Individual Award

Dr Annie HU Xinyun
Assistant Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education

In an increasingly changing world, Dr Annie HU Xinyun has had a remarkable impact on her students and community as a leader in the innovative use of technologies for early childhood education. She developed the Experience, Discover, Create (EDC) learner-centred approach using evidence-based research, applications and advocacy to transform the use of technology, redefining the roles of the learner and teacher in a future-oriented learning context.

By systematically scaffolding her students to adopt new digital technologies in early childhood education for multimodal learning, the students self-developed bespoke solutions, further evolving self-learning in the field and impacting the learning of young children in the real world. Her innovative pedagogical approaches have inspired and enhanced self-directed learning in her classes, as she co-created STEM toolkits and e-learning packages rich with sensory, graphic and interactive elements.

Dr Hu has led the transformation of blended-learning approaches and pedagogical play strategies at EdUHK and beyond. Specifically, she led teaching teams that worked with the faculty E-learning Innovation Team, and co-created four e-learning packages that supported more than 1,700 students in (1) 360-degree virtual field trips, (2) 360-degree virtual school visits, (3) designing school gardens using augmented reality (AR), and (4) using a digital platform to share self-directed teaching aids. She was also the first lecturer to pioneer the Creative Lab (Pilot Future Classroom) in 2018. Beyond normal learning settings, in 2021, her students engaged in co-designing and co-creating flexible learning spaces in the Future Early Childhood & Primary Classroom programme.

Her technology-driven framework has alleviated the impact of the pandemic on educators, allowing them to maintain continuity and engagement with their students. To underpin her evidence-based practice, Dr Hu and her team published the paper "Technology Integration for Young Children During COVID-19: Towards Future Online Teaching", which the World Health Organization selected for its COVID-19 global literature database library (ID: covidwho-1238369).

Dr Hu’s outstanding contributions have been honoured with coveted awards, such as Blended and Online Learning Ambassador in 2016, the Excellence in Knowledge Transfer Award in the Department of Early Childhood Education in 2020, and the Certificate of Merit under FEHD Leaders in the Learning Award Scheme in 2021.

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