Japan plans to implement ‘EdTech’ for schools

Schoolchildren listen to a teacher showing how to use "GraphoLearn", an application on a digital tablet, to learn to read, in a primary school on January 8, 2018 in Marseille, southern France. / AFP PHOTO
Schoolchildren listen to a teacher showing how to use "GraphoLearn", an application on a digital tablet, to learn to read, in a primary school on January 8, 2018 in Marseille, southern France. / AFP PHOTO

 

TOKYO - The government plans to introduce a measure to reinforce effective use of information technology and artificial intelligence in the field of education, including at elementary and junior high schools.



The introduction of such technology is aimed at complementing students’ varying learning abilities in different subjects. Methods such as online teaching are expected to be used, and will serve to prevent such learning gaps while also reducing the burden on teachers.

 Electronic blackboards and tablets have been widely distributed to public institutions, including elementary and junior high schools, but whether they are actually used in classrooms depends largely on teachers’ competence.

 The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry and relevant bodies are encouraging schools and academic facilities that support active use of cutting-edge technologies such as IT and AI to team up with IT-related companies and come up with ideas for how to utilize the technology. The ministry will subsidize or pay commission fees to forward-thinking teams, allowing them organise classes and other activities on a trial basis. It then plans to disseminate effective programs nationwide.

 As part of the measure, external teachers will give online classes to students who have a hard time keeping up in class, while any teacher can share study materials online for students.

 In the United States, utilization of IT and AI in education is known as “EdTech.” AI can recognize types of questions and problems that children find difficult and provide an individual teaching program by serving up questions based on a student’s comprehension level, to help them study efficiently.

 

 In Japan, many students attend juku cram schools to catch up on what they have not fully understood in class, and there is a deep-rooted belief that parents should shoulder the educational expenses of their own children. This has led to criticism that parents’ different economic situations have created disparities between children’s academic ability and background. Calls have been heard within the government and ruling parties to use IT to offer detailed guidance for students.

 

Origin: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Startup_and_IT/30336342

Bureau of Information and Communication Technology Office of the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education E-Mail : website@moe.go.th