I am a Primary Teacher in Christchurch, NZ, who is passionate about developing e-learning in school. Here is my blog to record my findings and thoughts.

Shift to digital Textbooks

Found this article on Twitter. It's from the BBC Science Website about the plans for the South Korean government to digitise their complete curriculum onto digital books by 2015. The article mentions the ambitions of 'customised learning and teaching' something that is often linked with the benefits of online learning. 

Have recently found Al Gore's digital book 'Our Choice' on the ipad (see below video) and wondered how many other books are going this way, and how long will this take to happen for dedicated school publications. I remember reading about a Science project in the US to create the first All Digital Science Text Book last year and thinking wow! this will be good...in five years when they finish it. 

Now the South Korean government is thinking about 2015! When running my Year 7 laptop class one issue kept coming up, how to find NEW online resources. I am getting better now but it is tricky, often resources are not aimed at my year group so I have to work hard to evaluate and adapt them . In the old days it was easy to find a dedicated curriculum level text book. Along with this problem was the problem of 'surfing'. Too much to expect a young student who has just got hold of a laptop to efficiently search 'The Web' independently, even with support there is too much! Some students would be stuck for most of the period if they were asked to do this. So, as a teacher/facilitator, time is needed to find websites that allow students to explore (quick mention of diigo - an app to highlight key words and bookmark). 

So, seeing this article raised my eyebrows, an actual curriculum online, even if at first it was simply a transfer of paper info, there would be so much potential - interactive, multimedia publications would turn up, the possibilities! 

I also like the article as it raises some universal truths that I have come up against both in the classroom and when following various blogs. Here are some quotes I find interesting - 

They were best at evaluating information on the internet, assessing its credibility and navigating web pages.

This on how South Korean students are set to take advantage of the new shift. 'evaluating and assessing credibility' two vital skills for our students to have when they leave the education system. I like this next segment...

But the Achilles' heel - commonplace with educational technology - was the teachers. They felt they needed far greater training in how to integrate the resources into their lesson plans.
"The sad truth is that students can learn just as badly with a class full of computers, interactive whiteboards and mobile technology as they can with wooden desks and a chalkboard," said science and ICT teacher David Weston, founder of the consultancy Informed Education.
There might be enormous potential for software or gadgets to engage and challenge students in new and imaginative ways.
"But unless there is a focus on developing the teaching expertise to support this then you run the risk of wasting time, money and opportunity," 
THIS is the challenge, THIS is where the money is needed to be spent. Anyway, enjoy these videos, they make it seem simple! 

AL Gore's 'Our Choice' on the Ipad

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