Academics, tech keep HK ticking
technology firms are keeping basic education and business going
in Hong Kong, despite the lingering public health crisis.
Hong Kong Baptist
University and the Hong Kong Computer Society have teamed up with
information technology vendors, including software giant Microsoft,
in campaigns designed to counteract the impact of the outbreak of
severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars).
the suspension of classes, Hong Kong Baptist University last week
offered schools the free use of its Internet-based Virtual Integrated
Teaching and Learning Environment (VITLE) platform.
encouraging the principals of these schools and their students to
adopt e-learning by continuing their classes on the VITLE platform,"
said Alex Fung Chi-wah, chairman of the university's Web-based teaching
and learning task force and head of education studies.
said the principals of 39 out of about 1,300 schools in Hong Kong
had registered for training on VITLE, located at www.iLearn.com.hk.
has been developing VITLE as its e-learning infrastructure over
the past nine months.
It was due to
conduct pilot tests next month.
the government decided to suspend classes, we saw a need for education
to continue over the Internet," Mr Fung said.
He had scrambled
late last month to gather sponsors and get the infrastructure ready.
Co- The VITLE site is supported by servers from Cellwise Technologies,
broadband connection from the Powernet Internet Group, database
software and an operating system from Microsoft and interactive
applications such as ColdFusion MX and Flash Communication Server
MX from Macromedia.
As an e-learning
application, Macromedia Breeze allows teachers to create and conduct
multimedia courses over the Internet.
Mr Fung said
he was looking to increase VITLE's physical computing capacity in
case of a prolonged and expanded need to support users.
Kong managing director Mark Phibbs said Baptist University could
count on the company's support should the platform need more resources
to cope with an increase in demand.
and Manpower Bureau last week announced that all kindergarten, primary
and secondary classes would remain suspended until April 21. Classes
were originally suspended from March 29 and due to reopen yesterday.
Education and Manpower Arthur Li Kwok-cheung said the suspension
had been extended to the Easter holidays because the Sars situation
has not stabilised.
online network Hong Kong Education City is allowing primary and
secondary schools to run interactive classes on its Web site throughout
sessions for primary pupils and subject revision for Form Five students
are available at www.hkedcity.net.
Hong Kong Computer Society yesterday announced a partnership with
Microsoft to offer free online and phone IT support for individuals
and companies to implement telecommuting as part of their business-continuity
Work@Home campaign aims to help businesses, especially small firms,
set up mobile working environments over the Internet.
affected our daily routines and work habits. To many local businesses
and large organisations in Hong Kong, employee health and safety
has become a top priority and and an increasing concern," society
president Daniel Lai said.
local businesses was high, he said. In response, the society was
offering support in creating secure and mobile business environments
so that damage to their business operations was kept to a minimum
and their employees could work safely from home.
Support is available
on the hotline number 2388-9600 from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday,
or at www.microsoft.com/hk/workathome.
Mr Lai said
the computer society and Microsoft would hold discussions with other
professional communities and associations on how they could help
their members pursue basic business continuity programmes.
Mr Phibbs said
Microsoft would "do what we can to help protect the health
and well-being of Hong Kong people".