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South Korea Digital Education.

This article was taken from another site (see link below) and posted on this blog by TEACHERS for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES.

South Korea has pledged that all elementary and secondary schools will be completely digital by the year 2015. The ministry of education will ensure that every student has access to a mobile device, a strong connection to the Internet, and a cloud-computing network dedicated to education.

In many ways, this isn’t a great leap. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) listed South Korea—with Internet speeds on average three times faster than that in the United States—as the leading nation on their survey of digital literacy. “Digital technologies provide a great opportunity to make students more active participants in classroom learning,” said Barbara Ischinger, OECD Director of Education. “[It helps] to tailor learning … and to give students access to the world’s current research and thinking.”

What’s remarkable is that this ranking, according to the Korean Ministry of Education, is not good enough. The Ministry has since targeted their policies and some $2.4 billion in funding so that best practices in digital learning become the norm for all students within three years.

UNESCO has documented through a series of reports how South Korea has equitably integrated digital computing in schools on a national level. Formal standards for teacher education and training, among other best practices, are now being shared widely by the international agency.

School systems around the world are watching Korea, not just for its high-achievement rates, but also to see if it succeeds in being the first country to go entirely digital.

South Korea is one of the most wired places on earth. More than 80 percent of South Korean households have broadband access to the Internet, according to the statistical office here. U.S. Web hosting company Akamai has said that South Korea enjoys the fastest Internet connection in the world. South Korea also ranks first in wireless broadband subscriptions, according to an OECD release.

The 2009 OECD study says there’s a positive relationship between students’ use of computers at home for leisure and their digital navigation skills. “Proficient digital readers tend to know how to navigate effectively and efficiently,” the study found. The study found that students who read online more frequently also read a greater variety of print material and report higher enjoyment of reading itself.

Another telling example of the influence of the Internet on this nation of 50 million is the number of so-called PC rooms, or Internet cafes, which stood at 15,000 as of December last year, according to the PC room business association.


PC rooms, which usually operate around the clock, have long been the breeding ground for South Korea’s so-called professional e-gamers, whose popularity has given birth to an industry dedicated to airing their matches and promoting high-tech gadgets through them.


Those who study digital technology and education have been generally positive about introducing digital textbooks, but there have also been warnings that Internet addiction may deepen among South Korea’s teenagers.

The number of students addicted to the Internet amounted to 782,000, or 12 percent of the total student population, the Ministry of Public Administration and Security said last year. The government, worried by the problem, plans to increase the number of counselors dealing with Internet addiction to 5,500 next year.

“What is essential in digital learning is to promote as much interaction between teachers and students as possible, rather than just leaving the students to themselves,” said Kwon Jung-eun, a senior researcher at the state-run National Information Society Agency.

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