October 20, 2017

Massive growth of online learning in Asia

Aakash 2: already 3.5 million ordered

Adkins, S. S. (2012) The Asia Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2011-2016 Forecast and Analysis Ambient Insight, October

In all the hoopla about MOOCs, it is worth noting that in Asia, credit-based online learning is already reaching many millions of learners. This report from Ambient Insight, targeted mainly at the corporate e-learning market, provides a host of fascinating statistics about the Asian market for online learning.

Several countries for instance are putting their entire k-12 curriculum online. China’s goal is to have their entire K-12 population of over 200 million students online by 2020. In South Korea all primary and secondary schools must be entirely digital by 2015, and every child with have a personal learning device. In India, the Aakash 2 tablet, which launched this month, already has 3.5 million orders.

The report also highlights ‘explosive growth of online higher education enrollments‘ in Asia. One institution alone in China, ChinaEdu, has nearly 200,000 students taking degree programs wholly online, and over 100,000 South Koreans are enrolled in cyber universities.

Perhaps most interesting of all though is the author’s comment on how the digitization is occurring:

The content digitization tends to start with converting print-based textbooks to eTextbooks. Yet, once the infrastructure and learning technology is in place, the buyers are increasingly opting for interactive, self-paced multimedia content. Several of the newer initiatives are leapfrogging eTextbooks altogether and building out interactive media as a core component.

If you want to pay for a full copy of the report, contact: info@ambientinsight.com

South Koreans extensive users of e-learning


Sang Yoon Shin (2011) Smart Education in Korea: South Korea’s Making the Switch to Digital Textbooks Advanced Technology Korea, October 10

Anon (2012) Over half South Koreans use e-learning MySinchew.com, March 13

These two articles indicate the rapid growth of online learning in South Korea.

By 2015, paper textbooks will disappear in South Korean classrooms. The Ministry of Education, Science and technology will develop digital textbooks that include various multimedia data, apply them to elementary schools in 2014 and to middle and high schools in 2015, linking them to every kind of educational platform.

However, the Ministry faces a number of challenges. For instance, some teachers said that as long as entrance examinations for college (like the national college exam) persist as paper-based written tests, students have no choice but to grab paper and pen, instead of using tablets.

Consequently, the Ministrytook a step back, saying that they would use the existing book-type textbooks along with digital textbooks even after 2015. They are acknowledging that there are problems not only in the classrooms without Wi-Fi, which is required to view digital textbooks, but also in distributing tablets. But because the price for table PCs is going down, and the availability of Wi-Fi is still increasing, the Ministry believes that by 2015 the current difficulties will be resolved.

The second article report refers to a government report from the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, which claims that over half the South Korean population aged three or over used e-learning in 2011.

The ratio of schools using e-Learning systems in their official curricula rose to 82.3 percent last year (Note: South Korea is in the top 3 of the OECD’s PISA ratings for reading and math skills).

Combined sales by the country’s e-learning service operators rose 9.2 percent from a year earlier to about US$2.19 billion in 2011.

“To help further foster a niche for the e-Learning industry, the government will establish a support centre that will support the development of new smart learning systems,” the ministry said.

And where is Canada’s digital strategy?