Esperanza organized a virtual EdTech Showcase to introduce the solutions of seven service providers that use technology to make language learning, STEM education and life skills development more effective. They were previous participants of the Edventures GBA Fellowship. Esperanza is also pleased to partner with ISTE again this year to provide a blended learning CPD programme for educators in Hong Kong. Esperanza is now inviting schools to pilot the solutions and support from academics, corporations and foundations to evaluate the learning outcome. Schools can enjoy the special offers and/or bulk discounts if they register by the end July 2022.
John C Tsang, Founder of Esperanza, opened the event. He pinpointed that technology can be a catalyst to transform the antiquated education system, from the raison d’être of education to the curriculum and pedagogy. The end goal is to unleash the potential of every person and empower people to take control of their own life. Quoting George Couros (the author of “the Innovator’s Mindset”), John said that “technology will never replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of a great teacher can be transformational.” Austin Lau, the event emcee, a HKU student and an Esperanza intern, also shared John’s views about the life-changing effects of a good education. Esperanza is looking for progressive teachers to pilot some of the EdTech solutions. It also hopes to get the government, universities, businesses and foundations involved in evaluating the pilots and supporting the localization and scaling up of some of these solutions.
M K Chong and Brian Sun from the OGCIO introduced the IT Innovation Lab in Secondary Schools and Knowing More about IT for Primary Schools respectively. Publicly-funded schools (government, aided, caput and Direct Subsidy Scheme) are eligible to apply for funding under these schemes up to $1M and $400,00 for secondary and primary schools respectively throughout the year, with no limit on the number of applications. They advised that the equipment costs should be no more than 50% of the funding and schools should look into the sustainability of the programme and the number of beneficiaries. They encouraged schools to apply for OGCIO funding for the STEM related solutions presented at the Showcase. Their presentation slides and recording can be downloaded from these links: slides and recording.
MagniLearn: Personalised English Learning with AI
Hadar Abramovich (VP, Business Development) introduced the MagniLearn platform developed in Israel. It is powered by a deep technology that can teach language six times faster and two times deeper and better. The result is supported by more than 12 years of academic research in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with more than 500,000 learning hours from students in Israel and Asia. Its AI-based nano learning approach enables 100% personalization, generation of customized and free form exercises and feedback in real time. The platform can be easily integrated with the school curriculum and track student progress with its data-driven platform on a student and a class level. It is offering up to 50% discounts for Hong Kong schools. A taster workshop will be available on 6 July and participants can obtain a trial account. Her presentation slides and recording can be downloaded from these links: slides and recording.
Mandarin Martrix: Learning Chinese for Second Language Learners
Keiko Hargraves (Director of Asian Business Development) and Jimmy Lo (Director of Operations, Asia) introduced the Mandarin Matrix (MMX) platform. It is a customised, cloud-based, guided reading solution for learners of Mandarin as a second language from pre-school through to secondary school. Using a scaffold approach, it provides extended learning interventions to students with no additional work for teachers, enabling personalized and gamified learning connected to the real world, self-assessment and immediate feedback. The MMX platform can be mapped and adapted to any K12 curriculum. It is compatible with both computers and iPads. Teachers and parents can keep track of the students’ progress through separate portals. Schools can enjoy special offers quoting the coupon codes below. Their presentation slides and recording can be downloaded from these links: slides and recording.
MMX is looking for government, corporate and foundation funding to turn its Mandarin learning platform to a Cantonese one for ethnic minority children in Hong Kong.
MEL Science X MEL Scholar: Make Science Learning Fun
Dan Sullivan (Founder of MEL Scholar) introduced the joint initiative of the award winning MEL Science and MEL Scholar (UK). They offer a CPD, scientifically based and captivating science learning experience for primary school teachers and students. Teachers will go through a 3-day university validated CPD training and be provided with all the teaching materials, MEL Science kits and accompanying VR/AR lessons for up to 120 students in a year. Hong Kong schools can now enjoy a special offer at $40,000. His presentation slides and recording can be downloaded from these links: slides and recording.
MEL Scholar is looking for an academic partner in Hong Kong to research into the learning outcome of the programme.
