Suzuki, K., & Yoshizaki, S. (2001, March). Internet Uses in Japanese Junior High Schools: Publishing A Guidebook for Teachers. Paper (Poster) accepted for presentation at SITE 2001-- Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference (Orlando, Florida; March 5-10
Internet Uses in Japanese Junior High Schools:
Publishing A Guidebook for Teachers
Faculty of Computer and Information Science
Iwate Prefectural University
Japan Women's University
Abstract: Four Junior High school teachers worked with the authors to analyze and suggest effective ways of using the Internet for novice teachers, resulting in the Junior High School section of a guidebook "Vivid Integrated Learning with the Internet," published by The Japan Association for the Promotion of Educational Technology. Internet uses in Junior High Schools were classified into four phases. Concrete examples from the collected exemplary practices were used to illustrate the ways to make the best use of the Internet in each phase. Advice is also given by showing not-successful cases. Two exemplary practices were then introduced in detail, so that the novice teachers can see how much could be accomplished when all the conditions are obtained. Suggestions for teachers uses of the Internet for lesson planning, integration of the Integrated Learning with existing subject matters, and utilization of portfolio assessment concluded the section of the Guidebook.
From 1997, The Japan Association for the Promotion of Educational Technology (JAPET) has been publishing introductory guidebooks for the use of the Internet in schools, as contract research from Japanese Ministry of Education. To publish the third guidebook, JAPET called a group of researchers, teachers, and corporate members to form a research committee, which was divided into three subgroups: Elementary, Junior High, and Special Education. This paper reports the trends of the uses of the Internet in Japanese Junior High Schools, which were identified through the process of writing the guidebook. The first author of this paper headed Junior High subgroup, while the second author headed the entire committee.
From year 2002, Integrated Learning will be introduced to Grades 3-12 when the National Standard of Curriculum will be revised for 5 day per week schedule. Since Integrated Learning will have no textbook approved by the Ministry of Education, unlike other subject matters, each school and school board is expected to develop own curriculum. Integrated Learning will take place three hours per week, aiming to make children capable of handling contemporary complex challenges, such as environmental issues, international understanding, life and human rights, and information oriented society. The Ministry of Education is planning on connecting every school to the Internet by 2001, before the new curriculum standard will start. Therefore, such a guidebook that describes how to use the Internet in the new Integrated Learning was needed, not only to introduce various ways of the Internet uses for beginning Internet users, but also to depict Internet uses to describe how to proceed Integrated Learning per se. The title of the guidebook was named as 探eachers Guidebook: Vivid Integrated Learning: Making it better with the Internet.
Process of Writing
Four teachers worked with the authors to analyze and suggest effective ways of using the Internet for novice Junior High School teachers. First, each teacher brought his or her ideas and suggestions based on his/her own experiences, which were analyzed to structure the section. We found that the Internet uses can be classified into four phases in Integrated Learning as described below. Concrete examples from the collected exemplary practices were used to illustrate the ways to make the best use of the Internet in each phase. Not-successful cases were also collected to give advice. Two showcase practices were selected and described in detail, so that the novice teachers can see how much could be accomplished when all the conditions are obtained. Other ideas and suggestions were assembled at the end, including teachers uses of the Internet for lesson planning, integration of the Integrated Learning with existing subject matters, and utilization of portfolio assessment. Once structure of the section was decided, each member created manuscript, which was brought into meetings for peer reviews. A total of 10 meetings were held within a half year, and the Guidebook was published in March of 2000.
Contents of the Junior High School Section of the Guidebook
Phase 1: Building Basic Media Related Skills
After a 2-page introduction of Junior High School Section, building basic media related skills, such as use of OHP, camera, poster, VTR, e-mail, and the Web are introduced as the first phase of the Internet use. Three example cases are described as follows:
Case 1: Shared training in subject matters: OHP in Social Studies, camera in Art, poster in Language, VTR in Physical Education, and, basic Internet in Technology.
Case 2: Basic Media Lesson in Integrated Learning: group training rotating in OHP, newspaper, and computer corners; Internet seminar by corporate lecturers.
Case 3: Environment facilitating media uses: certificates of media skills, media use appointment card, S.O.S. board for seeking/offering helps, information sharing board.
