Extramural Studies and School Trips Planned by Students
? Communication Between Schools Using the Internet ?
Information classes for eleventh graders
Hiroshi Nedachi, School for the Mentally Retarded,
Faculty of Educational Humanities, Yokohama National University
Purpose of Using the Internet
To make the school more accessible to the public and increase communication between students who are similar in age
Some years ago, a student teacher from the faculty of education, who did not major in special education, asked me why the hedge around the special school was so high that people could not see inside. I was shocked to hear this and suddenly realized that we had subconsciously separated our school from the outside world. We thought about our schoolfs appearance and decided to cut some trees around the school with the help of the PTA so people could see the school from the street.
The handicapped cannot live independently without the cooperation of family members, people in the community, and co-workers. We feel that the lives of the handicapped should be more accessible so the public can understand them better. To accomplish this, we should continuously work on making special schools more open to the public. We also have to work on creating opportunities where our students (elementary school, junior high school, and senior high school) can communicate with regular students who are of similar age.
When special schools attached to national universities in Japan were connected to the Internet in February 1996, Yokohama National University installed a private line at our school allowing us to use the Internet for educational activities. Following the lead of the teacher of our information class, we made a home page to introduce our educational activities, published information about our students, and started to communicate with other schools. Our senior high school started to communicate with students from other high schools from various areas using the Internet. Our elementary school and junior high school also started to communicate directly with elementary and junior high schools attached to the same university by inviting them to visit.
1 Extramural Studies and School Trips Planned by Students
(1) Objective and Teaching Themes
At our school, we prioritize leisure education to improve the studentsf quality of life (QOL) and enable them to spend their free time more meaningfully. We carry out various activities during club activities and other occasions at each school.
At our high school, we let students participate in planning extramural activities and school trips so they will be able to go to the movies, bowling, or Disneyland, or travel with friends. During the planning process, teachers and students talk about places to visit, activities, restaurants, facilities, transportation, and their cost from the information theyfve collected on the Internet. This activity is conducted in the classes on information and industrial society that became a part of the high school curriculum three years ago.
We would like to talk about the preparation we did last year for the eleventh graderfs school trip.
2 Lesson plan
(1) Students discuss the school trip within a group and make a travel plan
Eleventh graders discussed travel plans for their school trip in their homeroom classes in April. The budgeted cost of the trip per student was \80,000 and the students saved some money for the trip each month starting when they were in the tenth grade. Our students started to communicate with high school students from the School for the Mentally Retarded attached to Osaka Kyoiku University after finding their home page on the Internet in the information class. Because of this, they wanted to have a chance to meet them.
Therefore we decided go west and stay in Osaka on the first night. Our school trips normally last four days and three nights, so we continued to discuss ideas for the rest of the trip. Students thought about 1) Kyoto and Nara, 2) Shikoku, 3) Fukuoka and Northern Kyushu, 4) HUIS TEN BOSCH and Nagasaki. They explained about the areas they had been to in the past either on a previous school trip or with their families. During the information class, we had students make teams according to the areas they wanted to go and do research about things they could do there. We also had them look into possible means of transportation and had them write up an itinerary.
Three groups, one each for itineraries 2)?4), carried out the following activities:
1) Students went to libraries and bookstores and got travel guidebooks for the areas they were interested in and talked about the area within their groups.
2) Students collected in-detail information from the home pages of travel guidebooks on the Internet (search engine: Yahoo!)
3) Students did research on how to get there and how much transportation would cost (software: Ekisupart.)
Although the students are mentally handicapped, teachers respected the studentsf opinions and supported their research activities by giving them appropriate advice and making easy-to-understand guidelines about computer operations so they could do the research by themselves.
In late June, students completed their plans and made a presentation. Each group presented the contents of the trip and its cost, and then we discussed them. Many students liked the idea of visiting 4) HUIS TEN BOSCH and Nagasaki, as it included coming home on a plane. Some of the activities they planned were impossible in terms of both scheduling and costs, so teachers modified the plan. The students then made three groups and worked on developing a one-day sightseeing plan in Nagasaki City. They repeated steps 1)?3) during the information class.
(2) Preparatory study (extramural activity and staying a night at school) during the industrial society class.
In September, students planned an overnight stay at school to prepare for the school trip. Three groups, the same groups that developed a sightseeing plan for Nagasaki, separately planned a half-day of sightseeing in Yokohama City, had dinner at a restaurant, and then slept at school.
Using a map and the writtn plan they had made, each group visited Landmark Tower, Yamashita Park, and a museum. They got around town by subway and bus. Teachers accompanied them but made no decisions. The students had a difficult time and nearly made some mistakes, as it was much harder than they expected. However, they somehow reached the places they wanted to go and made it back to the school. Students talked with other group members and asked people for help when they needed it. I feel that this activity was a great experience.
