From Textbooks to Tablets: South Korea’s Education System Goes Digital by 2015

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Jul 6, 2011

Students in South Korea will have a much lighter backpack in the next four years. According to a South Korean online news site, all of South Korea’s educational materials will be delivered via electronic devices by 2015. The South Korean government aims to convert all paper textbooks into digital versions, and increase online classes so students can continue their studies outside of school. South Korea’s Education Ministry plans to use smart phones, tablet PCs, and smart televisions to deliver the entire school curriculum though a cloud-based system, which will allow students to download textbooks on their tablets.

Although the future tablet maker has yet to be announced, the Education Ministry will spend $2.4 billion on the devices and the paper-to-digital transition. Some speculation exists, however, that South Korean-based Samsung will be the likely manufacturer.

The move to complete digitization within South Korea’s education system is not a big surprise considering they already have some schools using electronic textbooks within the classroom, and are committed to high educational standards. Not to mention they are pioneers in technological advancements. Meanwhile, schools in the U.S. are still slowly figuring out how to productively integrate new technology within the classroom.

As a leader in technology and Internet connectivity, South Korea is revolutionizing the education market and transforming the way students learn and teachers communicate. Wouldn’t it be great if the U.S. could do the same? We could stimulate the market while also giving ourselves more of an edge in our school systems. For now, the U.S. remains as a country of innovation rather than one of adaption. Hopefully South Korea’s transition to electronic textbooks will speed up our own digital aspirations, particularly in the field of education.

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