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Old 07-28-2011, 02:22 AM   #1
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Korea plans to eliminate textbooks in schools by 2015

I thought this was interesting. This subject has been discussed before on MobileRead but never in the context of actually eliminating paper textbooks completly, nor, I think, in such an all encomposing way .... setting a date (only 4 years away), setting up a cloud computing network for schools, storing students homework so it can be accessed from any internet enabled device, virtual classrooms, etc..

http://www.gizmag.com/south-korea-di...ks-2015/19109/

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The South Korean ministry of education has announced a ground-breaking plan to digitize all textbooks which are in use in Korean schools and thus completely phase out printed materials by 2015. This opens a huge market for manufacturers of tablet PCs, laptops and smartphones as the Korean education ministry has revealed it will spend US$2.4 billion on buying appropriate devices and digitizing content for them.

Last edited by gastan; 07-28-2011 at 02:38 AM. Reason: corrected typo
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:32 AM   #2
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very interesting... that's in a very short period of time.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:01 PM   #3
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You know, I would be concerned about that. Korea seems to take school very personally and it could back fire. I recently read this article about a guy who's life was basically destroyed because they didn't believe he was telling the truth over his education.

The Persecution of Daniel Lee
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:29 PM   #4
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Point to note - that's South Korea, another bastion of democracy, freedom, and the right to buy the means of dessimation of knowledge...........


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Old 07-29-2011, 01:40 AM   #5
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Certainly, such a policy will provide a significant boost to the IT sector in South Korea and the ministry points out that digital textbooks will be cheaper than printed versions.
-gizmag article


South Korea like most if not generally all of east asia, is hyper focussed on school but not on "education". All the long hours in class, the high pressure on grades and the after school tutoring for hours, is just a monstrous rat race where the public never questions whether they're getting an education or getting triaged/streamed into high and low achiever careers. Basing education on grades alone means you in fact get fewer creative people succeeding and only the dull little memorizer students get ahead. The east asian system has a lot of racist/admiring stereotypes plastered onto it as an amazing, totally superior system to the mess in America...but it isn't hard to find stories by intelligent east asians who find it a really crappy system.

This is just another example of the students getting served last while government tries to find another way to "govern" (here helping the IT sector with govt investment) while the kids are fodder.
I love these ereaders and the web. But for learning, still nothing beats having paper in your hands, along with those computerized tools. This is just going to lead to national carpal tunnel, kids who all need glasses by 15, reading so much LCD text and a general hyper anxiety about always needing to "get to internet connected terminal" so you can look at your texts, notes and papers.
It's bad enough for the eyes to be twittering and chatting so much on a video screen. Moving and still images are far less strenuous. Imagine reading and reviewing under stress, your entire math text, your boring history text.
They are not to be imitated. But I'm sure opportunistic pols over here will soon be telling a gullible public that we need to "be like south korea" and digitize all education.

Last edited by readingglasses; 07-29-2011 at 01:45 AM.
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Old 07-29-2011, 01:59 AM   #6
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And if you've ever checkout out their curricula (any east asian country), they are ahead of what is taught in N.America and Europe...for some things and only a little bit at that.
They basically learn the same thing as western students but they torture their kids a lot more doing it.
And what an absolute crock about students being digitally able and computer literate! That doesn't mean any of them are good at programming, just that they're like any society's kids who have regular access to a computer. You don't need to eliminate paper books for kids to learn to use a word processor and the net.
Great article and shocking news.
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsJoseph View Post
You know, I would be concerned about that. Korea seems to take school very personally and it could back fire. I recently read this article about a guy who's life was basically destroyed because they didn't believe he was telling the truth over his education.

The Persecution of Daniel Lee
Wow. That is scary and crazy.


Quote:
"I am so angry they are treating me like a suspect when they have not confirmed I am a criminal,"
Hey, look. That's what Daniel Lee was feeling at first when that guy was calling him a liar and a crook.

I hope there's some way for Lee to sue him for emotional distress.
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by readingglasses View Post
But for learning, still nothing beats having paper in your hands, along with those computerized tools. This is just going to lead to national carpal tunnel, kids who all need glasses by 15, reading so much LCD text and a general hyper anxiety about always needing to "get to internet connected terminal" so you can look at your texts, notes and papers.
Maybe they will use e-ink and go back to the roots:

A 19th century School Slate and Slate pencil (with holder)
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:02 AM   #9
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Korea has always been on the cutting edge of technology, however they have always pointed out that there is a pitfall that needs to be avoided. I heard once somewhere about a south korean couple who were so involved with a virtual baby that their own real one died becuase they forgot to fead the infant. The Koreans have always pointed out that in this era of technology we need to keep a strict division between technology and the real world. I am glad to say that my son is alive and well unlike the south korean child.
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Old 07-30-2011, 01:16 PM   #10
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Over here, some schools are starting to use touchscreen tablets (students still purchase physical textbooks though, not sure when/if this would change); and teachers are panicking over controlling Facebook and Twitter usage during lessons. Personally, it's just bullshit. Sometimes it seems like "innovation" through IT usage has been abused to simply be a way of showing off to the rest of the small population who care.

From experience (as educator), some students are still somewhat kinesthetic learners (if the usage is accurate here) in that they learn simply by putting pen to paper all the notes the teacher provides.

It's also going to create a new form of discrimination against students whose financial and family background prevents them from being as technologically savvy as the rest. I know a 15-year old boy who struggles with the computer while his classmates leap ahead.
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:35 PM   #11
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Really? Converting totally to ebooks? South Koreans must be really smart. They are way ahead of everyone else.
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:02 PM   #12
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I wonder how well that will actually work. It's an interesting concept that is supposed to be done within a really short period of time.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:43 PM   #13
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They make celebrities out of people who play Starcraft.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:48 PM   #14
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They make celebrities out of people who play Starcraft.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I like Korea.
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:17 AM   #15
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They make celebrities out of people who play Starcraft.
I'd take that over making celebrities out of people who are famous for being trashy like Paris Hilton, The Situation, Jerry Springer, and the guys from Jackass (including the prick who recently killed another innocent driver including himself in a DUI - Roger Ebert didn't have to apologize for calling him a jackass, BTW, it was real talk).

As for converting all the textbooks to digital - why have it need to be exclusively one or the other? Why can't they have both? What if there's a national power surge or something and all their data goes kaput?

Last edited by Joonbug1; 08-01-2011 at 12:22 AM.
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