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Korean Elementary School Goes Digital; To Use QR Codes for Parent Notices

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Two years ago, Sosu Elementary School in Goesan, North Chungcheong Province, in South Korea was among those designated as pilot schools for the use of digital textbooks. There are 62 other schools all throughout the country that were selected to try out these digital textbooks before all of the schools adopt them. This move is pursuant to the Education Ministry’s “smart education” program, which aims to have every school in Korea go digital in 2015.

Not Just Digital Textbooks

However, according to Sosu Elementary School Headmaster Jo Yong-deuk, this high-tech drive goes beyond just using digital textbooks.

Classrooms are already equipped with wireless Internet connection, allowing for interactive learning between teachers and students. This also helps facilitate better communication between the school and the parents.

Sosu Elementary School also plans to use quick response codes to send notices and school information to parents.

Self-Directed Learning

Jo explained that the use of digital gadgets in the classrooms will fundamentally change the manner by which students are taught. Teachers expect that digital education tools will promote self-directed learning, which is an ideal yet hard-to-achieve goal considering the country’s current education environment.

Self-directed learning happens when students will not just follow what their teachers tell them to do but will find knowledge and information about whatever interests them. However, in most Korean elementary and secondary schools, teachers still take full control of their class.

Going Digital All the Way

According to the director of smart education R&D division of the Korea Education and Research Information Service, Kim Jin-Sook, through ‘smart education,’ students will be able to transcend borders, share different experiences, build their communication skills, and enhance their collaboration skills. She said that these are key qualities needed in the future and are more important than getting high scores in English or mathematics.

Kim said that through the smart education program, these changes will take place:

– Schools in the future will be using digital textbooks that are accessible via any digital device and cloud computing.

– All classrooms will be installed with wireless Internet connection so that students and teachers can easily send and receive files.

– Teachers will be using electronic whiteboards.

– Attendance details will be saved on students’ ID cards and will be automatically checked and sent to parents.

– Students’ health information and other important data will also be saved on their ID cards.

Kim, however, explained that plans under the program are not without issues, challenges and certain oppositions. For one, they are still trying to see whether digital textbooks should be applied to all subjects and all grades. There is also concern about students becoming too hooked and dependent on digital devices.

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One Response to Korean Elementary School Goes Digital; To Use QR Codes for Parent Notices

  1. Pingback: Year 8 is too late (part 2) | Emma Mulqueeny

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