ThriveDX: Cyber Security Hackathon (28-30 Oct 2022)
ThriveDX is an expert company in cyber security training founded in Israel 15 years ago serving enterprise clients as well as providing education programmes to universities and schools. Edmund Lim (Executive Director, University Partnerships) introduced its Cyber Security Hackathon for students in Hong Kong. It is a 3-day online event, with students learning the basics of network hacking on day 1, doing self-study on incident responses on day 2 and going through a cyber security challenge on day 3. Students will be divided into the senior secondary and tertiary education streams. No prior IT knowledge is required. Apart from getting a taste of the fast growing cyber security professions, students can develop essential 21st century skills like teamwork, tenacity and adaptability. Hong Kong students can join at a special offer of $500 each if there are 100 registrants by 31 July 2022. His presentation slides and recording can be downloaded from these links: slides and recording.
Una: All in One AI Education Platform
Dr Leo Yeung introduced its Una platform for AI Education which provides 1) onsite/remote Microsoft accredited training courses designed for kids aged 8+, offering to schools and parents and 2) virtual classroom and courses subscriptions to teachers in annual basis. Students can not only learn AI and computational thinking but also important 21st century skills such as collaboration. Brenda Yau (Head of IT, Jubilee Bishop School) commented favorably on the remote teaching and learning experience with Una, its platform design, student progress dashboard and payment system. Special offers are now available to schools in the Esperanza network. His presentation slides and recording can be downloaded from these links: slides and recording.
CoderZ: Virtual Robotics, Coding and STEM Platform
Yaarit Levy (Chief Revenue Officer and International Business Development) highlighted the accessibility of the CoderZ platform, offering affordable, personalized and engaging learning experience with full teaching support. Apart from STEM skills, students can acquire social and emotional skills through teamwork in the CoderZ League – an international tournament with three divisions starting from September this year. Special early bird discounts are available for Hong Kong schools registered before 31 July 2022.
Eric Hui (Head, IT in Education Committee, YWCA Hioe Tjo Yoeng College) commented favorably on the usability, diversity and motivational aspect of CoderZ. Its web-based platform is very convenient for the school to introduce coding to all elementary forms students. One of his students shared the benefits of learning not just math and physics from CoderZ but also teamwork and problem solving skills. Dr Ray Cheung from City University of Hong Kong and Founder of Hour of CodeHK shared the merits of a virtual learning platform like CoderZ which simulates real life experience. Vincent Au of R-Kids will organize a taster workshop on 21 June.
Beyond Education: Life Skills Assessment and Development
Michaela Horvathova (Co-Founder and Chief Education Officer) introduced the Beyond Education platform, which seeks to evaluate and develop the 21st century life competencies of students. Its assessment platform is validated to advise on personal learning paths for each student. Individual student and school-based assessment reports are available and can be benchmarked internationally. Comprising individual and group learning, its online programmes are co-designed with students with 6 modules: BE Confident, BE Organised, BE a Team Player, BE a Leader, BE an Entrepreneur and BE a Global Citizen. They provide a fun and interactive project-based learning experience with peers from around the world under expert mentoring and facilitation. Special offers and bulk discounts are available to Hong Kong schools. Her presentation slides and recording can be downloaded from these links: slides and recording.
ISTE Blended Learning CPD Programme
Rachel Chan (Co-Founder of Esperanza) said that Esperanza is pleased to partner with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) again this year to introduce a blended learning CPD programme to Hong Kong educators. Educators can:
- Enroll for the Summer Learning Academy directly with ISTE (at USD 64) with one extra free course on digital literacy or
- Three representatives from each school can join a full blended learning professional development programme (at $7,500) comprising the SLA, a one year ISTE membership, a three-month blended learning school project and the opportunities to be awarded a scholarship to go through the ISTE certification for educators and share their blended learning experience at the 2023 ISTE Conference.
Information on the ISTE offerings can be obtained through the presentation of Annie Ning (Asia Director of ISTE). Victoria Poon, Vice Principal of WF Joseph Lee Primary School shared her school’s blended learning project experience in the ISTE programme last year. Three of her school’s teachers are now undergoing the ISTE certification programme and their school will do a sharing at the upcoming ISTE Conference in June.
Prof Paula Kwan (Director, Hong Kong Centre for the Development of Educational Leadership, Chinese University of Hong Kong) believed that the ISTE programme would broaden the exposure of Hong Kong educators. They can learn from their peers in Hong Kong as well as educators from around the world. She also highlighted the importance for schools to participate in more project-based and inter-disciplinary collaboration with educators and administrators at different levels. Her presentation can be downloaded here.