(3) School trip
In later October, three groups of fifteen students and five teachers went on the planned four-day trip. On the first day, students visited the School for the Mentally Retarded attached to Osaka Kyoiku University, where a big welcome party was held for us. Students soon relaxed because they had introduced themselves previously on their home pages and had a lot fun at the party. The students ate a lot of takoyaki, one of Osakafs specialties. We tried to send e-mail to students back home to let them know what we were doing, but it did not work for some reason.
Each group went sightseeing in Nagasaki City on the third day. Students felt anxious and constantly lost their way because it was a new city and quite different from the activity they experienced in their hometown, Yokohama City. One or two teachers followed each group, giving a minimal amount of support. Although it rained, the students visited the Peace Park, Megane-Bashi Bridge, and Dutch Slope just as they had planned. When students lost their way or did not know what to do, they discussed the situation within their group and asked people for help, just as they had done during the preparatory excursion in Yokohama City. They had lunch in Chinatown and reached the Graver House, their final meeting-place, only a little behind schedule.
(4) Post-trip study (memories, thank-you e-mail, and letters)
Each group had a student who was in charge of taking photos. Some students also brought their own cameras and took pictures. We made a collection of studentsf memories with essays and pictures during the information class. Students thanked the students from Osaka on our home page and by sending them e-mail.
3 Using the Internet
Each group collects information about sightseeing in Nagasaki, where they will visit during the school trip using the Internet.
(2) Equipment used
1) Computers Apple PM9500 (server machine) x 1
Paforma 5220 (client machine) x 8
2) Peripheral equipment We download information from the Internet and use it on eight
Paforma 5220 machines that are networked to PM9500.
Approach to the studentsf activities
1. Students were separated into groups and talked about what to research.
Client computers for using the Internet
PM7500 x 4
2. Students in each group were allotted a portion of the work and did research using two client computers.
3. Students printed out the necessary information.
4. Students in each group summarized the information they collected.
5. Each group gave a presentation about their research results.
The theme of the activity was for students to collect information from the Internet or books, plan extramural activities and a school trip, and then actually do what they had planned.
We have been doing this at our school for three years now. We started by having students plan to go out with friends on Sundays. Many students from our school come from far away, so they do not have so many opportunities to communicate with friends their own age. Therefore, we started this activity in the hope that students could enjoy holidays with close classmates after making a plan themselves. Students later planned extramural activities for their group or the entire high school, and the eleventh graders were actually able to plan their entire school trip by themselves.
Our students planned a trip to Hakodate the first year, Osaka and Nagasaki the second year, and Kobe and Fukuoka this year.
The best part of the school trip to Osaka and Nagasaki was the off-line meeting. Special high schools like ours regularly prioritize simulation-type studies of real life situations to cultivate studentsf independence so they will be able to handle living by themselves. As a part of this study, students used computers and collected information using the Internet. They also made friends, yet they were virtual friends. To cultivate the relationship further, they need to meet the other person to actually see and touch them directly, such as by holding each otherfs hands or making and eating food together.
We feel that conducting and experimenting with simulation-type studies improves the QOL of mentally handicapped children. In this sense, computers and the Internet play an important role.When students accessed the Internet from four computers at the same time, the speed was significantly slower, even though we used a private line. Therefore, students were often unable to get all the information they wanted within one lesson period. To remedy this, we downloaded necessary home pages beforehand and used them on computers that are connected by LAN. Many of the home pages are too difficult for our students to read, so we sometimes have to use software that reads sentences out loud, print out the page, and put kana next to difficult kanji, or rewrite the sentences in a way that students can understand. We also have to prepare instruction manuals so that students can easily understand how to use a computer and software.
Experiences in the Challenge Kids
Special schools, special classes, and participating schools in the Challenge Kids
Tatsunori Ono, Kinryu School for the mentally retarded
Purpose of Using the Internet
There are many hurdles that handicapped students must overcome in order to participate in society. For example, just seeing friends is often difficult for the physically handicapped. Communicating with people using the Internet is easier for them than actually meeting their friends from neighboring towns in person.
However, even when communicating on the Internet, there are numerous barriers that the handicapped have to deal with. For example, handicapped studentsf private information needs to be protected better.
We installed a server at School for the mentally retarded attached to Faculty of Education, Shiga University in order to use an Intranet. Since then, we have also utilized the Internet in everyday educational activities and communicated with schools from all over Japan.
1 Outline of the Challenge Kids Program
The Internet has been billed as a new communication tool and has become an everyday part of our lives with people not only accessing it from research institutions but also from work and home.
School for the mentally retarded attached to Faculty of Education, Shiga University established a FirstClass server to network special schools and special classes all over Japan in 1996. We have also done research about how to get handicapped students use the Internet. We plan to use the Internet and an Intranet and research networks that are practical and easy to use for students.
