Prof. Ok-hwa Lee is an educator and futurist in the design of education that is assessable to anyone anytime anywhere. She believes in educational equity and that education is a fundamental right for people. She has been a professor of Educational Technology in the Department of Education, College of Education, Chungbuk National University in South Korea for 19 years, and prior to that she served at two of the national research institutes for 10 years: KEDI (Korea Educational Development Institute) and KAIST SERI (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Software Engineering Research Institute).
As a specialist in educational technology, she has been a leader in the use of technology in education in Korea since 1987. She has been a pioneer of computer education, e-learning, smart education since the concept of ICT application was introduced at the national level in Korea. Her interest has been educational innovation with technology support throughout her academic training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in USA (master’s and Ph.D. programs) and Ewha Women’s University in Korea (BS). She has served on three President’s committees (Republic of Korea) – the President’s Council on Information Strategies; the e-Government Committee of the Local Government Innovation Council; and the Committee for Educational Reform. She received the national medal for her service in the development of e-Government in 2007.
She has been involved in numerous international collaborations to expand and share her interests in educational innovation with the support of new pedagogy and global education. Some of her international collaborations are ACU (ASEAN Cyber University) in south Asian countries, KE LeGE (Korea EU Leaders of Global Education, university students mobility program that includes practicum abroad between Korea and EU for pre-service teachers), BRIDGE (Building Relationships through Intercultural Dialogue and Growing Engagement) project between Korea and Australia for 19 years which is sponsored by the government of Australia and Korea, Korean member for GELP (Global Education Leaders Program), collaborative research with Finnish universities (the University of Helsinki and Jyvaskyla). She was the chairperson of the professional society “Korean Association for Educational Information and Media”, chair of ICoME (International Conference of Media Education) and chief editor of international online journal.
More recently, she has run an educational social entrepreneurship company called “Smart School” for three years to provide educational services and job opportunities for community members in the region where her university is located. This new experimental work is to provide the equal educational opportunity to people who are less privileged.