South Korean Students to Go Digital by 2015
Students in South Korea will be virtually paperless by 2015. According to the country’s Ministry of Education, over the next four years, all students will be equipped with free tablets and e-books instead of traditional paperback books.
The Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is reportedly investing close to $2 billion to usher students into an entirely digital education experience. The e-books and tablets will allow students to purchase required texts from stores like Amazon, just as you would with a Kindle or iPad. This will cut down on wasteful paper use in classrooms and will reduce the cost of purchasing schoolbooks, taking some of the burden off of struggling parents. Because the tablets and e-books will be free, families that have been unable to afford the rising costs of textbooks year in and year out will have a weight lifted off of their shoulders.
The plan is attracting a great deal of press worldwide due to its progressive and innovative nature. Instituting such a plan will help streamline education nationwide. Students who become familiar with advanced technology at a younger age should naturally develop an interest and comfort with it that they might not have had otherwise. According toITProPortal, students in South Korea already have a substantial familiarity with technology, so their transition is not expected to be too difficult.
A ministry official told Korean newspaper The Chosunilbo that “It will be up to schools to decide which digital textbooks to choose for students in what year in what subject.” In this way, the Korean government will allow local school systems to continue to drive their own curriculum.
The technological advancement does not stop with free e-books and tablets. According to aSilicon Republic article, the South Korean government will be creating a cloud network for all Korean students that will allow them to access and download any required text using their tablet and the school’s Wi-Fi network.
This is not the only upcoming Ministry effort to infuse technology into South Korean education. According to that same Silicon Republic article, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is considering making online classes available for certain subjects so that students who miss class will have the opportunity to make up the lost time. An expected completion date for this effort has not been reported.