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February 5, 2020, Hong Kong –– It’s the first day of the second term, but the school has a very different vibe. A teacher is talking to rows of empty seats, while students from all locations are still learning, interacting and responding to the lesson. Modern remote learning technology has made the virtual school a reality for teachers and students in Hong Kong.
Microsoft Hong Kong today launches “#FutureReady Limitless Learning” Program to immediately enable remote teaching and learning across the whole territory. As part of the Partners in Learning (PiL) initiative, 50,000 teachers and 800,000 students from all 1,000 primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong can use Office 365 Education on a complimentary basis for eLearning and collaborative learning anytime, anywhere. The PiL Initiative was first launched in 2004 in collaboration with the Education Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR Government (EDB), aiming to upskill teachers and students to succeed in an increasingly digital global economy.
“As Hong Kong battles the coronavirus outbreak, ensuring the safety and health of our future generation is of utmost importance. While schools remain suspended, learning should be not disrupted by distance or limited by physical location,” said Fred Sheu, National Technology Officer of Microsoft Hong Kong. “During this challenging period, empowering Hong Kong is our priority. By harnessing the power of our collaborative tools and next-generation eLearning practices, Microsoft is committed to helping Hong Kong schools create experiences that inspire learning, stimulate development of essential skills and empower students to achieve more anywhere, anytime.”
To support teachers and students during this time, Microsoft Hong Kong will support local schools set up and utilize collaborative tools on a complimentary basis. This allows classes to be conducted in real time, allowing students to interact with teachers and each other online as though in similar physical setting. Collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams within Office 365 Education allows each online meeting to accommodate up to 250 participants at a time. Teachers can also record the class on video and share it through the platform together with other class materials and homework.
A series of trainings to empower local educators to conduct lessons online has also been activated. Support includes: weekly webinar training sessions for teachers co-hosted with EDB; experience sharing sessions delivered by Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEE); and training for IT practitioners to quickly set up remote learning platforms. A hotline will be set up for easy access to Microsoft technical experts for immediate trouble shooting to installation of Office 365.
Pioneer Schools Kick Off Remote Teaching: Christian & Missionary Alliance Sun Kei Primary School
The Christian & Missionary Alliance Sun Kei Primary School is among the first in Hong Kong to run remote learning classes under Microsoft Hong Kong’s “#FutureReady Limitless Learning” Program. Teachers will begin remote teaching via Microsoft Teams starting February 5. These real-time, interactive online classes will be offered to all P.4 to P.6 students, which are scheduled for three to four lessons per day, each lasting 30 minutes. In addition, the teachers will also leverage OneNote within Microsoft Teams to arrange assignments and quizzes to replicate a normal physical class interaction, ensuring teachers can fully monitor students’ progress at all times.
“Modern learning cannot be confined to the classroom and it is more important than ever to empower our teachers to continuously guide and nurture students during this difficult time,” said Mr Kenneth Cheng, Principal of Christian & Missionary Alliance Sun Kei Primary School. “We have been using technologies to teach in the classroom, but this is our first time to implement remote learning. It is reassuring and encouraging to see how technology can transform and elevate education with greater agility and flexibility. It is increasingly critical that we embrace technology when needed, so we can groom the next generation of digital talents.”
“#FutureReady Limitless Learning” Program is open to all local primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong. Interested schools may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Mr Kenneth Cheng, Principal of Christian & Missionary Alliance Sun Kei Primary School (left) and Fred Sheu, National Technology Officer of Microsoft Hong Kong (right) share how technology elevates and continues to groom the next digital generation anywhere, anytime.