The Digital Textbook in South Korea: Opportunities and Challenges
This chapter reviews the literature that discusses the hopes and concerns related to the implementation of digital textbooks in Korean schools. The digital textbook developed in Korea is a unique digital learning platform that includes both the learning management system and digitised learning resources. It has been developed as a part of ‘Smart Education’ policies planned by the Korean government to meet the needs of twenty-first century learners. Review of the research shows that despite the practical difficulties (e.g. challenges of device procurement), the implementation of digital textbooks has ample potentials to bring about the shift in education paradigm from teacher-led education to student-centred one. However, this chapter warns against a technologically deterministic approach. The implementation of technology itself does not guarantee the paradigm shift. Consistent technical support, development of learning contents and pedagogy for digital textbooks, and media literate teachers and students are amongst the many factors that are necessary to realize the potentials of digital textbooks. This chapter concludes by pointing out that the digital textbook project is not a one-off implementation of a new technology, but rather an attempt to incorporate the new media culture into the school setting to create changes in the teaching and learning culture.
KeywordsDigital textbook SMART education policy Teaching and learning culture Education paradigm shift
- Buckingham, D. (2007). Beyond technology: Children’s learning in the age of digital culture. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
- Byun, H.-S., Choi, J.-I., & Song, J.-S. (2006). The research on the prototype development of digital textbook. Journal of Instructional Technology Research, 22(4), 217–224.Google Scholar
- Byun, H.-S., Suh, J.-H., Ryu, J.-H., Yang, S.-H., Choi, S.-Y., Jung, M.-S., & Park, M.-H. (2008). A study on the effectiveness of digital textbooks. Seoul: Korea Education and Research Information Service.Google Scholar
- Byun, H.-S., Kim, J.-C., Song, Y.-H., & Lee, W.-H. (2010). A study on the effectiveness of digital textbooks. Seoul: Korea Education and Research Information Service.Google Scholar
- Eason, G. (2011, October 18). Digital textbooks open a new chapter. BBC News. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15175962.
- Harlan, C., (2012, March 24). In South Korean classrooms, digital textbook revolution meets some resistance. Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/in-south-korean-classrooms-digital-textbook-revolution-meets-some-resistance/2012/03/21/gIQAxiNGYS_story.html.
- Hiemstra, R. (1994). Self-directed learning. In T. Husen & T. N. Postlethwaite (Eds.), The international encyclopaedia of education (2nd ed.). Oxford: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
- Ihm, H.-J. (2011). A study of the differentiated digital elementary English textbook in terms of constructivism and interaction theory. Primary English Education, 17(1), 253–271.Google Scholar
- Jenkins, H. (2006). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century (White paper). Chicago: The MacArthur Foundation.Google Scholar
- Johns, L. (2007). The student-centered classroom. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Joo, H.-M. (2012). Development of the criteria and process to evaluate digital textbooks for smart education. Seoul: Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation (KICE).Google Scholar
- Jung, S.-M., & Lim, K.-B. (2009). Leading future education: Development of digital textbooks in Korea. Paper presented at the 12th UNESCO-APEID international conference quality innovations for teaching and learning, Bangkok, Thailand.Google Scholar
- Korea Education and Research Information Service (KERIS). (2007). 2007 White paper on education informalization, Seoul, South Korea.Google Scholar
- Lee, O. (2008, March 24–26). Digital textbook in Korea: Technology’s role in improving access and quality. Power point slide presented at the Asia-Pacific leaders forum on secondary education. New Delhi, India.Google Scholar
- Leem, J.-H. (2010). Digital textbooks in elementary school classes: Issues and challenges. Korean Educational Forum, 9(1), 87–114.Google Scholar
- Leem, J., Lim, B., & Kim, S. (2008). Development of teaching and learning methods based on ‘activities’ using digital textbook. The Journal of Educational Information and Media, 14(4), 27–52 (Seoul, South Korea).Google Scholar
- Lim, Cheol-Il. (2010). Changes in the ubiquitous learning paradigm and the digital textbook (Teacher training document). Retrieved from http://www.keris.or.kr/data/dt_research.jsp?No=1.
- Ministry of Education, Science, Technology (MEST). (2011). Smart education promotion plan. Seoul: Ministry of Education, Science, Technology (MEST).Google Scholar
- Ministry of Education, Science, Technology (MEST). (2012). 2012 Plan for development and application of digital textbooks. Seoul, South Korea.Google Scholar
- Nam, Y.-S. (2012, January 21). Digital textbook experiments in Korea ‘just starting’. Dong-a Daily.Google Scholar
- NIDA. (2010). Survey on the computer and internet usage. Seoul: Ministry of Information and Communication, National Internet Development Agency of Korea.Google Scholar
- Noh, K.-H., Kim, B.-J., & Lee, W.-H. (2011). A study on the effectiveness of digital textbooks. Seoul: Korea Education and Research Information Service.Google Scholar
- Taizan, Y., Bhang, S., Kurokami, H., & Kwon, S. (2012). A comparison of functions and the effect of digital textbook in Japan and Korea. International Journal for Educational Media and Technology, 6(1), 85–93.Google Scholar