Korean teachers make \$10 million/year by producing online resources

October 25, 2009, [MD]

I just came across a newsreport on the Swedish television site (in Swedish) about "top teachers" in Korea. This teachers work at the different cram schools, and their lessons are also filmed and made available online for a subscription fee. Some of these teachers have become virtual superstars, making more than \$10 million per year, and having their lessons viewed by more people than the most popular soap operas. This is of course related to the academic culture in Korea, where there is a very strong focus on math and natural science, and an enormous pressure to perform well on various entrance exams. It would be interesting to know whether they only produce video, or also much more integrated and interactive websites, and discuss the pedagogy of different media. It would also be interesting to understand more about what makes these lessons so attractive to students, and effective -- too bad I cannot understand Korean.

I wonder what impact this phenomenon will have on various OER projects - would teachers be as willing to publish their materials free of charge, if they thought they could make a lot of money by selling them? Of course, the people in the newsreport are not necessarily representative for teachers. The various OCW projects in Korea seem to be thriving and growing. I wonder if there are any high school students that use OCW videos when cramming for exams, that would be an interesting study, and a great example of a setting where effective OER is needed, and where accreditation is not an issue.


Stian HĂ„klev October 25, 2009 Toronto, Canada
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