School-based Education Reform Benefits Teachers and Students

With technological advancement changing our lives every day, education is meant to be an important means to equip the future generations with skills to survive in the technology-driven society. Education itself has to keep abreast with the digitalisation trends and change accordingly in terms of pedagogy and curriculum to satisfy the diverse needs of teachers and students in the 21st Century.

It Is Time to Change

C & MA Sun Kei Primary School understands the need for change to enhance the quality of education. The school therefore kick-started their first 3-year development plan in 2015 to promote eLearning on campus.

‘We are eager to enhance learning and teaching effectiveness,’ said Mr Kwok Man-chiu, Primary School Master (Curriculum Development) of the school. ‘Yet we know that it is impossible to change at one go, so we decided to carry out the plan step by step and implement it on our P4 students first, then extend to other grade levels.’

One Step at a Time

Mr Kwok said that the school started the plan by enhancing the information literacy of teachers and students, so that they were more capable to learn and teach with technology and the internet. eLearning at the school started with General Studies and Mathematics in the first phase.

‘Teaching of General Studies relies on up-to-date information and surfing on the internet is definitely helpful,’ said Mr Kwok. ‘For mathematics, digital tools can help teachers clearly illustrate abstract concepts such as shape and dimension.’

The first year of going eLearning was a success and the outcome was appreciated. The school then introduced eLearning to other subjects in the following year. This year, it has even gone further with the introduction of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) campaign which requires all P4 students to bring their own device to school for learning.

eTools Helping Teachers and Students

Mr Kwok and his team have applied different types of software and applications in their day-to-day teaching. For example, students have used Microsoft Teams, a group chat software, to work on pre-lesson learning tasks, which involve reading and answering basic questions, as well as discussing specific learning areas with teachers and classmates.

If students have acquired basic knowledge before coming to class, teachers will have more time to conduct other learning activities in the classroom to help students consolidate their knowledge, Mr Kwok observed.

Teachers use Microsoft OneNote to produce eNotes and e-textbooks for students.

Microsoft OneNote is another software for producing e-notes and e-textbooks for students.

According to Mr Kwok, Microsoft OneNote allows them to present different types of learning contents appropriately to enrich students’ learning experience, such as offering more space for students to jot notes or write down their feedback.

With the tool, teachers are also empowered to manage students’ learning progress with ease by providing supplementary notes or exercises in a systematic and organised way.

Mr Kwok said assessment for learning could be achieved with Microsoft Forms since it helped teachers instantly collect students’ learning data and thus understand their learning performance.

‘Students’ learning data is very important when it comes to improving learning and teaching effectiveness,’ stressed Mr Kwok. ‘With data, we can understand the strengths and weaknesses of our students, and fine-tune the learning contents and pedagogies accordingly to cater for students’ diverse needs and learning abilities.

Future Development

According to Mr Kwok, the school will begin their second 3-year development plan the coming September with the main goal of curriculum reform by reviewing and coordinating the learning contents and material formats of different subjects. The adoption of eLearning will also penetrate across different grade levels.

‘Necessary changes will continue to be made to maximise learning and teaching effectiveness,’ said Mr Kwok.

 

How eTools Cultivates Students’ 21st Century Skills

• Working on pre-lesson learning tasks encourages students to become self-motivated in learning.

• The use of communication software such as Skype allows students to communicate and collaborate with people from around the world. It also cultivates students’ sense of global citizenship.

• The use of coding equipment such as Micro:bit develops students’ creativity and critical thinking skills for working on different projects.