Educating the New Tech-Driven Generation: A Case Study in Hong Kong

Sam LAU
Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
samlau@hkbu.edu.hk

Vicky LEE
Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
leesyehk@hkbu.edu.hk

Helia HAI
Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
heliahai@hkbu.edu.hk

Lorraine YEUNG
Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
lorraine@hkbu.edu.hk

Karen WOO
Hong Kong Baptist University College of International Education, Hong Kong
karenwoo@hkbu.edu.hk

Abstract

A new generation of youth has emerged as a result of the rapidly globalized technological advancements in the last two decades. Their emergence challenges traditional epistemology and pedagogy. Educators and employers alike have been confounded by them - commonly referred to as Generation Z (the post-1990s) a.k.a. Generation Tech or Digital Natives. These students are smarter, more inquisitive and IT savvy than ever before. They are multi-taskers but they also have short attention span. Relying completely on technology to connect, they often lack adequate communication and interpersonal skills. Since the implementation of the new 334 system, the Generation Z, with their 6 years of secondary school education, is coming to our campus.

The College of International Education (CIE), a self-financed community college of Hong Kong Baptist University in Hong Kong, offers a programme that is specially designed for learners of diverse abilities and backgrounds. A growing majority of our students are now showing some of the typical traits of the Generation Z. Consequently, our revised curriculum since 2012 places great emphasis on the following three core areas we believe are vital for this generation:

The first core area is intensive training in communication and intellectual skills. Evidence shows that students coming from Chinese medium schools are just as ready to go through the rigorous language curriculum offered by the College. Extensive reading and writing begins almost immediately upon their entering our campus.

The next core area is the development of personal and social responsibility. Students are reminded that the ownership of education belongs to them not to us. First year seminars and other continual experiential learning opportunities help students take full responsibility of their studies, reflect on their moral values and affirm their responsibility as a global citizen. The last core area is the new approach to the knowledge of human society and natural world. Students are made aware of the malleability and versatility of knowledge. They must learn to appreciate that knowledge is not only an end in itself, but also a vehicle for them to connect to who they really are, their society, and the global environment.

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