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Tracking the Technology Trail of Jeffrey Young: Chronicling Korean Educational Technology Today and Tomorrow
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Educational Technology News from Korea and Jeffrey Young of the Chronicle of Higher Education:

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I have been tracking the progress of Jeffrey Young, Senior Technology Writer with the Chronicle of Higher Education as he makes his way across Asia this month. He started with Singapore at the start of the month and then China the following week and last week he was in Korea. He is now in India. I helped connect Jeffrey to some of my friends in each country so I have had a special interest in this trip. You can follow his trip and read his blog posts here:

The Korea portion is of particular interest to me since I have visited Korea several times including a two-week trip last year (12-13 talks in 5 cities I think). I also have a son from Korea and dozens and dozens of former students, colleagues, and friends there. Another factor in my curiosity is my recent research on blogging in Korea higher education with Professor Inae Kang from Kyung-hee University in Seoul as well as blended learning in corporate settings with several former students.

We all know that Korea is sorta of bellweather country in terms of technology in education. Let’s see what Jeffrey has found out in his trip to Korea. While there, my long-time friend, Dr. Okhwa Lee from Chungbuk National University took him to the E-Learning Week conference in Seoul. My friend Dr. Yeonwook Im from Hanyang Cyber University also helped out.

From his experience, Jeff has written 1 main article and 4 somewhat shorter blog posts (or mini-articles). Each has a little different slice of Korean culture and uses of technology in it. I expect to see the first one in the physical copy of the Chronicle of Higher Education that comes out next week. I review the five below. Note that this is not the order in which Jeffrey wrote them.

1. The first one below discusses the emergence of cyber universities in Korea. Jeffrey interviews people from Hanyang Cyber U which hopes to be the top e-learning university in the world someday. They are expanding from a Korean student base in an attempt to attract students from around the world. Interesting comments and perspectives online learning in Korea are shared. This is the longest and perhaps most informative of the five articles. My friend, Dr. Yeonwook Im, is interviewed in it. Hooray for Yeonwook!

Article #1. S. Korean Colleges Aim to Prosper in Worldwide Online Education (Sept 21, 2010), Jeffrey Young, Senior Technology Writer, Chronicle of Higher Education.

2. The second article discusses Korean researchers like Mun Sang Kim, director of the Center for Intelligent Robotics at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, who are developing robots to help teach English there. These robots are expensive at first but will come down in price. Apparently, some robots will function as English training supplements, whereas in other cases they will be the primary teacher. I know many people teaching English in Korea who could lose their jobs if they are successful. But this will take time. Watch the video on this one if nothing else. The article also mentions that with the shortage of English teachers today, they will have teachers in Philippines providing support on demand like a call center.

Article #2. Another Benefit of Robot Teachers: No 'Moral Problems' (Sept 15, 2010), Jeffrey Young, Senior Technology Writer, Chronicle of Higher Education.

3. The third article is a real interest area of mine. It concerns the digital book project in Korea which has been discussed widely. Originally, the Korean government wanted free digital textbooks in K-12 education by 2012. They started experimenting in like 100 schools in 2009. The digital books come embedded with hyperlinks, study aids, simulations, animations, practice or review questions, activities and exercises, online dictionaries and other resources materials, etc. Well, as this article points out, there are stability, cost, logistical, and performance issues that remain key problems. At the same time, there are many positive outcomes already being experiences. I believe that with this one project, Korea will become a world leader in global and online education. The entire world, in fact, will be rotating from physical textbooks to digital ones during the coming decades. This is one project and place which is going to help inform the world of where to go and what to do. Read this article. And then read other ones on this topic. Week 3 of my fall World is Open (i.e., Web 2.0) syllabus has dozens of such articles.

Article #3. What South Korean Schoolchildren Can Teach Colleges About E-Textbooks (Sept 21, 2010), Jeffrey Young, Senior Technology Writer, Chronicle of Higher Education.

