by Helen Torigoe (Special Guest Blogger)
South Korea has led in mobile adoption since the 1990’s and is now spending $1.5 billion to upgrade to 5G technology (CNN Tech). 5G will reportedly be an “intelligent network” that will be 1000 times faster than current technology.
A subway station in South Korea, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/22/tech/mobile/south-korea-5g/
So it was not a big surprise when Dr. Insook Lee, the Asia regional speaker for the 2014 TCC Online Conference, opened her talk by stating that almost 100% of Korean population has mobile phones. She said technology use in daily life in South Korea is very advanced, and consequently her research involves asking, “What is the impact of such technological advancement on education in Korea?”
Dr. Lee is a professor at Sejong University and president of the Korean Society for Educational Technology (KSET). She works closely with other educators and the government to research, develop policies, and create vision for advancing educational technology in Korea.
Over the last twenty years, Korea has moved from simple computer assisted learning to E-learning to M-learning (mobile learning) and is now moving toward SMART learning. SMART stands for Self-directed, Motivated, Adaptive, Resource enriched, Technical embedded.
Examples of SMART learning initiatives are digital textbooks and cloud-based learning. Dr. Lee said the ideas are still vague and the vision is to achieve goals in 5 to 6 years.
So what drives South Korea to lead the way in learning with technology? Dr. Lee cited advanced technological infrastructure and the research leadership in both academia and the government. It is amazing that the researchers, policy makers, and government agencies cooperate and collaborate to work toward a unified vision in South Korea. Some initiatives and projects are sponsored by the commercial sector such as the tech giant Samsung.
We can look forward to hearing a lot more from South Korea, Dr. Lee, and her colleagues in the next decade.