Published on November 9, 2023, 6:06 am

Esperanza, a Hong Kong-based charitable organization established in 2018, is partnering with the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) and The University of Hong Kong to organize the inaugural 2022 EdTech Month in Hong Kong. This event aims to bring together experts and innovators in education technology (EdTech) from around the world to promote the applications of EdTech as a catalyst for driving the development of Hong Kong as a digital economy and society.

According to John Tsang, founder of Esperanza, EdTech is a catalyst for reinventing the outdated learning system and developing the skills and talents that Hong Kong urgently needs to maintain its competitiveness in the digital century. EdTech refers to the applications of technology in teaching and learning across various sectors, including K12 education, higher education, enterprise learning, and lifelong learning. It involves using digital technologies such as AI, blockchain, data analytics, and immersive technologies to make learning more engaging, personal, collaborative, inclusive, and effective.

While the global EdTech market is rapidly growing, with a value estimated at US$254.80 billion in 2021 and expected to reach US$605.40 billion by 2027 according to HolonIQ, Hong Kong lags behind in EdTech adoption. Despite the increased demand for EdTech solutions due to remote and hybrid models of learning and working during the pandemic’s new normalcy. Recognizing this gap, the EdTech Month aims to encourage the application of EdTech as a strategic approach to develop, reskill, and upskill Hong Kong’s talent pool.

A recent survey by the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management Training and Development Needs revealed that 91% of companies understand the importance of reskilling and upskilling their employees. However, they only provide an average of 14.1 hours of training per employee annually. Although 94% have introduced e-learning programs in their organizations, lack of engagement and interactivity remains a top challenge.

The EdTech Month will feature three programs available in online or hybrid formats. Some highlights include:

1. ISTE X Esperanza Asia Education Summit (8 October): This half-day webinar will focus on how technology can facilitate self-directed learning for K12 and higher education students. The session will include practical advice and insights from experts in the US and Hong Kong, including Richard Culatta, an internationally renowned educator and CEO of ISTE.

2. Edventures Global Business Acceleration (GBA) Summit (14 October): This one-day hybrid event at The University of Hong Kong will explore talent development trends in Asia and how emerging technologies like AI, data analytics, and web 3.0 can drive workforce innovation. It will also discuss collaboration opportunities among the public, private, and academic sectors to build a thriving learning innovation ecosystem.

Additionally, the summit will provide a virtual networking platform powered by Gevme, allowing online and offline attendees to connect through messages, video calls, and scheduled meetings. A pre-event gathering on 7 October will familiarize registrants with the networking platform. The virtual exhibition showcasing EdTech solutions will be open from 7 – 30 October 2022.

3. HKU Teaching and Learning Festival (14 October – 8 November): This festival comprises various events showcasing HKU’s teaching innovations. On 8 November, a global forum will bring together higher education institutions and the business community to discuss strategies for nurturing a VUCA-proof workforce.

Admission is free to all EdTech Month events. Participants of the Summit on 8 October and 14 October will also receive additional benefits such as a complimentary ISTE U online course on “Digital Literacy in the Classroom” or a one-month trial account from Go1 featuring over 100,000 bite-size courses for up to five people in an organization.

Tsang emphasizes that with the experience of e-learning in the past two years, educators, employers, and policymakers need to explore how emerging digital technologies can enhance learning effectiveness and relevance in the 21st century. The EdTech Month is not only of interest to those in education but also to individuals seeking business, ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance), and investment opportunities in the fast-growing EdTech market.

The inaugural EdTech Month in Hong Kong promises to be an exciting and transformative event, addressing the need for advanced technology integration in education. By leveraging EdTech solutions, Hong Kong has a tremendous opportunity to foster innovation, develop its workforce and maintain its competitiveness as a digital economy.

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