This poster presentation was given at the Korean Institute for Practical Engineering Education (KIPEE) 2021 fall conference in Cheonan, South Korea.
I'm a Google Certified Trainer, and actively teach workshops and classes specifically targeted toward helping school teachers better utilize technology in their classrooms, both for themselves and for their students.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I noticed many of my colleagues at Jeonju University (where I'm also an English teacher) struggled with the shift to fully online classes. Many of them complained of a quadrupling (or at least a doubling) of their normal workload. For myself, my workload was greatly reduced, almost halved, because I'm comfortable with technology and found it quite easy and intuitive to put together online classes (and even more enjoyable than face-to-face classes).
At that time, I was also invited back to participate in a Teacher Training program for Korean elementary, middle, and high school teachers. They wanted me to help train public school teachers about how to use technology for their classrooms. When I joined the program, I found the majority of the teachers were overwhelmed by new expectations brought on by the pandemic, and didn't have a good idea about the kinds of tech tools they could use for their classrooms, nor even how to implement their ideas with tech tools even if they knew some.
I began gathering a collection of surveys from my trainees to assess how comfortable they were with tech in school, how much their currently used (before and at the beginning of the pandemic), and the kinds of tools they used. This research is a reflection of that.
For the most part, as found in this research, public school teachers in Korea are the most comfortable with creating documents (Hangul, Word), using the Internet for research, showing videos in class (but not creating videos), using PowerPoint, and gradually, they became adjusted to online video conferencing programs like Zoom (but this was not the case before the pandemic).
In fact, there are MANY more tools that are available to educators than just these, but the majority of teachers either don't know about them, or don't know how to use them (nor even how they CAN be used). Therefore, continuing education classes and workshops (like the kind I provide) are essential to helping teachers get up to date with the new educational paradigm (blended learning with tech tools) brought on by the pandemic. Additionally, life-long education FOR educators is imperative.
It's a mistake to assume teachers should not at least understand the technologies their own students are using. Teachers themselves stand in an excellent position to become role models for ethical and humane tech use, and they should at least understand enough about tech issues to provide input about privacy, ethical, and addictive issues that may arise in the technology and apps that students frequently use.
Attitudes of Teachers
in South Korea
Toward Technology Use
for Their Classrooms
During the COVID-19
Aaron Daniel Snowberger
Hanbat National University
Choong Ho Lee
Hanbat National University
The COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread school closures throughout the world and
necessitated the rapid adoption of a new paradigm in education. This study reviews some of the
impacts of COVID-19 on education worldwide and focuses on the attitudes of teachers in South
Korea toward technology use for their classrooms. While South Korea has been well-equipped to
adapt to the necessary changes in distance learning and online education prompted by
nationwide school closures due to its large-scale digital infrastructure and widespread
adoption of high speed Internet and mobile technologies, a digital divide exists
between teachers, their students, and technological expectations.
At the start of the pandemic, many teachers unaccustomed to using
digital tools for education found themselves overwhelmed with the
need to learn and adapt so quickly. Constant and rapid advancements
in technology in the future may further widen the digital divide
between teachers, students, and educational expectations, and
therefore demands a strategic approach to ongoing teacher
COVID-19’s Impact Rich nations
KERIS e-Learning site
in 2 weeks
470,000 ➜ 3 million
EBS online classroom
in 4 weeks
10,000 ➜ 3 million
But only the expansion of technological services only is not enough.
“Digital natives” (young)
“Digital Immigrants” (old)
73 IETTP Trainees 74 Teachers
What: Intensive English
Teacher Training Programme
What: Online survey
Who: Korean elementary,
middle, high school teachers
Who: University teachers,
public, private, hagwons, etc.
Oﬃce of Education
Nation: Korean & Foreign
Residence: Jeollabuk-do Residence: All over Korea
Data Sets Analyzed
Comfort Level & Current Use of ICT
Comfort Level with Tech in school
Current Use of Tech in school
What is interesting to note about these two
graphs is that middle and high school teachers
(lower portion) indicate lower levels of both
comfort and use of ICT in class than
elementary school teachers.
The next surveys collected answers based
on a self-reported 5-point Likert scale.
It’s interesting to note that 81% of
respondents indicated that the COVID-19
pandemic caused them to learn more
about ICT for education. However, Figure 4
shows that the majority of digital tools
used in classrooms in Korea continues to
be primarily Word Processing (84%), the
Internet (81%), videos (81%), PPTs (78%), &
real-time chat programs (Zoom) (62%).
Digital Competence & Digital Tools Use
Attitudes Toward Lifelong Learning Professional Attitude
Professional Digital Competence Professional Application of Tools
Although teachers in Korea have learned more about ICT tools for education, the tools
utilized remain the de facto ICT tools such as PPTs, videos, Word Processing for reports,
and the Internet. And although Korea greatly increased its capacity for online classes,
the teachers surveyed have not dramatically adjusted their methods beyond their
original classroom capabilities. Many Korean public school teachers still feel
overwhelmed by the new educational paradigm presented by the COVID-19 pandemic
and the necessity (or opportunity?) presented by distance learning and online classes.
This is unfortunate because Korea has a highly developed ICT
infrastructure, and there are plenty of options for more creative and
collaborative uses for ICT in classrooms. But the teachers who are
in a position to provide such opportunities to students are either
unaware of them, or untrained in their use.
Therefore, there is a great need for ongoing teacher technology
education, particularly for public school teachers, particularly in
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 UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank (2020). What have we learnt? Overview of ﬁndings from a survey of ministries of
education on national responses to COVID-19. Paris, New York, Washington D.C.: UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank.
 UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank (2020). Survey on National Education Responses to COVID-19 School Closures,
round 2. Paris, New York, Washington D.C.: UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank. (Key ﬁndings
 Jeong-hun Lee, S. Korea now ranks world’s 10th biggest economy, Hankyoreh, Apr.22,2021. Available online:
 Ministry of Education, Responding to Covid-19: Online Classes in Korea (June 2020), KOSIS.kr, Available online:
 McNaught, C. Lam, P., & Ho, A. (2009). The digital divide between university students and teachers in Hong Kong. In
Same places, different spaces. Proceedings ascilite Auckland 2009.
 Emily Tate, The Digital Divide Has Narrowed, But 12 Million Students Are Still Disconnected. (Jan 27, 2021), Edsurge,
 Pei-Yu Wang. Examining the Digital Divide between Rural and Urban Schools: Technology Availability, Teachers'
Integration Level and Students' Perception, (Nov 12, 2013), Journal of Curriculum and Teaching. pp. 127-139.
 Grigg, A. T. (2016). Evaluating the effect of the digital divide between teachers and students on the meaningful use of
information and communication technology in the classroom, https://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses/1807.
 Steinar Thorvaldsen and Siri Sollied Madsen (March 8th 2021). Decoding the Digital Gap in Teacher Education: Three
Perspectives across the Globe, Teacher Education in the 21st Century - Emerging Skills for a Changing World, Maria Jose
Hernandez-Serrano, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.96206. Available from