Last updated: 08.08.12

Online learning 'democratising' education in Korea

E-learning technologies are resulting in a revolution to education in Korea.

This is according to executive managing director of the Korea Times Lee Chang-sup, who wrote in the publication that "new types of democratisation" are occurring three decades after the pro-democracy movement revolutionised the politics of the nation.

Previously, "posh southern Seoul" had a thriving base of private learning facilities, but online learning tools are putting these in jeopardy, he remarked.

The columnist suggested the continuing expansion of online learning resources is beginning to marginalise traditional classroom education.

Tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other electronic tools are "revolutionising" education in the country, the columnist noted, pointing out that virtual learning environments enabling the use of digital technologies are now becoming commonplace.

Other sectors are also being impacted by these new devices, including journalism, the economy and corporations', he stated.

Mr Lee declared that this has opened up education so it is no longer the preserve of the "privileged" but can be accessed to anyone who is interested in personally enriching themselves.

"A consequence of the democratisation of learning is the democratisation of knowledge," the representative added, noting that "collaborative web-based encyclopaedias" such as Wikipedia also have an important role to play in this.

People who know more than one language have added advantages as they can access even more educational resources than others, he pointed out.

"This is the age of the internet and mobile phones. Anyone can learn English almost freely through the internet and digital devices," he had previously said.

Students are practicing their courses through web-based simulations, using social media to access advice and information in real time and are gathering knowledge through e-learning software and apps, the expert stated.

Furthermore, it is also resulting in the growth of 'reverse-mentoring', Mr Lee said, explaining that this involves younger members of staff teaching senior executives about innovations in social media and technologies, as well as other movements that could be effective in the workplace.