It’s morning assembly, and Form One students at Pui Ching Middle School, have their iPads ready. It’s the same story in their English and Chinese classes. As they listen to the news, read poems or watch other media on the screens in front of them, the students are preparing to put forward their thoughts via projector linked to their devices.
They are a pioneering group in a school already at the forefront of e-learning. From this autumn, the use of iPads will be rolled out to Form Two and Form Four classes. The school already has its own online learning system with various teaching materials and activities, and its students chat with one another on Facebook or the online course management system Moodle.
But it could take a while before Hong Kong schools use e-books extensively. That is despite the government initiative launched in November, which encourages 30 publishers to digitise their textbooks. The E-Textbook Market Development Scheme, which involves 88 schools testing the e-books under a Partner Schools Scheme, is spending HK$26 million for publishers to produce about 30 e-textbooks, which are expected to be available for use in the 2014-15 school year.