Advice is then given to create atmosphere in media use such as: building within school Local Area Network, expanding library resources, turning vacant classroom into a media center, using lunchtime school broadcast, showing teachers media uses, and supporting by school committee to share responsibilities among teachers.
Phase 2: Information Gathering using the Web Sites
The second phase is letting students use the Web for information gathering. Two page introduction emphasizes precautions including portal sites and search engines, access to inappropriate information, copyright, privacy, and superficial student reports by copying. Three cases are described as follows:
Case 1: Environmental Patrol using the Web to sharpen themes to address.
Case 2: What is Japan Project to search information from distance.
Case 3: Guide Dog Research to gather information when direct experience is not feasible.
Advice for this phase includes メchaff and grainモ of information on the Net, Dont rely sololy on the Net, time consuming advance arrangement for students visits, enough storage for information gathered, utilization of students belonging computer club as instructors.
Phase 3: Information Exchanges via E-mail
The third phase, Information exchange using e-mail, introduces the use of attachment files such as pictures, MIDI, and Excel files. Real time discussion using TV conference, telephones, and mailing video tapes and real objects are also introduced as an alternative to e-mail. Three cases are:
Case 1: Lets Create Biotope Project to exchange opinions via TV conference system.
Case 2: Use of a mailing list to get information for friends oversea.
Case 3: English mails to improve English ability while exchanging information
Advice of e-mail includes student e-mail addresses, netiquette, free mail, password management, and trustworthy relationship building.
Phase 4: Information Dispatch on the Web
Using the Web in student presentations at the end of their research has various merits. They includes making presentation easy to understand, linking to related information, exchanging presentations with students in distance, making them available as next years reference. Three cases are as follows:
Case 1: Sound Environment Research Project, expanding from previous years research results.
Case 2: Together with Elder Friends Project, making report using digital camera and word processing software.
Case 3: Making of a TV program Investigation, presenting reports using multimedia.
A matrix for Internet utilization guideline is provided, so that all aspects of guideline (netiquettee, copyright, privacy, security, and inappropriate information) are taken into account for all phases of utilization (Web navigation, Web creation, e-mail, chat/BBS, online software/data, network management).
Two Exemplary Cases
Two exemplary practice were selected and described in detail as follows:
Case 1: International Partnership Project using TV Conference between England and Japan. Started by exchanging MIDI files, two sister schools worked collaboratively to create a drama. Students on both ends of collaboration formed joint teams for casting, scenario, art, and music, to perform a drama via TV conferencing system. Not only TV conference but other various media such as e-mail, video letter via international express mail enhanced the quality of the collaboration.
Case 2: Lake Biwako Time, a year-long project looking the Lake from various perspective. Hands-on research was combined with various projects on the Internet, including the GLOVE project, exchange of information with a school in China, and comparative research using e-mail and the Web.
Internet and Integrated Learning for Teachers
Suggestions for teachers uses of the Internet for lesson planning includes: to gather instructional materials from the Web, to refer lesson plans on the Web, to be informed of Governmental guidelines from the Web, to join mailing lists among teachers of same subject matters, and to keep record for future references. For integration of the Integrated Learning with existing subject matters, two cases are introduced to show how to bridge various subject matters with Integrated Learning. Examples of portfolio assessment are also shown with their advantages both for students and teachers.
Through the process of writing the Guidebook, characteristics of the Internet uses in Japanese Junior High Schools were summarized as described above. These are based on advanced practices and suggestions from teachers with experiences to novices who are going to challenge various Internet uses in Integrated Learning, as well as in other subject matters. What are written in this guidebook may or may not represent the future reality of overall practices among Japanese Junior High School, depending on how many readers the guidebook will be able to obtain. As of now, the guidebook at least represents what the Japanese advanced teachers would like to see happening at other ordinary schools.
The guidebook was published by The Japan Association for the Promotion of Educational Technology, as a 1999-2000 Contract Research from Japanese Ministry of Education. Participated teachers in the Junior High School Section were as follows: Tokiko Kuramochi, Ryuzo Tanaka, Fumikazu Nishimura, Toyoshige Iguchi.