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Welcome to Expacked (Issue #56)

January 21, 2010

Its feels good to finally get some warmer weather this week.  While we may not be completely out of out the woods yet, February is quickly approaching and I’m already looking forward to Spring in March.

One of last week’s stories, ‘electronic textbooks for all students’, was a good example of how the Korean Government is trying to introduce more technology in the classroom.  New Years 2010 Sunrise

This is a good first step, however its only a first step.  All they are really doing at the moment is providing a text book on CD for three major subjects (students still get the physical book to use and keep at school).

Maybe someone can help me here, but I’m a little confused – don’t public school students already have English CDs for home use?

One of the big concerns with current textbooks is that they quickly become out-of-date and, of course, can’t integrate new tools like videos and interactive multimedia.  A CD is a start, however I would rather see the Korean Government create a special website with all this content instead.  Korea’s internet speeds and extensive broadband coverage are the best in the world and using a website (if done right), would be far superior than a CD.

I could write an essay about this, but I want to keep this short and I will only list two major benefits from a website:

  1. Real-time content – You can update information on a website at any time, enabling every student to have access to the latest details.  CDs can only be updated when the next cycle of CDs are produced and distributed to students – this could take anywhere from 1 to 4 years.
  2. Real-time monitoring of student progress – Through short games and tests, the website would be easily able to track how well students are going in particular areas and which subjects students enjoy the most.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Here’s the stories making the news this week:

Feel free to comment on any of the stories and make use of the easy sharing options available – in just a few quick clicks you can share any of these stories to all your teaching mates in Korea.  I would be especially interested in your views on the CD textbooks.

I hope you enjoy the read and, of course, have a good laugh at this week’s jokes.



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