Lingnan University’s Department of Economics and the China Economics Research Programme together with Intel China organised a knowledge transfer conference from 25 to 27 July entitled “Promoting Effective e-learning Modes in Schools of Mainland China and Hong Kong”. Over 60 participants, mainly education administrators, school principals, teachers and researchers from Mainland China and Hong Kong attended to exchange ideas and share knowledge on e-learning.
The event is inspired by the research project “Pay-for-grades, e-learning and Educational Outcomes: Experimental Evidence from China” funded by Hong Kong’s Research Grant Council and led by Prof Wei Xiangdong, Lingnan University’s Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Professor of the Department of Economics. The project builds partnership with Intel China and education bureaus in Nanchang, Shaoyang, Zhaoqing and Zhongshan in Mainland China to promote the effective use of e-learning and reduce regional inequality in education. It has made good progress with participating groups accumulated considerable knowledge and experience in promoting the use of e-learning. The event is also sponsored and supported by Knowledge Transfer Project Fund of Lingnan University.
The conference includes two days of presentations and discussions and a school visit. During the conference, Vice-President of the New Territories School Heads Association Mr Kwok Chi Hung gave a short introduction about the current status of education in Hong Kong and the use of e-learning by Hong Kong schools. Ms Tan Xiaolin, manager of Intel China’s Education Industry Division introduced global trends in e-learning including cloud computing, mobile learning, flipped classroom and maker space. Prof Wei Xiangdong explained how e-learning can be used to solve the rising education inequality problems facing developing countries such as China, and how to evaluate the effects of e-learning using scientific methods. He also presented some preliminary results from his Nanchang e-learning project funded by General Research Fund grant. The CEO of Smart Education Ltd in Hong Kong, Ms Elsa Tsang and her colleagues introduced their e-learning platform and its potential benefits for learning English. Representatives from the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR also attended the first day event.
Educators offered a more concrete perspective in the conference. Mr Huang Guohong, Director of the Department of Educational Technology in Zhaoqing Bureau introduced the successful experience of promoting educational technology and related innovative teaching pedagogies in the City’s less developed areas, emphasising that the common efforts of school heads, teachers and students determine the quality of e-learning. Mr Sun Zhonglian, Director of the Department of Educational Technology in Zhongshan Bureau pointed out that their City, as a forerunner in e-learning, had contributed many successful practices for its nationwide application. Some school heads and teachers of primary and secondary schools shared their successful experiences with e-learning while also pointed out the potential challenges facing school, teachers, parents and students on its adaptation.
On the next day the Mainland delegates visited Fung Kai No.1 Primary School in Sheung Shui, an exemplary school in Hong Kong in promoting e-learning. Its principal and teachers shared their experience in iPad-aiding hybrid learning classroom. They also showed how students were excited about the flipped classroom teaching in the BYOD (bring your own device) classes, which is welcomed by both students and parents. On the last day of the event, some delegates were invited by local schools to share more detailed information on e-learning practice and discuss further exchange opportunities.