South Korea scales back digital textbook plan
South Korea is well known for being a country that embraces technology as a catalyst for progress, but it seems officials are rethinking technology, particularly in the education realm.
This weekend, the Washington Post reported that South Korean officials are revising a plan mapped out five years ago to replace traditional textbooks with digital ones by 2015.
Education leaders worry that digital devices are too pervasive and that students might benefit less from exposure to them. First, an editorial in the The JoongAng Ilbo warned of an “exaggerated trust” in digital education. Then, a government survey revealed that about one in 12 students between 5 and 9 is addicted to the Internet, becoming anxious or depressed without access.
These concerns have caused South Korea to scale back the project. Now classes will use digital books alongside physical ones, and first and second graders probably won’t use digital texts at all.