Print 35 comment(s) - last by wordsworm.. on Jul 7 at 4:32 PM

In addition, South Korea will create a cloud-based server system for its schools that allows students to download textbooks on their tablets

Mobile devices have become a crucial part of everyday life for many people. More recently, tablets have gained popularity as new models, such as Apple's iPad 2 and Samsung's Galaxy Tab, have upped the mobile experience.

Furthermore, tablets are not only being used for entertainment purposes. More and more businesses and schools are replacing textbooks and print manuals with tablets. For instance, Alaska Airlines replaced its flight manuals with iPads, and American Airlines is looking to adopt the tablet as well.

Now, South Korea wants to replace textbooks in its schools with tablets as a way of jumping into the digital age. Last week, South Korea's Ministry of Education, Science and Technology announced that the government will invest over $2 billion USD in the tablet idea by 2015.

In addition, South Korea will create a cloud-based server system for its schools that allows them to download textbooks on their tablets.

The idea is to make learning more convenient, as children can simply download a new textbook on their tablet. Students can take online classes on the tablets as well, and the government will count these classes as regular school attendance. Also, children who are sick or hospitalized for a period of time can keep up with their schoolwork using a tablet.

South Korea hopes to replace print textbooks completely by 2015.

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US school system
By chmilz on 7/4/2011 12:23:23 PM , Rating: 3
Good luck competing with that.

RE: US school system
By amanojaku on 7/4/2011 1:10:54 PM , Rating: 4
We have so many problems that this isn't on the table. Our teachers are any of the following:

1) Incompetents
2) Pedophiles
3) Wimped by the system
4) F*cking nuts
5) Underpaid
6) Overworked

The schools that get these sorts of devices are usually privately funded and/or in well-to-do neighborhoods, and have been doing it to some degree already. They love the benefits of smaller backpacks, parental tracking of assignments and events, and electronic submission of work. Public schools won't get these unless a donation occurs. People bicker too much about how tax money is spent when the economy is good, which it most certainly is not at the moment.

RE: US school system
By Aloonatic on 7/4/2011 5:07:33 PM , Rating: 4
I'm not a spelling or grammar nazi but seriously, was that comment meant to be ironic?

Also, do people in the USA (just like in the UK, it seems) think that everyone that they don't know personally (and even then, who knows without a police background check?) is a paedophile just waiting for the opportunity to snatch a child?

Sad times indeed.

RE: US school system
By robertisaar on 7/4/11, Rating: 0
RE: US school system
By dark matter on 7/5/2011 2:54:14 AM , Rating: 2
I consider it to be a rather hollow and shallow victory.

RE: US school system
By BZDTemp on 7/5/2011 3:11:30 AM , Rating: 2
If that is winning then you have a sad life or you live in a VERY bad place.

Faith in ones fellow man is basis for a lot of our behavior and if you believe as you say then why should others have faith in you. You view is a self fulfilling prophecy.

RE: US school system
By chiadog on 7/5/2011 4:09:30 AM , Rating: 2
1) Incompetents
2) Pedophiles
3) Wimped by the system
4) F*cking nuts
5) Underpaid
6) Overworked

Those problems don't just apply to US school systems.

And tablets? Meh. I like books I can write on, highlight, and/or make notes on (no, drawing on the tablet isn't the same). It is just the way I learn. Tablets doesn't do it for me. Not to mention how unergonomic it is to hold something flat and inflexible.

RE: US school system
By wordsworm on 7/5/2011 10:32:26 PM , Rating: 2
They're talking 2015, which is a good 3 1/2 years from now. I fully expect tablets to go through a third generation of evolution in that period of time. Think about how different modern tablets are compared to the previous (pre iPad) generation.

RE: US school system
By lagomorpha on 7/6/2011 4:01:39 AM , Rating: 2
"I like books I can write on, highlight, and/or make notes on"

These things are generally discouraged in books provided by public schools...

RE: US school system
By bah12 on 7/5/2011 10:18:19 AM , Rating: 1
Plus it doesn't help that the students are.

1) Lazy
2) Belligerent
3) Entitled
4) Parentaly Undisciplined
5) Parentaly Unmotivated
6) Annoying little fucks more interested in updating their FB pages than paying attention. Operating in a system that is castrated to provide any real punishment for fear of lowering their "score" and losing funding.

The teachers are to blame to a certain degree, but put some responsibility on the brain dead students with no support from home too. I weep for our future.

RE: US school system
By wordsworm on 7/5/2011 10:39:26 PM , Rating: 2
It's easier for parents to blame teachers than to take some blame themselves or even imagine that their own children ought to be responsible for doing things such as homework.

RE: US school system
By lagomorpha on 7/6/2011 4:12:57 AM , Rating: 2
As an educator, something I've noticed is that the vast majority of children do enjoy learning but never get the one on one time required for them to get a decent framework to build from. As a result they tend to just fall farther and farther behind. Their parents don't take the time to teach them the basics (plenty don't even see reading to their children as particularly important) and teachers don't have the time thanks to large class sizes or the ability to sit down and dissect a subject for students because most are only capable of reading lesson plans out of a book.

If you want to somewhat cheaply improve the education system you could round up a bunch of starving college students and pay them minimum wage to tutor to groups of 6 students at a time. Let students hear from a normal teacher for an hour, then go to group help for an hour to make sure they understood the lesson and get caught up. At $8/hr to help 6 kids at a time, the same efficiency is reached as paying a normal teacher $40/hr to teach to 30 students but with much better results. I'm not sure how the teachers union will react to attempts like this though.

