so-korean-phone-control-appA new app being used by teachers in South Korea is drawing attention not for the learning it provides but, because it controls students’ smartphones.

The Korea JoongAng Daily reports on the iSmartKeeper app which “is designed to limit the functions available to students on their smartphones on school premises.

Controlling Student Smartphone Use?

There are six app options, including:

  • Freeze all student smartphone apps.
  • Enact a partial restrictions on access to certain pre-designated apps.
  • Freezing everything but making calls and sending texts.
  • Alert the teacher if students try to remove the app.

For advocates of greater individual freedom and the average tech-savvy teenager, this may sound like an Orwellian nightmare come true. But Korea’s government, teachers and parents think it’s time to consider ways to protect school-aged kids from being overly exposed to mobile devices.

For the past couple of years I’ve had the opportunity to meet with groups of educators from Korea’s Air & Correspondence.

Korean_Air_CorrespondenceA federally-funded initiative, the 40+ year old program serves the nation’s youth and adults who couldn’t get a diploma because they were forced to work in the factories to support their families or because they couldn’t afford to pay for high school (some students pay to go to most high schools in Korea). A high school diploma is a big deal, allowing someone to take a university entrance test or get a job in government or other higher-paid career.

The name “Air & Correspondence” comes from their early days when they used radio to deliver their lessons and mail to exchange student work. Since their beginning, they have taught over 300,000 students and currently have 15,000 students enrolled this year.

The number of households in Korea with broadband access is over 97% and they have some of the fastest internet speeds on the planet–almost 200x faster than the US! The online teachers we’ve met from Korea laugh when they use our Internet because it’s so slow.

According to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, 64.5 percent of Korea’s teenagers had smartphones last year, up from 21.4 percent in 2011.

So far, a total of 600 schools nationwide have expressed their intentions to use the iSmartKeeper system, said Professor Han of Gongju National University of Education.

And 30,000 students are now registered for the system.

We’re meeting with groups of Korean online learning teachers through May and June and I’ll be sure to ask them about the new iSmartKeeper app and report back what I learn.

Some Questions for mLearning Advocates

  • What do you think– is this something that would be embraced in the United States?
  • How does teacher control over a student’s smartphone effect mLearning?
  • How would the  educationally functional aspects conflict with privacy and control issues?

Let me know what you think!



Online learning allows for individualized and personalized instruction. There are many ways to facilitate communication in an online course and how eLearning instructors choose to use them can mean all the difference for the students. When connections are made between teacher and student and student-to-student, a powerful synergy can be created to improve learning, deepen understanding and create a positive learning environment.

The infographic below presents one perspective on the importance of communication and methods within a eLearning course to achieve optimum results.


Infographics are by from
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

eLearning Statistics for 2014

Predicting the Near Future for eLearning

The growth in eLearning is predicted from the past, in a great infographic from The eLearning Industry.

The power and potential for elearning is clear as the infographic focuses on higher education and business in the following areas.

Benefits of Online Learning

  • Money Spent on eLearning continues to grow–DOUBLING by 2015
  • 50% savings, on training with a 60% reduction of time.
  • Half of ALL college classes to be online by 2019.
  • eLearning is Ecologically Friendly with 90% reduction in energy over traditional classes.
  • Increase in Fortune 500 company use with over 41% now using technology for instruction.
  • Self-paced Industry growth with the most rapid growth in developing nations.
  • Productivity boost with a calculation of $30 worth of productivity for every $1 spent.
  • Companies offering online learning retain more employees and generate more revenue per employee.
  • 72% of companies surveyed stated eLearning keeps them up-to-date with industry changes and makes them more competitive.

Top 10 eLearning Statistics for 2014


eLearning Statistics for 2014



The Value of Online Degrees

As more institutions provide opportunities for people to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees online, the question becomes: What Good Are They?


click for full-size infographic

In the following infographic by Drexel University, they pull together research and employer interviews to see what’s being looked at between online degrees and traditional degrees.

When online degrees meet THREE criteria, they are considered equal to traditional degrees.

  1. The institution is Accredited by Regionally
  2. The online degree is offered by a school with a traditional campus
  3. The school is an Established Brand

 Some factoids from Drexel’s research:

  • US News and World Report will only include REGIONALLY accredited programs in their annual list of Best Online Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Programs
  • Out of the executives who believe online degrees are equivalent to traditional degrees. ALL say that accreditation is a major factor that makes online degrees more credible. Source: Zogby International Survey and
  • Out of the top 10 online bachelor’s programs in the US, ALL have a traditional campus. Source: US News & World Report
  • 76% of academic leaders believe online degrees are EQUAL to traditional degrees
  • 89% of academic leaders believe online degrees are EQUAL to traditional degrees if the school has a traditional campus.
  • When hiring managers evaluate education credentials, FAVORABILITY of online degrees increased with brick-and-mortar universities.
  • Hiring Managers give online degrees a 42% favorability if it is an online-only university.
  • Hiring Managers give online degrees a 92% favorability if it is a brick-and-mortar university.