Should education providers go digital?

By 2015, South Korea aims to provide and deliver all of its curriculum materials in a digital format rather than through the current traditional method of paper textbooks. This would mean that all students would need to have computers and everything would be delivered on-line. The Minister of Education for South Korea, Ju-Ho Lee, argues “Smart Education will change how we perceive textbooks”. However, implementing this would likely be a complex and costly issue, even for South Korea who are famously advanced in broadband/wireless connectivity. The intention is to equip all schools and colleges with wireless networks so that students can learn wherever they are and will involve not just PCs and laptops but also tablets and interactive TVs. There are obvious advantages as Mr Lee states “The transfer from the traditional paper textbooks to digital textbooks will allow students to leave behind their heavy backpacks and explore the world beyond the classroom.” With the advancement of Kindles, e-books and the huge upsurge in on-line learning, is South Korea’s example a viable option for us to follow?

BBC article on South Korea going digital

2 thoughts on “Should education providers go digital?

  1. Hi,I stumbled across your blog whilst researching digital learning for a project. Whilst I agree with the point that having online access to learning materials would reduce the need to lug heavy books around whilst making it easier to keep information relevant in today’s ever advancing society, there are some safeguarding issues to consider here. How do we monitor the childrens’ online activities?

    And, at the risk of sounding like an “old fogey”, wouldn’t we miss the smell and touch of a real book? I would!

    • I know what you mean Paul. There is definitely a safeguarding side to doing this in schools and colleges and some kind of monitoring / moderation of forums and setting up of website exclusion lists in internet settings and firewalls etc would be necessary in order to keep things as safe as possible.
      I’m from the school of thought that asks why can’t we have both (e versions of books, courses etc, as well as hard copies and face to face interactions). One doesn’t necessarily have to replace the other. As for going down the route of doing everything online, my first reaction, as someone who’s about to join the specs club, was how this might affect the students’ eyesight. Can looking at screens all day be a good thing? And how many more power stations would we need in order to be able to power all these electronic devices? The poor planet! :-/

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