HONG KONG students doubt whether the advanced, multimedia computer technology widely used in the United States will have a great impact on secondary education here. Bill Gates, the chairman and chief executive director of Microsoft Corporation, recently delivered a lecture on the role of computers in education at the University of Science and Technology. More than 2,000 local university students and some 400 secondary students attended the lecture. The 11/2-hour lecture was also broadcast live to the lecture theatres of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Hong Kong. Internet users also had access to the lecture via the network. Through a multimedia presentation using videos and computers, Mr Gates' predicted a 'revolution' in education by 2004 with students doing homework entirely on the computer. He said students would retrieve multimedia materials including images, sounds, graphics and text from the computer network, arrange the materials on the computer, and present their homework via multimedia technology. No paper would be needed. Portable computers, connected to computer networks, will be a must in the classroom. Secondary students, however, doubted whether Hong Kong would enjoy the widespread use of advanced computer technology in education. 'Multimedia computer technology will be used in high-level research in Hong Kong, I believe,' said Sandy Yung Suet-yung, a Form Seven student at Pope Paul VI College. 'It's not going to be popular in secondary schools as it costs too much. 'On top of that, interacting only via the computer deprives students of the learning experience in human relationships.' Schoolmate Mak Mei-wah said teacher-student interaction in the learning process would not be entirely replaced by computers, because 'there is a limit to what computer communication can achieve'. 'Communicating in words may not convey the entire message you want to get across. There is more to human interaction than just words,' she said. Mr Gates agreed that classrooms would not be completely eliminated as he also saw the importance of student interaction. Some American universities have already begun teaching via computer with students connecting to the network when lectures are being broadcast. Hong Kong secondary schools, at the moment, are still beginners in terms of using computers to help students learn. Students usually use word-processors to do their reports.