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ICT Use in Education and Teacher Training in Japan by Tokuji Hayashi

 

Summary

     In this paper I stated cases of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) educational use in elementary, secondary and higher education of Japan.  I also reported on the state of pre-service teachers’ education in university and in-service teacher training. Through these cases I suggested the contents and methods of teacher training for the purpose of establishing the policy of ICT educational effective use. ICT use is an essential competence for teachers within international cooperative work.

 

1. Definition of ICT

ICT educational use is expected to improve communication systems in the teaching-learning process. ICT is helpful for people not only when they use computer networks and satellites but also when they use traditional media such as figures, blackboards, printed materials, OHP sheets, and audio-visual aids. Accordingly, we must discuss ICT use based on the mixed media teaching and learning process. ICT educational use should not be guided by the technological push but rather by the teachers’ and learners’ experiences and needs.

 

2. ICT Educational Use
The Japanese Ministry of Education introduced “Information Education” into the school curriculum out of social necessity in 1985. Information Education is to bring up abilities to use information that is called “Information Utilized Abilities” as mentioned below, taught in every related subject and activity systematically through all stages of school education.

- Activity

To practice all power of information utilization such as collection, judgment, expression, processing, creation and transmission & communication

- Information Technology

To acquire the basic knowledge and skill of information technology such as computer system and programming

- Attitude

To have the responsibility in information oriented society such as ethics and morals

“Integrated Study” is one of the subjects for information utilized abilities and problem solving learning with social constructivism. In the elementary, secondary and higher education of Japan teachers and learners have developed the effective use of ICT in Integrated Study. By way of example, students are experiencing cultural exchange with the students at regional or overseas school, and studying on environment, welfare, and international and cultural backgrounds using video conference system by way of telephone circuit, the Internet and satellites. The activities are shown as follows.

  • Elementary school
    Pupils asked a mayor about their own town through a video conference system in Integrated Study. The mayor answered the questions at real time.
  • Secondary school
    Students investigated social and industrial problems and reported on them using presentation software in Integrated Study.
  • Upper secondary school
    The subjects called “Information A”, “Information B”, and “Information C” were introduced into the curriculum of upper secondary school. They contain all knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for information oriented society.
  • University
    In all seven faculties of Yamaguchi University ICT is used for improving communication style between teachers and students as follows:

a. Electronic syllabus on the campus network

b. Administration of student’s attendance at lecture using computer

c. Joint lecture with another university using video conference system by way of satellite or ISDN

d. Distance learning using CD and Web based multimedia instructional materials

e. Faculty development (FD) for improving teacher’s own instructional skills, abilities and evaluation system in university

f. Practical use of new media such as computers, Internet and electronic boards in a lecture

g. Academic exchange with foreign university using ICT

  • Teachers’ education


We have in-service and pre-service teacher training programmes in the Faculty of Education at Yamaguchi University (Fig.5, 6). Cooperation with the other universities and boards of education is essential to implement effective trainings of ICT for in-service teachers. As for ICT equipment and instruments for the training, we have video conference systems with ISDN or satellite, CD or Web based materials, computers, electronic boards, and so on. To pre-service teachers, we teach educational methods and skills using ICT in a lecture for bachelor and master course students.

“Educational Media” is a subject for bachelor course, in which we put emphasis on the activities, so called, “Learning by Doing”, for good communication between teachers and learners. The students acquire the theory and practice communication system in a class from the viewpoints of (1) verbal, (2) non-verbal and (3) media utilization.

Through these systematic activities, we believe that the traditional instructional media such as textbooks and blackboards can also be used on the basis of ICT in contemporary education.

 

3. Teacher Training for International Cooperation

Yamaguchi University admits international trainees and teachers in cooperation with Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The teacher trainings of ICT should aim at designing, developing and evaluating education, and never at operating the instruments and software smoothly.

1) Cases of Activities

- St. Christopher & Nevis ….. Teaching physically challenged students with Computers

- Honduras ….. Presentation practice for teachers using OHP in a nurses’ school

- Pakistan …... Development and supply of CD and Web based multimedia instructional materials for distance education

 

4. Collaboration Offers

1) To provide computers for database of multimedia instructional materials

We will be able to provide computers for constructing a database of multimedia instructional materials

2) To support distance learning

As many opportunities as possible for the teacher training should be given to those who want to learn. Distance education, which promotes teachers’ self learning, is one of the best ways to provide such opportunities. It goes without saying that CD or Web based multimedia instructional materials for self-learning should be developed and provided properly.

3) To have teachers training in aid of designing, developing and evaluating education

The abilities required for teachers have been thought of as technological skills of ICT when they develop multimedia instructional materials. In the near future, however, the instructional skills and the abilities of evaluating the course in using ICT will be more important, and the teacher trainings for that purpose should be prepared as soon as possible. More experts on development and evaluation of multimedia instructional contents should be dispatched.

4) To initiate an exchange program for teachers

I propose that an exchange programme for Faculty Development and Staff Development should be set up to study and train how to design, develop, use, and evaluate ICT and multimedia instructional materials in class