The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of South Korea is to invest $2 billion to move all the country’s school students to tablet PCs and digital textbooks by 2015. Tablet computers will be used to run these textbooks in digital form via cloud, and all school buildings will get Wi-Fi, which is very essential if they are to use the cloud storage system.
“It will be up to schools to decide which digital textbooks to choose for students in what year in what subject,” a ministry official said in a newspaper interview. “We don’t expect the shift to digital textbooks to be difficult as students today are very accustomed to the digital environment,” he added.
The Korean government is expecting that this new plan will help students create their own study patterns based on their needs by giving them access to educational resources online. Absentees will also be able to catch up by taking substitute online classes, which would be marked as attendance.
According to reports, the government is more likely to use tablets that are manufactured by South Korea’s Samsung, instead of the Apple iPad, as some schools already use it for a similar initiative. But since tablets make poor readers, especially when used to read textbooks, analysts say that a new textbook-sized handheld computer should be made to make it more effective. This would mean that South Korea’s manufacturers may have to work on a suitable ereader as the deadline approaches.
Should other countries follow South Korea in digitizing their educational materials?