S-learning provides learners with a convenient communication environment and rich resources. However, the existing-learning infrastructure is still not complete. It does not allocate necessary computing resources for s-learning system dynamically, and has difficulty interfacing and sharing data with other systems. Time To Know (T2K), an enigmatic Israeli enterprise believes their cloud computing method, which supports resource management and provides the necessary foundation for the integration of platform and technology, will resolve and enrich such problems and areas.
BK interviewed Moshe Egert, CEO of T2K, to find out more about their education philosophy of integrating the cloud based smart learning system;
Q: What you do with T2K is, of course, what we really want to know. But before that, could you please tell us more about yourself, such as personal background, career achievements?
A: I spent the last 20 years working for various Israeli hi-tech companies, 15 of those years with Mercury, one of Israel's most successful hi-tech companies, and which was acquired by HP (Hewlett Packard) for US$5 billion. In my last role at Mercury, I was President of Mercury EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and before that I worked in various management positions in R&D, Business development and sales. In addition to working at Mercury, I served as President of the Enterprise Division at NICE Systems (NASDAQ:NICE), a world leader in customer interaction management solutions.
Q: Please introduce T2K and the major features of your educational system, along with your management philosophy.
A: T2K was founded with the aim of revolutionizing the education system. The current system, which we see today in most of the modern world, was designed in the 19th century. The classroom hasn't really changed for over 200 years. Kids, on the other hand, have changed a lot. Our children are living in a digital world: they communicate via Facebook and Twitter; they use Smartphones; they see movies in 3D. Yet when they go to school, it is as if they enter a time machine and travel back 200 years. In my view, this situation needs to change, and T2K does just that by introducing 21st-century technology into the classroom.
Q: Is there any specific reason T2K selected Korea as the third country after the US and Singapore to introduce its business philosophy in education and teaching methodology? And what have been the responses of these other countries to your educational system?
A:In order to maximize the benefits of T2K’s new teaching approach, a country has to be progressive in two areas: It has to have an ambitious approach toward the education of its children, and also access to technology, mainly with regard to computers and Internet connectivity. Needleless to say, Korea is one of the world leaders in both. We see Korea as one of the most significant countries in the world when it comes to education. Korea has been ranked in the top three positions in PISA tests for the last 10 years and is ranked the second largest market for English studies around the world, right after the U.S. We believe that Korea will be the gateway for T2K’s English program in Asia and we know that our program can make a significant change in Korea with respect to English studies.
Q: The cramming method of teaching is one of the major problems that the Korean education has. How do you differentiate the curriculum of T2K from the Korean one? And how can you assure this digital based curriculum can overcome the drawbacks of the Korean education system?
A:The idea behind T2K is to develop what the education world calls "21st Century Skills," which include critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation. Instead of simply memorizing data or practicing and practicing until the student is exhausted, we believe that we should give students the tools to approach various problems and find different ways and strategies to solve those problems. This approach to learning and working in all spheres of life in Israel is one of the reasons it has become a “start-up nation” with the largest number of start-up companies per capita. I strongly believe that the methodology we provide will enable students in Korea to develop the multi-dimensional abilities that global citizens require in the 21st century.
Q: The educational environment could be different by country depending on its traditional values and pressing needs. How will you cope with any possible hurdles in Korea because of such differences?
A:This is an excellent question and it relates to our strategy in launching our solution in various countries. We base our strategy on working with local partners. We believe that cooperation with a strong local company that understands the country’s educational challenges is a key factor to success. We use a similar method in each of our targeted markets. In the U.S., for example, we are partnering with McGraw-Hill, one of the largest publishers in North America, which uses our digital platform and content to teach English and Math in schools all around the U.S.
Q: As CEO of T2K, could you please tell us your management goal as well as business plan and direction in 2013?
A:I expect us to continue to lead the educational revolution by introducing smart teaching platforms and smart digital interactive content in both private and public education sectors around the world.
Chae Chang-whan, T2K Korea CEO, who graduated from Seoul National University and holds a JD & MBA from the Univ. of Wisconsin in Madison said, “Time to Know (T2K) is recognized as quite remarkable even in Israel, which has lots of innovative venture start-ups. In T2K, information technology and pedagogy are felicitously balanced, and Jewish thoughts are melted into the overall composition of contents and systems. T2K is categorized as a Digital Teach Platform (DTP), quite different from eBook or Learning Management System (LMS). DTP is still unfamiliar to many Korean people, but teachers can effectively teach students using DTP. It is a kind of platform that makes it possible to utilize one-to-one computing. T2K is the only commercialized product in the territory of DTP both at home and abroad. Many Israeli and American schools have given lessons using T2K for the past three years. As a result, it has been objectively proved that students can make astonishing improvements in their performance and attitude by using the T2K approach.”
He evaluated the current problem of Korean education market and suggested, “In Korea, students still compete with one another to enter a better college, and educational establishments generally give test-oriented instructions to young people. That has caused a lot of harmful side effects. And it will weaken the competitiveness of Korean people in the long run. The T2K approach is based on many educational values, such as ‘learning should be enjoyable’ and ‘learning should be linked with many aspects of daily life,’ which are also in the same orbit as the Korean government’s educational policy direction. Regardless of any changes in government policy, we will keep moving to foster human resources needed in the 21st century.”