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Samsung Tomorrow Teacher shares e-learning knowhow with Asian teachers.

A group of foreign education policymakers from Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member countries recently came to Seoul to participate in the APEC E-learning Program.

The program was launched in 2005 to narrow the knowledge and information gap between the APEC member countries and help them improve their education policies.

As a part of the 10-day program they attended a class offered by Seo Seong-won, a high school teacher who is a member of Samsung Tomorrow Teachers. After his presentation on how he successfully led software education at schools, the participants got a glimpse into a real class, trying to accomplish their small mission by commanding a small robot with software. As the robot moved around, immediately responding to their commands, the participants exclaimed with delight. They were enjoying the software algorithm just like Seo's high school students.

Samsung Tomorrow Teachers is a group of school teachers who gathered to jointly research and develop new education models that can be applied in schools. They are part of Samsung Electronics' Junior Software Academy, a social contribution program operated by Samsung Electronics under the belief that a healthy society leads to corporate development.

Samsung Electronics launched the academy in 2013 as a software education program for teenagers. It was launched because software education is gaining more attention than ever, not only in Korea but around the world. Korea has recently included coding in its compulsory education curriculum. Freshmen at middle and high schools get at least 34 hours of coding education a year, but it is true that many find the class at school difficult and boring.

The Junior Software Academy thus puts priority on offering easy and interesting classes. The education material was developed by Samsung Electronics' staff and education experts, adopting diverse methods such as storytelling and using webtoons and board games so that anyone can take a software class as something easy and fun. Over 40,000 students and 1,400 teachers have participated in the academy as of 2016.

Students strengthen their logic and capacity for creative problem solving, learning programming and algorithms. The academy also suggests "conversion" as the new keyword in education, on the determination that fragmented knowledge cannot help students solve problems that are getting ever more complicated.

Samsung Tomorrow Teachers includes professors and teachers who try to come up with diverse innovations in education, going beyond a standardized system. They have been developing future education models that focus on problem solving, to be provided at schools. Seo is an active member of the group. The education model suggested by Seo was greatly acclaimed by students at Mapo High School in Seoul where he currently teaches. The education policymakers from APEC were eager to find out how, and Seo stressed that he concentrates on triggering curiosity in students about software. Then they recognize diverse problems around themselves, and try to find solutions through software.

"Teachers should do more than simply convey knowledge. I also always ponder how I can find topics that students will be interested in. The Tomorrow Teachers program helps me in these efforts to set up a better education environment where students can learn by themselves," he said.

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Publication:The Korea Times News (Seoul, Korea)
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Apr 29, 2018
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