CoolThink@JC Project Team
| Professor KONG Siu-cheung
Director, Centre for Learning, Teaching and Technology
| Professor CHIU Ming Ming
Chair Professor, Department of Special Education and Counselling
| Dr SUN Daner
Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics and Information Technology
The CoolThink@JC programme teaches primary students computational thinking in a four-year pilot program, which started in 2016. It was funded and created by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust (HKJC), and co-created by Centre for Learning, Teaching and Technology (LTTC) of The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and City University of Hong Kong (CityU).
The programme was designed to achieve three outcomes: (1) increasing students’ content knowledge related to computational thinking (CT Concepts), (2) improving students’ problem-solving and logical thinking skills (CT Practices), and (3) generating interest in, and motivation for, computational thinking (CT Perspectives).
Professor Kong, the Principal Investigator of CoolThink@JC, Professor Chiu and Dr Sun, leaders of Course Design and Development, and the Teacher Development Subcommittee, led a joint effort with MIT to develop the course curriculum, learning and teaching materials, and evaluation tools for CT; to design and deliver teacher professional development courses; and to organize international conferences to facilitate the adoption of CT education by primary schools. Professor Kong’s team contributed their professional knowledge of programming education to nurture students’ proactive use of technology for social good from a young age. CoolThink@JC worked closely with the Education Bureau, benefiting more than 18,000 primary students. CoolThink students successfully implemented CT solutions to problems by developing mobile applications. Primary 5 and 6 CoolThink students learned more than twice as much about CT Practices as students who did not participate in the programme.
CoolThink@JC’s programme deliverables exceeded expectations. More than 110 teachers received training on the CoolThink@JC pedagogy “To Play, To Think, To Code”, and more than 85 per cent of them subsequently reported that they taught the CoolThnk@JC curriculum in a more student-centric manner. More than two-thirds of these teachers have been empowered to teach a new subject area.
The programme secured support from its stakeholders to develop Phase II. CoolThink will create platforms and mechanisms to promote adoption by third parties in the next four years, thereby building a self-sustaining ecosystem for mainstreaming CT-coding education in Hong Kong.
Professor Kong’s team has had a far-reaching KT impact on CT-coding education in Hong Kong.