Tuesday, July 26, 2011

South Korea to Swap Textbooks for Tablets

South Korean school textbooks will be all digital by 2015
Credit to: Digital Trends

South Korea’s government has announced ambitious plans to revolutionize school classrooms and provide the world’s first “smart education” system. It intends to digitize all textbooks in all schools by 2015. This means bulky, paper-based books are out and handheld tablets and e-readers are in. First in line to go digital are elementary schools, which will switch to online devices by 2014. South Korea’s Ministry of Education says it will invest $2.4 billion to create and deliver the e-learning and mobile-learning materials. Education Minister Lee Ju Ho explained the need to ensure teachers are sufficiently trained in using the new tech in class. "It's very important to make sure that the two can work together,” he said.

The Ministry has not yet made a decision on which make of products it will bring into the classroom. Many industry experts predict it will opt for Korean-made devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab rather than gadgets from international rivals Apple or Sony. In addition to digital content in the classroom, the Ministry is also hoping to make online classes available for students who miss lessons. South Korea is well known for its embrace of technology and high-speed Internet. A Ministry official stated: “Korean students have ranked first in terms of digital literacy among developed nations…That’s why Korean students, who are already fully prepared for digital society, need a [major] shift in education.”

Source: Breaking News English

Vocabulary Words: Read the vocabulary words, the definitions and the example sentences. Make your own sentence using the vocabulary word/s afterwards.

1. ambitious (adj.): full of ambitions; showing great desire for something

  • The young girl is very ambitious. 
2. revolutionize (v.): to bring a significant/extraordinary change
  • Mark Zuckerberg revolutionized social networking by creating Facebook.
3. digitize (v.): make digital

  • South Korea will digitize their textbooks.
4. ensure (v.): make sure; guarantee

  • You have to ensure that you passed the exam.
5. opt (v.): choose
  • Students can opt to write a review of a journal article rather than taking the long quiz.
6. embrace (n. here but it can be v.): eager acceptance
  • South Korea is well known for its embrace of technology and high-speed Internet.
7. literacy (n.): the ability to read and write
  • The literacy rate in the Philippines is 93%.
8. ministry (n.): a department in the government
  • The Ministry of Health advised the young adults to abstain from premarital sex.

Comprehension check:
 Answer the questions based on the article.

1. What is the plan of the South Korean government regarding the education system in their country?
2. Where would the Ministry of Education in South Korea invest $2.4 billion on?
3. The devices to be used in this new project have been predicted. What are these devices? Give a specific device.
4. What classes would be offered to students who will miss their classes?

1. What could be the disadvantages of this project--to the government, the students, the parents?
2. What are the effects of this project to the economy of South Korea? To the Global Economy?
3. Do you think that your country is also capable of executing a project like this?

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