EdTech To Catalyse The Development Of Hong Kong’s Digital Economy

DigitalCFO Newsroom | 21 September 2022

Inaugural EdTech Month to promote the applications of EdTech as a Catalyst to develop Hong Kong as a Digital Economy.

 Esperanza, a charitable organisation established in 2018 to advocate new ways to learn, live and work, will partner with the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) and The University of Hong Kong to organise the inaugural 2022 EdTech Month from 8 October to 8 November in Hong Kong. The EdTech Month will bring together experts and innovators in education technology (EdTech) from around the world to promote the applications of EdTech as a catalyst to  drive the development of Hong Kong as a digital economy and society. 

Talent Crunch

Aging population, changing life aspirations and in particular accelerating demands for digital skills have aggravated talent shortages worldwide. The World Economic Forum predicted that by 2025 half of all employees around the world will not have the skills to keep up with the changing nature of jobs. Outdated learning programmes will further exacerbate the skills mismatch in the future.

In Hong Kong, according to the 2021/2022 Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management Training and Development Needs Survey, 91% of the respondents saw the importance of reskilling and upskilling their employees but the average training hour per employee annually was only 14.1 hours. 94% of the respondents have introduced e-learning and cited the lack of engagement and interactions as the top challenges.

EdTech as a Talent Development Tool

“EdTech is a catalyst to reinvent the outdated learning system; and a propeller to develop the skills and talents that Hong Kong urgently needs to maintain its competitiveness in the digital century,” said John C Tsang, Founder of Esperanza. EdTech refers to the applications of technology in teaching and learning, from K12, higher education, enterprise learning to lifelong learning. From simply moving learning contents online, there have been increasing adoptions of digital technologies like AI, blockchain, data analytics and immersive technologies to make learning more engaging, personal, collaborative, inclusive and effective.

2022 EdTech Month

The Covid-19 pandemic has made remote/hybrid learning and work a new normal, fuelling demand for EdTech solutions. According to HolonIQ, the EdTech market was valued at USD 254.80 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 605.40 billion by 2027. EdTech investment in 2021 amounted to USD20 billion, representing three times the pre-pandemic level in 2019. But EdTech in Hong Kong is still at a nascent stage.

The EdTech Month aims to encourage the applications of EdTech as a catalytic strategy to develop, reskill and upskill Hong Kong’s talent pool.  It will also showcase examples from around the world on how academic institutes, businesses and governments can work together to develop a 21st century workforce. The EdTech Month comprises three programmes available in online or hybrid formats:

A half-day webinar on how technology can facilitate self-directed learning for K12 and higher education students with practical advice and sharing from experts from the US and Hong Kong, including Richard Culatta, an internationally renowned educator and the CEO of ISTE.

A one-day hybrid event at The University of Hong Kong featuring talent development trends in Asia, how emerging technologies like AI, data analytics and web 3.0 technologies can innovate workforce development and how the public, private and academic sectors can build a learning innovation ecosystem together.

Highlights include the most revolutionary university (Minerva University), the largest curated enterprise e-learning platform (Go1) in the world, China’s largest higher education partner (Huikedu Group), the biggest executive learning centre in Southeast Asia powered by EdTech (Catapult in Singapore), the region’s EdTech investment specialist (Kaizenvest), and four 2022 Edventures Global Business Acceleration Fellowship winners from Denmark, Spain, Sweden and the US demonstrating how they use technology to personalise higher education (Analytikus), facilitate collaborative learning (Eduflow), empower the global supply chain workforce (Quizrr) and assess 21st century skills for learners and employers (Territorium). 

This Summit will provide a virtual networking platform powered by Gevme, whereby online and offline attendees can send messages, arrange instant video calls and schedule meetings with one another. A pre-event gathering will be held on 7 October to familiarise the registrants with the networking platform. The virtual exhibition of the Summit showcasing the EdTech solutions will open from 7 – 30 October 2022.

  • HKU Teaching and Learning Festival (14 October – 8 November)

The Festival comprises different events showing HKU’s teaching innovations and a global forum on 8 Nov for higher education institutes and the business community to discuss how we could nurture a VUCA-proof workforce.

Special Offers to EdTech Month Participants

Admission is free to all EdTech Month events. The 8 October and 14 October Summit participants will also enjoy respectively a complimentary ISTE U online course on “Digital Literacy in the Classroom” and a one-month trial account from Go1 with over 100,000 bite-size courses for up to 5 people in an organisation.

“With the e-learning experience in the last two years, it is high time for educators, employers and policy makers to learn how they can leverage emerging digital technologies to make learning more effective and relevant to the needs of the 21st century . The EdTech Month will also be of interest to people who are looking for business, ESG and investment opportunities in the fast growing EdTech market,” Tsang added.