RE: US school system
By wordsworm on 7/6/2011 9:10:32 AM , Rating: 2
Or, better yet, hire regular folks with BAs and BSs to come in and work at schools for about $20 an hour off the union rather than hiring those $40+ an hour BEdu teachers on the union. That's what they do in Korea. That's probably why Koreans have such high IQ scores.

I'd wager that if all teachers working at $40/h were replaced with teachers working at $20/h, you could halve the classroom sizes and the students would benefit.

RE: US school system
By lagomorpha on 7/6/2011 1:00:52 PM , Rating: 2
You make a valid point, for some reason most people that decide to get a degree in education seem more interested in being overpaid babysitters than actually being interested in the material they're supposed to be teaching. Even at 15 students per classroom it would be difficult to give students the individual attention to get them through rough spots where they get confused without interrupting the whole class.

Ken Robinson has also made the excellent point that we focus too much on the manufacturing date of the child rather than what they are capable of. Classes should be broken up based on material so that those capable and motivated enough to get ahead can be in classes with more advanced material alongside older students instead of being forced to do repetitive arithmetic years below their level with other students their age.

RE: US school system
By wordsworm on 7/7/2011 4:20:54 PM , Rating: 2
You're right in that 15 students is not a perfect number. But it's an awful lot better than 30.

My classrooms are limited to 10 students. Even with that number of students, I notice a major difference between 8 and 10. I might very well be teaching at a public school next year with 30 students simply because the pay is better. It will be interesting to see if I feel as effective as a teacher at that point as I am now.

RE: US school system
By frobizzle on 7/5/11, Rating: 0
RE: US school system
By nstott on 7/5/2011 1:36:58 PM , Rating: 2
frobizzle: a product of the liberal 'edumacation' system. In Massachusetts, the kiddies are taught about fisting in high school and are exposed in 1st grade to information about how their female teacher was once a man, all without parental consent.

RE: US school system
By wordsworm on 7/5/2011 10:22:15 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think that's the reason why in Massachusetts, the average person has the highest IQ in the US. One might naturally think that the reason that Massachusetts is a liberal voting state is because they are more intelligent. Conversely, Missouri is a conservative voting state, and has the lowest average IQ in the US.

RE: US school system
By nstott on 7/6/2011 2:10:11 PM , Rating: 2
MA has the highest average IQ mostly due to out-of-state and international professors and students at MIT and Harvard. The average was particularly high when I was there but dropped significantly after I received my PhD from MIT and then left. :P The locals in MA are particularly ignorant and plain stupid, kind of like the Mississippi of the northeast.

Missouri isn't a conservative state but is a swing state, as should have been taught to you during your secondary education, and changes hands between both parties regularly. Try not to pull facts out of your @$$ just because they conveniently fit with your idiotic narrative. Google what I wrote about MA if you want to verify. Both occurrences happened while I was there.

RE: US school system
By wordsworm on 7/7/2011 4:32:37 PM , Rating: 2
You made up a dubious narrative about getting a PhD and some stupid story about how kids are taught using pornographic materials. There are rocket scientists in Texas, but they still have low IQs relative to Massachusetts. So, it's unlikely that a minuscule minority is going to overwhelm a statistical survey.

That would be like saying that Korea has one of the highest average IQs in the world because I'm here.

RE: US school system
By nstott on 7/5/2011 1:20:09 PM , Rating: 2
Not to say that the US school system doesn't have a whole lot of problems and issues, but one cannot ignore the problems inherent to the Asian school systems in general and the South Korean school system in particular. They focus almost completely on memorization of facts and existing solutions to problems and don't learn problem-solving and the creative process. Fortunately, they've woken up to these problems, if my time working for Samsung is any indication, but they don't know how to foster the creativity they desperately seek. When I brought my Korean step-children to the US, they struggled in school not only with English but also with writing essays and reports (even initially with me having them write in Korean first and then helping them translate into English) as well as working through problems in which they were supposed to figure out the solution methodology that is known to the teachers but not to the students since they never had to do such things under the South Korean school system.

I sent my biological son to a private international school when we lived in Korea, and they required students to have lap top computers starting in middle school. It was a horrible requirement given the maturity and responsibility levels of children at those ages. The kids were playing games during class time and on the bus and looking at and downloading a lot of crap, a lot of it full of viruses and spyware. Instead of using the computers to study at home, they would have the school homework page running in the background while playing games and then switch screens when parents walk in. My son's grades plummeted until I installed Net Nanny to regulate his Internet and game usage. The other big problem was damage from rough handling and lost power cords and accessories due to the irresponsibility of kids of middle school age, and replacing hard drives and power cords is rather expensive for Dell Computers. It might have worked better if they started requiring lap tops for the junior and senior years of high school when the students are more mature.

That all being said, I think replacing textbooks with tablets is a good idea in general since book bags become heavy and textbooks are often forgotten at school when needed in additional to all of the other advantages as an educational tool—just about everything needed to study and learn in one convenient, little place. Listening to lectures online, especially in South Korea where they present course material for every grade and subject on the Educational Broadcast Stations, would be another great advantage. However, the other problems I mentioned with lap tops need to be addressed. They need to control the tablets as an educational tool by restricting the Internet and downloads to those with educational purposes, installing good software to eliminate viruses and spyware, blocking out pr0n, and excluding game software that is not of an educational nature. Leave the gaming and entertainment, which are all good and necessary in moderation, to the home computers under parental supervision and ubiquitous PC rooms throughout South Korea.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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