E-Textbooks to Debut in March

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Electronic textbooks will be available at elementary schools as innovative educational tools starting in March in Korea.


The e-books are referred to as computer-based educational materials. Not printed in paper, students use the educational information and knowledge in the e-books via computers.


The Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development has recently developed electronic textbooks in math targeting fifth and sixth graders of elementary schools.


The digital math textbooks are the first among regular subjects to be taught for one year.


The ministry said that it has spent about 140 million won developing the e-books since last May.


It will operate the digital textbooks in five elementary schools nationwide on a trial basis from March for one year.


A ministry official said that the e-books will provide educational curiosity for elementary school students and comprehensive knowledge for middle and high school students.


The e-books are specially designed to maximize educational effects by offering three dimensional experience programs, highlighter tools and feedback systems unlike simply having contents.


“Electronic textbooks are expected to bring about two-way education and enable students to study voluntarily, thus creating a significant change in educational environment”, he said.


If the digital textbooks are fully introduced at schools, students are expected to throw away their heavy backpacks, he added.


The ministry said that it will continue to develop various kinds of electronic textbooks using animation and multi-media.


In an effort to boost usage of the digital books, teachers will also be required to learn how to use them.


“As one of the information and telecommunications powers, we will step up efforts to develop the e-books to better keep the so-called ubiquitous educational environment in place. It will also improve educational infrastructures by providing personal computers to every student”, he said.


The electronic version can be updated more frequently than printed editions, and can also be linked to newspaper articles and other supplementary texts, as well as audio and visual aids.


The digital textbooks make study more efficient through next generation productivity tools, the official said.


For instance, students can take advantage of advanced note-taking and note-management features, a highlighter tool, a powerful search function, and a book-marking tool for creating custom hyperlinks.


The e-books will change the way classes are taught because students will have so much information.

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