4. In the fourth article, Jeffrey Young discusses interesting whiteboard, projection, cleaning, and other technology from the Korean E-Learning Conference at Coex in Seoul last week ( While this is interesting, I was hoping to hear more from the scholars and researchers presenting at the conference since I could not attend. I also wanted to see some pictures of my friends and colleagues. Still, it was valuable to see a few of the emerging technologies showcased there.

Article #4. At South Korean E-Learning Conference, Interactivity Is Big (Very Big) (Sept 17, 2010), Jeffrey Young, Senior Technology Writer, Chronicle of Higher Education.

5. The fifth and perhaps final one discusses the issue of cyber-addictions and how the Korean government is coping. Of course, many people are interested in this topic given the ubiquitous nature of Web technology in Korea. In fact, I heard the word “ubiquitous” at every stop I made in Korea back in May 2009—K-12, higher ed, corporate, and government settings. I also discuss this issue in the World is More Open e-book I am working on. Still, I think I would have targeted some other related topic like why everyone refers to Seoul as the “ubiquitous” city or how the pervasiveness of technology helps or hinders learning.

Article #5. South Korean Government May Ask Colleges to Help Fight Cyberaddiction (Sept 16, 2010), Jeffrey Young, Senior Technology Writer, Chronicle of Higher Education.

Jeffrey is in India now. So I am not sure if he will write another piece on Korea or not. I will let you know if I see one.

In other news: World is Open in Paperback and Indiana Public Radio:
World Is Open book being now translated to Chinese and Arabic. And, I just found out it will come out in paperback in June 2011. This is very cool news since I was told a couple of years ago by my publisher that coming out in paperback does not happen that often. First, the book must sell some copies. I guess I bought enough of my own books to justify it. Smile. On a high now! It already is available in hardcover as well as for the Kindle, as a PDF, on the iPhone and other mobile formats, e-book, and many other book formats (scroll down).

For the Chinese version, the publisher is East China Normal University. The translator is Dr. Jiao Jianli, Professor of Educational Technology, Director of Future Education Research Centre, Deputy Dean of School of Information Technology in Education; South China Normal University. He has created a book blog and Twitter-like feed on it. I wish him well in the translation process. We have been corresponding nearly every day lately, mostly so I can explain my sometimes limited attempts at humor and word play.

Finally, yesterday I was asked to be on Indiana Public radio (WFIU) at noon EST this Friday, September 24th with the Chancellor of the new Western Governors University Indiana (Allison Barber), the Chancellor of IU East (Dr. Nasser Paydar, and Danny Callison who is the IU Dean of IU Continuing Studies. This will be a call in on online learning. It should be quite fun and informative. I saw Dr. Paydar last month when presenting at IU East. It is our fastest growing campus, due mainly to online learning. He presented some fascinating data at lunch after my morning keynote. A very energetic and engaging man.

Listen in and perhaps ask us some questions.

Hope you found the update informative. I actually have about 40 new articles in the last week alone. In addition to the technology in Asia series from Jeffrey Young, there are special issues from Education Week on e-learning, The New York Times (read some of these!), Campus Technology articles on e-books, etc.. So much to share. I am just sharing the 5 articles on Korea for now.

Good luck to Jeffrey Young as he ends his trip in Delhi and Banglore during the coming week. And congrads to the Chronicle for sending him on such a venture.
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  posted by Curt Bonk @ 7:37 PM  
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About Me

Name: Curt Bonk
Home: Bloomington, Indiana, United States
About Me: I am a former accountant and CPA and a former educational psychologist. I am now Professor of IST at Indiana University and also adjunct in the School of Informatics. I founded and later sold SurveyShare. As president of CourseShare, LLC, I run around the world training instructors to teach online and give motivational talks about emerging learning technologies. I also write and edit books related to e-learning and blended learning. See bio and vita.

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Click here for information about my recent book, The World is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education.

Visit the Indiana University Home Page of E-Learning Expert Curtis J. Bonk.

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