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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.

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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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.

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