06 July 2011

Tablets used as Textbooks?

Going digital and green at the same time, Korean schools may soon turn to using tablets as textbooks.

Korea’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology told The Chosun Ilbo it “will invest W$2.2 trillion (about US$2 billion) by 2015” to create a better study environment and interactive content for students.

Digital textbooks for all subjects, levels and schools will be developed and stored in cloud-computing systems, for students and schools to more easily access and choose from.

These ‘improved’ textbooks would not only contain regular textbook content but also reference sources, such as FAQs and multimedia materials, to help students gain better understanding on the topics.

In this case, the Korean Education and Research Information Service would require a massive server for schools to store all digital textbooks in the cloud, and WiFi networks for students to access them, according to the newspaper.

For students from low-income families, tablet PCs would be provided by the government.

Following this print-to-pixels shift might be online classes to allow students who missed sessions, or students who need long-term hospital care, to not fall behind. These ‘online hours’ would also be recognized as attendance—but could this lead to students becoming lazy and attending school from home instead?

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