Interview transcribed by Doris Cheng
We interviewed Prof. Kong Siu Cheung about his insights into the biggest challenge facing mobile learning in Hong Kong. Prof. Kong is currently Professor of the Department of Mathematics and Information Technology (MIT); and Director of Centre for Learning, Teaching and Technology (LTTC), The Education University of Hong Kong. His research interests include IT in mathematics education, pedagogy in the digital classroom, information literacy education, IT in science and inquiry-based learning, and policy on technology-transformed education.
Interview with Prof Kong Siu Cheung at The Education University of Hong Kong (English)
Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing mobile learning in Hong Kong?
A: I think the challenge most primary and secondary schools are facing is that teachers usually do not consider that it is appropriate for students to bring along their own devices into classrooms. Their major concern is they consider, when students are allowed to bring their own devices, they will play around with the devices and do not concentrate on their lessons. But considering from another perspective, if we really allow our students to bring along their computers into classrooms for learning, you can see that from 8:30 to 3: 30, there is a certain portion of time when students are using their devices for learning. After school, they may not have the interest to work around with their mobile devices, because too much time has already been spent on the devices. So if we do allow our students to bring along their devices for learning, I think, there may be a better development than not allowing them to bring their devices into classrooms. In this sense, it can help not only teachers to enhance the learning and teaching process, but also parents that consider their kids using the devices too much after school. So in terms of this perspective, I think, we can encourage more school principals to discuss with their teachers to see whether they should start to allow some of their students, maybe in some of the classes, to bring along their devices into classrooms, and then demonstrate to other teachers that some of the classes starting to use the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is not a bad thing and it may be able to enhance the learning and teaching process and may even have a better learning outcome. Then it can spread out to more classes. If this culture can develop in Hong Kong, I think, most of the primary and secondary schools can benefit from the cultural change.
Interview with Prof Kong Siu Cheung at The Education University of Hong Kong (Chinese)
A：如果從中小學學生的角度來看，移動學習最困難的當然是，大部分中小學都不太歡迎學生帶平板電腦和智能手機回校上課。這個障礙影響了整個香港電子學習的發展。因為， 如果學生在課室裡不能夠使用移動設備進行學習。因為要推動電子學習，學校需要花很大的氣力來說服家長，令他們願意提供移動設備給學生帶回學校使用。如果這個現象能夠在香港漸漸普及，有更多家長和學校經過商議之後，同意讓學生帶電腦或智能電話在課室進行學習，就能夠對推動整個香港電子學習有更大的發展。現在的挑戰是，其實很多學校已經開始考慮這個問題，就是希望有越來越多的班，通常由小四開始，因為對小四學生的輸入能力較有信心。但是，由小四開始，意味著小五、小六也普及。所以，學校一定要有規劃，按部就班地推進。第一屆的學生，橫向來看，有A班、B班和C班等，他們都是選擇，從一個班開始，讓其他家長有機會觀察，然後再做決定。有很多校長都願意和IT統籌主任一起策劃，令到課室裡有移動設備給教師和學生運用。現在，香港特區政府提供了Wi-Fi 900，所以每一個學校都按部就班地在課室裝上Wi-Fi裝置，為在學校裡使用移動設備掃除了一個障礙。因此，我認為，未來幾年，香港的中小學會漸漸地接受BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) 這個概念。