xSync Demployed at Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Demonstration-cum-experiment. Combined Remote Lessons Implemented at Elementary Schools in Takagi, Nagano
Jan. 18, 2016
~ Small schools experience full learning environment through the use of education ICT ~
Pioneer VC, Inc. (HQ: Meguro-ku Tokyo, CEO: Kiyoshi Hara, hereon as Pioneer VC), a subsidiary company within V-cube group (HQ: Meguro-ku Tokyo, President & CEO: Naoaki Mashita) provides the use of visual collaboration service “xSync Prime Collaboration” to introduce the framework of combined remote learning. MEXT propelled a demonstration-cum-experiment of the use of ICT to effectively preserve education quality in societies with declining population (*1), which was performed at two elementary schools located in the more isolated lower mountainous areas within the municipal village of Takagi in Shimoina district of Nagano.
During the combined remote learning session at Takagi Dai-ichi Elementary School (Left) and Takagi Dai-ni Elementary School (Right)
The V-cube group has set providing visual communication for the education field as one of our core growth strategies. Pioneer VC’s “xSync Prime Collaboration” plays a vital and central role as a solution that contributes towards ICT being used to maintain as well as enhance the level of education quality. This demonstration-cum-experiment can be seen a good example of future development.
Takagi is investing effort into ICT-based education to preserve education quality in its schools that are decreasing in size over time due to its shrinking youth population. By incorporating both simultaneous and individual learning in addition to cooperative and combined learning, the aim is to create opportunities for students in smaller schools to mutually learn and improve their learning capabilities, including gaining the ability to think for themselves as well as to express themselves, in an environment that is on par with normal-sized institutions. The establishment of active learning classrooms where remote videoconferencing systems, remote electronic blackboards and tablets can be effectively used is actively pushed in order to realize this.
On 18th December 2015, an arithmetic class for 4th graders was conducted as a combined remote lesson. The class consisted of 26 students from Takagi Dai-ichi Elementary and 6 students from Takagi Dai-ni Elementary. According to a teacher from Takagi Dai-ni Elementary, “The children were exposed to various thoughts and opinions, which has broadened their horizons.”
“xSync Prime Collaboration”, as the foundation for remote learning, was given the following positive feedback by the Education Council of Takagi:
(1) Besides video and sound, thoughts are also shared
Not only does “xSync Prime Collaboration” enable any electronic blackboards placed in a small school and a normal-sized one to be shared between locations, it also enables the schools to manipulate each other’s boards. Children from both schools are able to share and compare thoughts instantaneously through real-time display, enabling teachers to easily hold combined remote lessons with distant schools.
(2) Non-disruptive sound quality for high concentration
“xSync Prime Collaboration” provides high-quality sound that enables voices of teachers in remote locations to be heard loud and clear without disruptions, giving students a learning environment where they can fully concentrate. Through a camera setup that sends, receives and enlarges the writing on the electronic blackboard in each school as well as the faces of students, the understanding level of the students from each classroom can be kept track of as lessons are being given.
Mr. Naoshi Ichinose, mayor of Takagi, offers the following feedback:
At Takagi, not only was individual learning via tablets employed to boost basic academic skills and cooperative learning via electronic blackboards and tablets employed to raise information processing skills, a videoconferencing system is also used to connect our smaller school with our bigger one to run combined lessons. Through a learning mechanism that is instantaneously shared and visualized via the electronic board system, the chance for classrooms of less than 10 to be exposed to myriad opinions is monumentally increased. Also, lessons where opinions and observations that used to become obscured are clearly listed to enable all to participate. Due to all this, we are expecting an outcome of schools being connected in a way that reduces disadvantages to a point where the size of the school no longer matters.
-- Naoshi Ichinose, Mayor of Takagi
Pioneer VC will continue to diligently expand its education ICT services that educational institutions find easy to use.
For more information on the service that was deployed in the endeavor detailed in this press release, please visit http://pioneer.vcube.com/edu/ (Japanese only).
(*1) Demonstration of the use of ICT to effectively preserve education quality in societies with declining population by MEXT refers to the following:
The public offering of demonstration-cum-experiment made available as of March 2015 by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is an endeavor to overcome education-related issues due to the declining and aging population by using ICT to connect together schools. This method of combined learning can be used throughout the school year, and experimental studies to cultivate outcomes such as the development of new teaching methods and verification of effectiveness can be performed.
Detailed information can be found in http://jouhouka.mext.go.jp/school/population/school.html (Japanese only).