South Korea will digitize all school textbooks by 2015 in a bid to help students create their own study patterns and lighten their backpacks, the government said Wednesday.
Under the plan, which requires 2.23 trillion won (US$ 2.07 billion) from the state budget, all schools will be fitted with an Internet-based computing system known as cloud computing by 2015, according to a report submitted to President Lee Myung-bak by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the President's Council on Informatization Strategies.
Cloud computing allows users to share conventional computer resources, including software, information and online connections, through mobile devices such as smartphones without having to carry laptops or personal computers.
The government hopes that the new educational tool will help students establish their own study patterns based on individual needs by giving them online access to their lessons and other educational resources. Digital textbooks are also expected to remove the physical burden of carrying heavy paper textbooks, which will remain in use for the time being, as well as the financial burden of purchasing them.
The plan is to introduce digitized textbooks in elementary schools in 2014 and expand their use to middle and high schools the following year, the government said.
The announcement comes shortly after the government said it aims to become a global cloud computing leader by 2015. The global cloud computing market is expected to grow from some 31 trillion won this year to more than 60 trillion won in 2014.