All Hong Kong schools should embrace e-learning

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 December, 2015, 12:15am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 December, 2015, 12:15am

Using digital learning material provides students with a wide range of advantages.

Some schools in Hong Kong have been using e-learning materials for years. Students are allowed to borrow a tablet and use it in their studies until they graduate. However, more traditional schools have not embraced e-learning and stick with printed textbooks. They cannot implement changes overnight but I hope more school heads will see the advantages of digital education.

Digital learning material can reduce waste at source. Teachers print out a lot of exercises and other material on paper and these papers are often put in plastic folders.

This generates a huge amount of paper and plastic waste every year. By contrast, digital learning material is saved on hard disks. Far less paper is wasted and this alleviates the burden on our landfills. Also, with less demand for paper, the problem of deforestation will not be so great.

With e-learning teachers have more options in the classroom. They can present information in graphics and words, but also use videos and animation. More comprehensive information can be obtained. For instance, to learn about particles in solid, liquid and gas states, some students may not understand if only words and pictures are provided. Animation can give them a clearer understanding.

In a primary school, for example, students can even learn through drag and drop by playing specially designed games. This will increase their incentive to learn. There is also the more practical aspect. With so many textbooks, students often have to carry heavy school bags, and some get back pain. That burden will be reduced with e-learning.

Given the obvious advantages, more schools should opt for e-learning. However, many of the textbooks used in Hong Kong schools are in print version only. Publishers have to move with the times and ensure that they are put online.

Mok Sze-lam, Kowloon Tong