Innovative model of EdTech adoption to improve student learning outcomes: ICT Master Plans in South Korea
Since 1996, the South Korean government has made ICT the central focus of its education system. It laid out four strategic master plans on ICT in education, each spanning four years. In the first two master plans, the government focused on providing infrastructure in school, teacher training and centralised resources. It also provided a computer for every teacher, and ensured internet access in all schools by the year 2000.
The third and fourth master plans revolved around the use of available mobile technologies to increase access to quality education and promote a more personalised learning environment. This initiative, known as SMART education, focused on improving educational content, teaching and evaluation methodologies through technological innovation.
In order to efficiently execute these plans, South Korea established an independent body, Korea Education and Research Information Service (KERIS). KERIS was entrusted with the responsibility to coordinate the efforts of various ministries and private players towards the goal of integrating ICT in school education. Additionally, KERIS also became the central repository for providing access to all services related to ICT in education which include:
- Self- learning platform called EDUNET with 16 lakh teaching-learning resources and 80% of all students registered.
- Platform for training teachers with over 22,000 users.
- Digital Textbooks on tablets embedded with content from EDUNET. KERIS signed MOUs with 10 private institutions to provide free-to-share educational content.
- National Education Information System to increase the transparency of the education administration, reduce the administrative workload of school teachers and staff, and provide details of all children and teachers.
- Engagements to support developing countries such as Colombia and Uzbekistan, in the use of ICT in education and to strengthen their national ICT education policies.