South Korea Switches to Digital Textbooks in the Classroom
South Korea is planning change from paper to digital textbooks in the next few years. All content of South Korea’s school subjects will be available on PC’s, iPads and mobile phones by 2015. The education department has announced that South Korea is preparing for a new digital revolution that will change schools of the future.
The project was started last summer. Classrooms throughout the Asian country will be equipped with wireless LANs so that students can access learning materials whenever and wherever they want. Pupils won’t have to carry heavy schoolbags and satchels any more.
South Korea is a model nation when it comes to using modern technology. The OECD found out that youngsters in South Korea lead the world when it comes to getting information from the internet and working with computers. The country focuses on teaching children the basics of technology at a very early age.
Compared to South Korea, western nations lag behind. American president Barack Obama has announced that United States is installing a national learning centre which is to improve teaching standards and develop new teaching methods.
Digital Classroom in South Korea
Educational experts, however, are currently discussing whether digital technology in the classroom makes a grave difference. Some argue that bad pupils will stay bad even if they have a computer in front of them. They agree, however, that going digital could motivate children more and help schools save money. The biggest problem is how to get teachers to integrate new technologies into their lessons.
American developers have been working on special software that could make learning even more effective. An American army project has shown that students can learn things even without a teacher.
Other experts focus on a social problem. Introducing digital learning materials to the classroom could create two groups of children, those who have access to these new technologies and are able to use them and those who don’t. The first group will have advantages in getting a good job, the others will stay behind.
Critics also fear that digitizing all learning materials will result in the lack of trust. We have more confidence in textbooks simply because contents are written in print, whereas we are skeptical of material published on the Internet.
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- access = reach, get to, use
- advantage = to be better off
- agree = to have the same opinion
- announce = officially say
- argue = to give reasons in order to show that something is true
- available = offered
- basics = the most important things
- compared to = to look at two things and see how they are different from each other
- confidence = trust
- content = things that are written in a book
- create = make
- currently = right now
- develop = make, design
- developer =person who designs something technically new
- digital = electronically
- digitize = to make digital
- effective = useful, helpful
- equip = get, install
- focus = concentrate
- going digital = here: changing to digital textbooks
- grave = important, big
- however = but
- in print = on paper pages
- integrate = mix into
- introduce = bring in for the first time
- lack = not enough
- lag = stay
- lead the world = are number one
- model nation = here: leading in a certain field
- OECD = group of rich countries that work together to develop trade and international growth
- prepare = get ready
- publish =print
- satchel = leather bag you carry over your shoulder
- skeptical = here: not sure if something is true
- standard = level
- switch = change
- technology = new machines and tools that make our life easier
- throughout = in all of
- trust = belief in something
- whereas = while
- whether = if
- wireless LAN = a computer network that uses radio signals instead of wires