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Real-time feedback through smartphones

Posted March. 21, 2013 08:39,   


Under the previous Lee Myung-bak administration, smartphones were often used in the middle of meetings of the Cabinet or the presidential secretariat. Befitting a president who made official visits to 84 countries, a record for the country, Lee asked various questions about many countries. When dissatisfied with the answers, he ordered attendees to search with smartphones. Lee also ordered it in the meetings to verify information that he found different from what he knew. It is unclear how things are under President Park Geun-hye, who is known for being aware of even slightly significant factors and taking care of matters in person.

Korea lives in an era of 30 million smartphones that have changed social mores. For example, smartphones to professors or teachers are dwarfing monitors. If they make a mistake in the year of a historic incident or name a place or the people involved or the latter`s positions, students immediately ask for a correction. This is the power of the smartphone search. Educators must thoroughly prepare before class to avoid humiliation.

A few positive aspects are related to this particular case. Teachers must work hard to develop their own views or logic in talking of their subjects because general information on certain subjects is easily obtained through a smartphone search. Teachers whose lecture materials have stayed the same over the years must change to survive.

When it comes to recording on smartphones, however, things are different. A highly developed recording function is a source of stress for many professors and teachers. One college professor said, “As many recorders as the number of the students are on in class. No trivial mistakes in words are allowed. It feels like I’m on air live daily.” He said that though he wants all of his students to hand in smartphones in class, he cannot do it for fear that a videotaping of the scene and posting on a social networking site will spread the video on the Internet.

In a lecture at the Judicial Research and Training Institute Monday, former Supreme Court justice Park Si-hwan said, "Female lawyers working for big law firms often cannot get married because of too much work. Even if married, they often get divorced." Upon hearing this, the trainees began posting messages on the smartphone messaging app Kakao Talk, with one saying, “This is sexual harassment!” and other posting, “He doesn’t even know etiquette!” After sharing these messages, they decided not to give him a round of applause. Before the former judge was aware, the 500 trainees reached an agreement. While he was still on stage giving a lecture, the trainees took a vote using their smartphones. It is hard to say whether what Park Si-hwan said was improper, but his words seem to have been brutal enough to hurt the feelings of female trainees. While lectures in the past were given in one direction, from teacher to students, but lectures these days warrant real-time feedback through smartphones.

Editorial Writer Ha Tae-won (triplets@donga.com)