Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Korea's Schools Go All Digital for "Smart Education" - Why Not the U.S.?

South Korea is dumping the textbook in favor of an all digital school curriculum. They call it "Smart Education." This is another area where the United States cannot afford to fall behind. Our schools need to go digital for success in a high tech global economy.

The problem with textbooks is twofold: (1) they are quickly outdated and some schools have books that are ten years old or older. And (2) because Texas is such a large book market the publishers have to conform to what the Texas Board of Education wants, and the results end up going to all the other states. The problem is that the Texas school board has been dominated by prehistoric throwbacks to another century.

Recently the Texas school board demanded that history books delete references to slavery being an issue during the civil war. Efforts by Hispanic board members to include more Latino figures as role models for the state’s large Hispanic population were consistently defeated. Key founding father Thomas Jefferson was deleted from the book entirely!

As pointed out in a recent NY Times article: "...board members have been locked in an ideological battle between a bloc of conservatives who question Darwin’s theory of evolution and believe the Founding Fathers were guided by Christian principles, and a handful of Democrats and moderate Republicans who have fought to preserve the teaching of Darwinism and the separation of church and state."  

All of this would be eliminated if we went to digital books and let kids learn on computers like they are doing in South Korea.  America has dropped from being the No. 1 country for education in 2000 to No. 9 today.  We can reverse that trend by instituting digital education as the Koreans have.

Our future in a high tech global economy depends on it...

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