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Study Group for “Future Classroom” and EdTech to be Established To discuss ideal approaches to creating opportunities for the development of human resources that will pave the way to future industries and regional revitalization as well as approaches to EdTech for this purpose

As countries around the world advance educational reforms placing emphasis on creativity, problem-solving ability and expertise in science and technology, the introduction of a variety of types of EdTech* (i.e., innovative educational and human-resource development methods) to teachers and schools is advancing. Recognizing this trend and aiming to ensure the development of human resources that will pave the way to future industries and regional revitalization in Japan, METI decided to establish a study group to discuss: [i] future approaches to educational opportunities that preschool education, compulsory and secondary education and recurrent education should aim for (collectively called the “Future Classroom” program), [ii] ideal approaches to developing EdTech to achieve Item [i], and [iii] various issues for developing EdTech and introducing it to teachers and in schools.

The study group will hold its first meeting on January 19 (Fri.), 2018, from 9:30 a.m., at METI.

1. Background

Many countries, including the United States and China, have been introducing EdTech to teachers and schools, mainly placing emphasis on creativity, problem-solving ability and science and technology, and this trend has been causing fierce competition for human resource development worldwide. In this situation, Japan needs to boost current educational opportunities, including those in households, nursery schools, compulsory and secondary schools, universities and companies’ training programs, to create new methods for training human resources that can pave the way to new industries and regional revitalization.

Recognizing this issue, METI decided to establish a study group to discuss [i] ideal approaches to the Future Classroom program that teachers and schools involved in preschool education, compulsory and secondary education and recurrent education should aim for, and [ii] future directions for the development of EdTech in Japan and [iii] challenges in introducing EdTech.

The study group aims to provide discussion opportunities towards realizing the Future Classroom program by uniting efforts of industries and communities, bearing in mind both fostering ideal human resources and approaches to their mobility, a view expressed by the Study Group for Enhancing Human Resource Capability in Japanese Industries, inaugurated under METI in November 2017, and also bearing in mind efforts for supporting teachers and schools so as to achieve the goals set in the next curriculum guidelines publicized by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).

At the first meeting of the study group, the members will organize the directions of future discussions based on the presentations by the secretariat and members of the study group, in light of workshops starting in February 2018.

*Note:The term “EdTech” is a compound word combining “education” and “technology,” representing education based on the use of digital technology, individual learning, integration of humanities and science, cross-subject education and other educational areas. EdTech covers various educational approaches, such as [i] programs in which people are able to learn subjects according to their respective interests and proficiency levels based on related data, [ii] Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) through which people are able to take high-quality classes from anywhere, and [iii] STEM.

2. Date and venue

Date and time: January 19 (Fri.), 2017; from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Venue: Special Meeting Room 1 on the 17th floor, METI Main Building

3. Members

  • Mr. Akira Morita, Professor, Department of Policy Studies, Tsuda University; Emeritus Professor, the University of Tokyo (Chair of the study group)
  • Mr. Masahiro Sato, Professor, Graduate School of Digital Hollywood University (Acting Chair of the study group)
  • Mr. Jo Inoue, Vice President and CTO, Leave a Nest Co., Ltd.; Project Associate Professor, Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University
  • Ms. Sachiko Kitano, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Human Development and Environment, Kobe University
  • Mr. Kenta Kimura, Director, Premedical-Science Course, Hiroo Gakuen Junior and Senior High School
  • Mr. Yuichi Kudo, Principal, Kojimachi Junior High School, Chiyoda Ward
  • Mr. Mika Kumahira, President, Career College, Diversity Promotion Organization, Showa Women’s University
  • Mr. Tsutomu Togasaki, Director, Board of Education, Toda City
  • Ms. Sachiko Nakajima, professional jazz pianist; President, steAm Corporation; Project Researcher, Graduate School of Mathematical Sciences, the University of Tokyo
  • Mr. Yoshio Higuchi, Professor, Faculty of Business and Commerce, Keio University
  • Mr. Tomoyuki Mizutani, Chairman, Platform for Vitalizing Regional Areas and Encouraging Education
  • Ms. Kasumi Miyajima, Commentator, Economy Division, Nippon Television Network Corporation

In addition to these members, approximately 30 experts from a variety of fields will participate in the study group as members.

4. Future schedule

The study group will start field-based workshops in February 2018 and compile the workshop results into an interim report in March 2018 and a final report around the end of May 2018.

Release date

January 16, 2018

Division in Charge

Education Service Industries Office, Service Affairs Policy Division, Commerce and Service Industry Policy Group

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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