back to article South Korea to throw away schoolbooks by 2015

The Korean government plans to digitise all school textbooks by 2015, and have students of all ages access "education content" via smartphones, tablet PCs and smart televisions. The Korean Education Ministry has set the bold timetable to accelerate "smart learning", it announced last week. The ministry plans to digitise all …


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  1. Neoc

    I'll miss the old treeware

    Especially the ability to make notes against various sections and formula, in such a way as they were easy to read in context of the page.

    I know you're supposed to be able to do the same with eBooks, but it's never been as easy to do or made to fit the section you were annotating.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    And meanwhile north of the border...

    They're also throwing away schoolbooks to provide education using tablets. Stone tablets.

  3. jake Silver badge

    Why not.

    North Korea threw away all the books in the late 1940s ...

    More seriously, there is no study aid more important than the "flipability" of printed paper books. Nothing digital even comes close.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Less competition for my kids in the global job market.

    Still, I suppose we should thank the S.Koreans for running this experiment for us.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Too Late

      The UK education authority is doing this here in several schools in my area and it is a total failure but they won't accept it.

      Primary School students (not pupils these days - PC BS) don't have the ability to read / comprehend sufficiently

      Secondary School students don't want to be there and spend all their time playing games. The recent test results from one secondary school was "F" grades across the whole board for over over 95% of the set.

      I know I cover IT in several in the area - hence the AC

      1. Elmer Phud

        Slight correction

        "Primary School students (not pupils these days - PC BS)"

        Nope, they are clients, customers, service recivers etc but not pupils.

        They are now considered to be potential long-term debtors -- after all, they are all supposed to go to Uni and get a loan. They are the future of the furture markets. housing went broke on debts being bought and sold - next it's the students.

        Not 'PC BS' but 'market potential'

  5. Bram
    Thumb Up

    Great news

    well done to South Korea for trying to be innovative.

    Boo to the UK for tryiong to save money by closing schools and funding vanity projects instead.

    Save mony go digital, it won't mean the end of books but it will save a lot of cash on numerous versions of the same text book and storage space

    1. Elmer Phud


      Isn't that a bit like this stupid idea to have 'everyone' connected to the internet?

      Are you saying 'look, here's a book, you can't touch it but it's been scanned as a pdf'

  6. mlo0352
    Thumb Up


    I don't get how many of you think that paper is critical to learning. I'm in uni right now and I do most of my studying on the computer. Youtube, Cramster, etc all help immensely. With a tablet computer (I don't have one, but did use a touchscreen device on my netbook for a while), I can take notes just like with paper, and best of all, I can't lose them. Also, I can embed images, videos, etc. Also, I can sync them to my other devices, or have friends send me notes that I missed. Superior in every way, I'd say. Except maybe a lack of electricity. But if we can develop hybrid tablet/e-ink devices, that would become much less of an issue...

    1. jake Silver badge


      "best of all, I can't lose them."

      Actually, young mio, what you have described there is a single point of failure.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Good Practices

        Maybe he's got an automatic incremental backup in place, regularly verifies his backups, has redundant local copies, as well as a fully encrypted hard disk clone in a remote location with established uptime?

        Or, more likely, he'll just drop his laptop down the stairs and lose everything. Something that a dead tree notebook tends to be a bit more resilient to.

        We can call it 'innovation' or 'digital learning' but at its heart this isn't about superior teaching (because that's more down to good teachers than shiny gadgetry). The real reason is of course, cost-cutting. The only reason the South Koreans are rolling it out more thoroughly than in Blighty is because they actually have the infrastructure to do it on a national scale.

  7. Diogenes

    As a teacher I could see this work but only if

    the textbooks use the advantages of being electronic & not just a PDF of treeware as ALL the so called etextbooks I have seen are.

    Make them landscape so that they can be read with a minimum of scrolling ...

    Make them interactive - embed video, animations, sounds etc to explain concepts...

    Make exercises self marking (except for extended responses) & the document SCORM compliant so that it can be integrated in LMSs like moodle

    Maybe better still mandate a LMS to be used and issue prepared courses.

    And being electronic any intellectual property could be copied in a trice & the wriiters/publsihers would make no money

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