In 2015, the Hong Kong Jockey Membership Charities Belief got down to develop a computational pondering (CT) and coding training initiative of world-class customary, based mostly on up-to-date educating instruments and confirmed pedagogy. Funded by the Belief, in partnership with the Schooling College of Hong Kong, Massachusetts Institute of Know-how and Metropolis College of Hong Kong, [email protected] was created as a free, primary training for all college students, designed to be applied in mainstream curricular and formal computing classes.
Since that point, [email protected] has gained a number of awards and gained recognition on the worldwide training stage. And in a transparent demonstration of its potential and early success, this system earned ISTE’s Seal of Alignment in 2021, acquiring full scores within the classes of Progressive Designer and Computational Thinker.
Not too long ago, we spoke with Marjorie Yang, Chairlady of [email protected]’s Steering Committee, to study in regards to the previous, current and way forward for this system and talk about its influence in Hong Kong and past.
EdSurge: What impressed the creation of [email protected]?
Yang: We had been first prompted to handle considerations over the digital divide. Not each pupil has an equal alternative to study trendy, primary know-how that’s important to profitable careers, resembling in STEM fields. We need to shut the wealth hole. And we need to shut the digital divide. We wish everyone to really feel comfy with know-how. I feel it’s as much as each certainly one of us as customers to grasp know-how, to grasp know-how and to extend the advantages of know-how for all of us.
This goes hand-in-hand with the idea of future readiness. Know-how has undoubtedly modified each facet of our lives. But, some sectors—together with the training ecosystem— haven’t stored tempo with the fast change. We urgently want a complete and trendy curriculum, which thoughtfully incorporates edtech, together with a scalable and sensible instructor growth program to construct a sustainable studying ecosystem that helps future generations.
And at last, we need to promote computational pondering training, slightly than merely STEM or coding. We strongly consider that CT—as a thought course of, resembling logical pondering, drawback fixing and creativity—is extra essential than technical expertise at a younger age. College students must be thinkers and creators who flip concepts into actions with empathy, not mere customers of know-how. CT is a necessary and demanding Twenty first-century ability.
And this goes past merely embedding computational pondering right into a curriculum; it’s actually about empowerment. Initially, this concept appeared to use solely to our college students. However as we went on with the entire mission, we realized that this additionally utilized to oldsters and lecturers, which is important. I feel for this reason CoolThink has change into so related.
Let’s talk about that concept additional. How is your program supporting every of the varied stakeholder teams throughout the training panorama?
We’ve developed a complete and versatile curriculum meant for mass adoption. Educators from all backgrounds can select the items they discover most acceptable and customise them to suit the wants of their college students.
CoolThink brings alongside quite a lot of pedagogy adjustments: flipped lecture rooms, teamwork, peer studying. And this is not simply penetrating the scholars; it’s additionally altering the mindset of the lecturers. It’s very attention-grabbing to listen to testimonies of a number of the lecturers who’ve gone via the CoolThink expertise. It modified their entire model of educating.
If we will change training, if we will change the scholars, then we have to alter the mindset of the lecturers. We now have to empower the lecturers. We have to have a technology of lecturers who’re going to show in a different way, encourage innovation and really feel comfy when college students ask questions that they do not know the reply to.
So, now now we have peer studying for the lecturers, permitting them to share their experiences. We additionally supply modularized instructor coaching programs. Lecturers can select the best choice for them to reinforce their confidence in educating CT courses. Our surveys mirror that over 90 p.c of lecturers who accomplished this skilled growth had been assured in educating CT classes of their faculties and keen to suggest CoolThink to different faculties. Profitable skilled growth creates a sustainable educating capability inside the varsity system.
This permits us to actually concentrate on studying outcomes for CoolThink college students. We engaged SRI Worldwide to conduct a rigorous, unbiased, three-year-long analysis on college students’ studying outcomes concerning CT ideas, practices and views. The report concluded that CoolThink college students considerably outperformed their friends in different faculties. This promising outcome gave us confidence to proceed scaling our CT training to achieve a important mass of adoption.
College students are actively engaged in this system, inside and outdoors of the classroom. However as I discussed, we additionally consider that parental participation is essential to our mission. Therefore, we launched a collection of computational pondering guardian workshops to supply a platform for folks and their kids to study programming (Scratch) collectively. Mother and father grasp computational pondering expertise whereas speaking and cooperating with kids via interactive actions.
What’s subsequent for [email protected]?
We goal to focus our strategic efforts on attaining ends in just a few particular areas. We’ll develop the protection of our faculty community to achieve a tipping level the place adoption of efficient CT training turns into a mainstream follow. PD might be scaled to construct instructor capability for the entire major training sector. We’ll optimize the CoolThink Mannequin to assist faculties tackle variety in pupil studying and join classroom studying with day by day lives and information, such because the development of synthetic intelligence. And we need to empower all major faculties to embrace, maintain and evolve our mission with out there assets and coverage frameworks within the training sector.
And also you see, I come again to empowerment once more. CoolThink is embedding a way of empowerment in these little youngsters. We have to preserve this effort all through the complete training stream. I feel we should always embed empowerment in our entire inhabitants.
This has been a incredible journey for me to witness. As a chairperson, I get to see all the advantages, and it is fantastic. I feel CoolThink got here at simply the suitable time, when the world is speaking so much about innovation and entrepreneurship. This system shouldn’t be merely about coaching college students to change into coders; it is the underlying sense of empowerment that’s most dear.
The profitable implementation of computational pondering training begins with the event of a powerful proof base. And its sustainability depends upon public-awareness constructing and accomplice administration. Hong Kong Jockey Membership Charities Belief’s devoted central coordination crew manages an ecosystem of companions—together with Massachusetts Institute of Know-how, Schooling College of Hong Kong and Metropolis College of Hong Kong—and organizes public occasions, promotions and strategic communications to achieve goal stakeholders. [email protected] is grateful for the Belief’s thought management and funding in high-quality and needle-moving edtech initiatives, that are designed to organize the following technology for a productive and affluent future.