It's game time, on campus!

swissnex China Lecture in HongKong, November 8

Did you know that half a billion people play video games at least one hour per day?

This might be an indicator of how our daily life is being influenced by IT. The times when piles of papers, books, notes had been exchanged and distributed are history. Today’s classrooms, meetings and discussions become more and more digital and the use of different tools, such as smartphones, tablets and various apps are integrated in our daily life and work, and on or off campus.


Dr. Michele Notari, PH Bern Switzerland talked about a school project, where the integrated use of smart phones in class had been tested for two years. The great fear of students playing “non-stop” with their phones during lessons did not commence. An experience shared by Dr. Sam Chu, Associate Professor, Deputy Director, CITE HKU who talked about how Social Media is being applied in primary, secondary, tertiary Education. On every level the use of such smart applications are very much appreciated and used in a professional way.

For students participating in an international study program, working together from various campuses, sharing of documents on google drive comes in very handy. “Meetings are being set via “WhatsApp”, sending a group message to all participants involved”, Roman Dähler, MSc Marketing at City University of Hong Kong and graduated from Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland, explains. Facebook is being used to document the various experiences of students abroad, and as general information about lectures or visits they attended. “Blog’s are used as well, but somehow the students prefer Facebook”, Thomas Ting Kwan Chow Student from HKU said. Because of its useful functions such as “chat” or the “like button”, immediate feedback on posts, comments, pictures etc. can be given.  

In general, what is most liked about using apps, online platforms and online storage space is that the files are available for everybody, information can be shared quickly, the physical distance is reduced and people are more willing to share, news are transmitted faster and therefore feedbacks can be given/seen fast. However the students are very well aware of problems using these platforms, such as the accessibility, restrictions depending on where you are based, virus attacks and who to trust working on documents. 

Frankie Tam on "Games and Learning in primary education"

Frankie Tam on "Games and Learning in primary education"

Today’s students, have gamed 10’000 hours by the age of 21!

At a first look this number might be shocking, but note that these are not just “car race” and “fantasy land” games. Also included in these hours are educational games such as language learning applications, mathematic training programs, quiz applications, strategy games etc. Frankie Tam, Director Digital Games Learning, FifthWisdom Technology Limited talked about the fact that games are becoming more and more important in education. In 2011 the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation invested 20mio USD in developing game based learning systems, and events like the National STEM Video game challenge (STEM Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), are becoming more popular each year, by aiming to tap into students natural passion for gaming. Some even say that students learn more about problem solving processes in a game, than in school! What might sound odd has a simple explanation: Due to the fact that students have to be creative in an unknown situation, and take responsibility by taking a decision, they learn more about the possible consequences of made choices.

So, the next time you see some people play games, it’s not just for fun!

It might also be playful learning for real life situations – game on!