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Posted October. 18, 2010 11:17,   


At the computer lab of Wooshin Elementary School in Seoul on May 4 last year, groups of two to three students sat in front of computers playing a game. Computer screens showed the children were playing a game. A teacher watched the students playing instead of stopping them. “Group 1 wins an additional 20 points,” the teacher said as if calling the game.

The school was conducting a pilot class after being designated for research into “g-learning,” or using computer games for learning. The students played “Monarch,” a computer game-like educational program, to learn about the roles of parliament.

Eight schools – four in Seoul, two in Gyeonggi Province, one in Daegu and another in Gangwon Province – have been designated g-learning research schools, giving such classes to some 10,000 students. Children enjoy the learning method, saying it is more fun and easier to understand than textbook-based classes. Research suggests that g-learning improves scholastic achievements more than textbook-based teaching. If used well, the new method is also expected to save students from addiction to computer games and enhance their school performance.

G-learning content developed by Korean companies are also used in the U.S. La Ballona Elementary School in Culver, California, began using g-learning materials for five weeks from Thursday to become the first American school to use a Korean-developed educational method. American students are satisfied with g-learning classes. American educational authorities opted for g-learning in their efforts to revive U.S. public education, which is in crisis given the deteriorating quality of teachers and widening gap in scholastic achievements.

G-learning is more popular overseas than in Korea. Japan began to use the Korean system in 2006, while Britain is considering introducing g-learning led by professors at Warwick University and the University of Brighton. Hollywood director Phillip Christon is said to be working on a documentary showing the process in which students, teachers and parents are changing through g-learning. Korea, the world leader in online gaming, has strong competitiveness in the g-learning sector. G-learning can be a promising export that is competitive on the global market.

Editorial Writer Park Young-kyun (parkyk@donga.com)