsible for the project. With the technology service provider’s support, they have successfully adopted the solution and selected a group of S1 students for experiment and evaluation.

The service provider is responsible for the technical aspect, whilst the teachers prepared the learning contents and multimedia materials, according to Mr Ng.

Ms Chan said they had established a Historical Gallery on campus, and students could learn about momentous historical incidents of China there. With an app on their mobile devices, students approaching the gallery could learn by answering challenging questions. They could also access different multimedia materials such as videos by scanning different places in the gallery.

(From left to right): Mr Ng Pik-kin, Mr Tang Fei, M.H., Ms Chan Siu-ling

Better learning and teaching

According to Mr Ng, students learning with the AR application have to log in to the system with their personal accounts, each of which records the student’s individual learning progress and outcomes.

By referring to such information, teachers can understand students’ performance and thus provide corresponding support to help them improve. Students, on the other hand, are also able to know more about their strengths and weaknesses, and adjust their learning strategies accordingly, such as finding out which learning areas they need to further work on.

‘This is an ideal way to achieve Assessment for Learning,’ said Mr Ng.

Mr Ng said the AR solution would officially be launched in September and they were trying to develop more learning contents to enrich students’ learning experience. He added that the solution would truly echo the curriculum, and would help students consolidate their knowledge.

‘We must bear in mind that it is just a supplementary way to facilitate students’ learning,’ said Mr Ng. ‘Therefore, it has to closely link to the curriculum to ensure its effectiveness.’

Teacher motivation is key

Mr Tang Fei M.H., Principal of Heung To Secondary School (Tseung Kwan O), is glad to see that teachers are self-motivated to apply technology in day-to-day teaching.

‘It is very important to let them see the needs and advantages of using educational technology,’ said Mr Tang, ‘As a principal, I should give support and encouragement, and also put effort into the development of school policies, allocation of resources and exploration of further external support, such as funding from the Education Bureau.’

As for enhancing teacher motivation of using educational technology, Mr Tang said the school had formed a learning community among teachers, who were encouraged to learn from and share with each other.

He continued that internal training courses were arranged for teachers to acquire new knowledge and skills. There were also sharing sessions to facilitate interactions among teachers with diverse backgrounds.

‘We also encourage our teachers to take part in the sharing sessions hosted by the Education Bureau,’ said Mr Tang. ‘The success stories of other schools and teachers will give them confidence to integrate technology into their learning and teaching.’