Microsoft Sets Sights on South Korean Digital Education Market

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer met Seoul education officials Tuesday to discuss using digital technology in classrooms as South Korea prepares to replace paper textbooks with digital ones.

South Korea is getting ready to deploy digital textbooks to schools and Microsoft wants to be part of the deal. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

Software companies are vying for their products to be used in South Korean schools as the government implements its digital education policy and to take advantage of the country’s high usage of high-speed Internet.

South Korea’s government said last year it will replace paper textbooks with digital ones, which can be accessed from tablet computers and other devices, by 2015.

Ballmer had a meeting with officials at Korea Education and Research Information Service, a government agency responsible for introducing digital learning programs at public schools.

A few dozen schools have started offering classes that use online collaboration tools, digital blackboards and Web-connected devices.

Ballmer, in Seoul for the first time in two years, also met the CEO of LG CNS Co., a South Korean information technology service company, and agreed to collaborate on motion detection technology.

“The real innovation that will propel the industry forward is changing the way people really live and work,” Ballmer said at the Seoul Digital Forum.