For the past few weeks, Jeff Young from The Chronicle has been traveling through Asia to observe how digital technologies are changing teaching, research, and university experiences. Mr. Young recently stopped in South Korea and observed four classrooms at an elementary school that is participating in the e-textbook pilot run by the government. An interesting article written by Mr. Young provides an overview of the classroom experience and includes comments from students and faculty about the learning experience.
As with other e-textbook pilots, the comments show that there are advantages and challenges to using the technology in the classroom. Some of the advantages include: the wide range of real world material that is available compared to the paper text and that the students are performing better in math class with the digital textbooks. While some of the challenges include: self guided quizzes that do not give detailed feedback and difficulty accessing the materials from home. Teachers at the school also say that they have difficulty finding and producing multimedia content to incorporate into the digital textbooks.
Mr. Young summed up the article by pointing out the e-textbooks provide an interactive and engaging experience but at this point seem to be high maintenance.
You can read more about Mr. Young’s travels on his College 2.0 column.