ICT Enables New Collaborative Approach to Learning - College Students Teach Each Other

Promoting ICT use at educational institutions

Today, junior high, high school, and university students use computers, smartphones, and tablets. With the rapid digitalization of society, innovation is poised for growth in educational institutions as well.

Since FY2010, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) has been implementing the Future School Promotion Project to encourage collaborative learning through the use of ICT. In the Japanese education market, tablets in use were worth 26 billion yen in 2013, and are predicted to reach 75.9 billion yen in 2018 (IDC Japan estimate).

Lectures highlighting the advantages of tablets

Given the current situation, Konan University and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. began a "smart education" field trial to make the most of the advantages offered by tablets.

In this field trial, a new approach to learning emphasizes interactive learning promoted by employing the advantages of tablets, such as their ease of use whenever needed and operation with a stylus or finger.
Specifically, the following educational support services were made available:
- Automatic distribution and collection of lecture materials;
- Collaborative learning in groups;
- Monitoring the pace of educational progress;
- Sharing group work results on large screens; and
- Class questionnaires.
Merely by gathering in the same place with tablets in hand, students can experience lectures while sharing materials - this is the greatest advantage of this style of education.

For students, this educational style promotes collaborative learning in groups, while at the same time it allows teachers to prompt students to answer or comment, monitor students’ pace of educational progress, and collect class questionnaires through the tablets. By using these devices, teachers can also monitor whether students speak more in class and whether they speak on a wider range of subjects.

By utilizing ICT in this way, new learning styles will soon be realized, such as "personalized learning," which focuses on each student’s individual abilities and characteristics, and "collaborative learning," where students teach and learn from each other.

Harnessing abilities that will support society into the next generation with ICT

Based on the results of this field trial, Konan University will study the most effective ways to use ICT in the classroom. Fujitsu Laboratories will also study the field trial’s outcomes, as it plans to expand adoption of this platform beyond educational settings to a variety of other settings, such as stores that provide product information to customers and corporate conference rooms.
At the same time, Fujitsu Laboratories will also promote use of ICT in educational environments while looking for synergies with the Learning Project of Tomorrow, which is being undertaken by the Fujitsu Group.