Ditch the heavy backpacks and take out your tablets. South Korea’s students may soon forget the pleasure of scribbling on textbook pages during class.

South Korea’s Ministry of Education announced that it will invest $2 billion by 2015 to create a paperless environment in schools.

The idea is to slowly transition from paper textbooks to digital ones containing the same information, in addition to multimedia resources, FAQs, and interactive content available anytime and anywhere.

The plan includes equipping all schools with wifi, providing free tablets to low-income families and building a huge cloud computing system to help students access a database set up by the Korea Education and Research Information Service.

The Ministry also intends to set up online classes for some subjects to enable students under long-term medical care or those who simply missed classes to catch up.

Will it be easy to transition to a paper-free environment in just less than 4 years? A ministry official seems pretty sure, stating:

“We don’t expect the shift to digital textbooks to be difficult as students today are very accustomed to the digital environment.”

Well one thing’s for sure: Mother Nature is going to feel a little relieved.

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