In the popular Next-generation Education exhibition from Fujitsu Forum, Fujitsu presented how leveraging ICT in the classroom can enhance the capabilities of educators. Visitors were able to participate in a demonstration class utilizing new technology to get a glimpse of what school may be like in the near future.
ICT-enhanced classrooms: making learning more enjoyable
Fujitsu’s largest annual event, Fujitsu Forum Tokyo was held on May 15 and 16, 2014, at Tokyo International Forum in the city’s Yurakucho district.
In a wood-grain corner, seated visitors were watching a whiteboard intently. They were in the Next-Generation Education booth which supports the use of ICT for education. When visitors, playing the role of students, typed text into the devices they were holding, it instantly appeared on the whiteboard at the front of the classroom.
In addition to text, images could also be pasted onto the whiteboard. After the whiteboard was filled with students' ideas, the facilitator, who was playing the role of a teacher, organized the ideas by grouping them together and zooming in and out of them. This system allows students to have fun while engaging in discussions and brainstorming in class.
With the study behavior analysis feature, which can be used by universities and other educational institutions, teachers use a "study chart" to easily analyze and manage things like student attendance and the submission of reports. Teachers and administrators will be able to keep track of students' progress in a timely and precise manner. As a result, students can receive feedback to help them become more aware of their level of aptitude and any points they should work on, thereby further motivating them to learn.
New online learning opportunities
In recent years, the doorway leading to the world of online education has opened right up. Massive Open Online Courses （MOOC） have been the subject of attention lately, a trend which started in the U.S. in 2012 and allows students to take on-line courses offered by prestigious universities. MOOC differs greatly from conventional online learning and has spread dramatically with the growth of the Internet. The primary appeal of MOOCs is that they are free and available globally. Moreover, some courses offer participants from around the world the opportunity to have discussions with each other and also receive certificates that will help them with job hunting. In other words, participants have the freedom to choose which approach to studying is best suited to them depending on things like their environment or objective.
Fujitsu is currently developing technology that will support educational platforms to facilitate the effective running of MOOC and to help students learn in a comfortable environment. Although most MOOC courses are given in English at present, an increasing number of Japanese universities, interested in global education, are starting to offer open online courses. MOOC is also attracting attention as a tool that people can use to brush up their skills and get ahead in their careers. In Japan, there is a saying: "While we live, we learn." In the future, we expect learning opportunities will increase for full-time or part-time workers as well as students.
Traditionally, students sat quietly in classrooms while listening to their teachers. However, by leveraging advancements in ICT, people will be able to actively seek knowledge without being restricted by age, occupation or location. This transition to a new style of education demonstrated at Fujitsu Forum.