South Korea Looks to Replace School Textbooks with Tablets By 2015
July 4, 2011 12:12 PM
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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.
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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RE: US school system
7/5/2011 1:20:09 PM
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.
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