We decided to focus on having handicapped students use the Internet. We wanted our students to enjoy their studies more, develop goals, and be able to work independently, so we started a research project for students to communicate with students from other schools using FirstClass server. We hoped they would think more about the benefits using the Internet in their everyday studies, instead of just using the Internet as an instrument for communication. We then established a FirstClass server named Challenge Kids, a project where students from special schools and special classes of elementary schools and junior high schools can study together freely. We named this project from the words gchallenged childrenh.
Now, 28 schools can communicate with each other on Challenge Kids, as a local community. As the studentsf computer literacy improved, they started participating on the Media Kids global network.
Challenge Kids is an Intranet that utilizes the Internet. It prevents outsiders from getting in and protects the studentsf privacy. Schools that participate in Challenge Kids created a classroom based on the concept that students can make mistakes in the classroom. Many handicapped students who participate in Challenge Kids share a sense of togetherness. We usually allowed the students to make their own decisions regarding the contents of each activity.
2 gChallenge Printh: work simulation (printing group) at the high school of Nanao School for mentally retarded
(1) Collaboration using a network
In special schools, students simulate what they might do as part of a future job. Challenge Kids runs a new collaborative program using a network on which they established a conference room called gChallenge Printh for high schools to practice printing. Students introduce their activities and the tasks they are in charge of, exchange information, and collaborate on the network. This is a new type of collaboration between students who do printing work in high schools for the handicapped.
(2) Actual activities
1) Connection between special schools
Students sent information about their activities, including a self-introduction and the tasks they were in charge of.
Nanao School for mentally retarded ordered a letterpress printing plate by using e-mail for its manual printing machine to make name cards and envelopes. Students at School for the mentally retarded attached to Faculty of Education, Shiga University made a resin-relief letterpress printing plate, packaged and addressed it, and mailed it to Nanao School. The activity flow chart is shown in Table 5.
Picture 1 Picture 2
Nanao School orders the letterpress printing plate to be used on a manual printing machine (Challenge Kids mail)
Students in Nanao School opened the mail from Shiga School which had address written in pencil on it, read e-mail from Shiga School notifying them that the package had been sent, and sent a reply to confirm they had arrived. During the process, students from both schools became more conscious of doing a good job. We expect that students will become more aware of their own roles and develop the ability to communicate with the outside world. Samples of the studentsf correspondence are shown below:
Subject: Work in the second school term
Date: Mon. 8 Sept. 1997 11:09:16 AM
From: Student 2 at Nanao School
To: Challenge Print
Hello. Ifm Junko Hori from the printing group at Nanao School. Today, Ifm writing about our work during the second school term. First, we will make envelopes while Nukita cuts rolled paper.
Sawaishi and I cut middle-sized and large-sized envelopes following the model.
Kumano and Nakatani will do the printing using the resin-relief letterpress printing plate made by students at Shiga School. This is what we are going to do today.
We asked Shiga School to make a resin-relief letterpress printing plate of a name card. When itfs finished, we will work on printing name cards.
Subject: Re: Order of resin-relief letterpress printing plate
Date: Tue. 9 Sept. 1997 2:23:28 PM
From: Yuiko Umemoto
To: Challenge Print
Today, we will send the resin-relief letterpress printing plate our printing group made. School for the mentally retarded attached to Faculty of Education, Shiga University.
2) Printing of CD labels
Media Kids and Challenge Kids borrowed a CD label-printing machine from Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. and conducted a joint study about printing.
Picture 6 Picture 7 Picture 8
1. Print CD labels individually using a special film with a micro-dry type printer.
2. Put film and CD-R together carefully and match them to the caddy.
3. Insert the caddy into the CD label-printing machine making sure you do it correctly.
4. Peel the sheet off slowly and carefully when it cools down.
We made thirty-five Media Kids x Pippin CDs. We sent them to the Media Kids Consortium office to make CD copies. The students did what they could such as writing invoices and addresses on packages. Even though students sometimes failed to peel off the sheet, it was a fun and easy process that students can work on continuously, and the final product was good.
Students at School for the mentally retarded attached to Faculty of Education at Shiga University designed the CD. They sent the design to Nanao School using e-mail, and students at Nanao School printed it. This process was a new type of joint work between schools that participate in Challenge Kids. Our school can only print labels (bonding illustration and pictures) because we do not have the facilities or technology to do CD-R pressing. However, in printing, students from various schools collaborate with each other using networks according to each schoolfs equipment and studentsf abilities. This has created a totally new type of relationship between students. Moreover, students can know that consumers use and feel happy about the products they are involved in making.
Although this project has just started, I feel positive about the studentsf work. They are conscientiously learning how to make products and also about order and delivery systems.
3 Activities supporting studentsf home study at Kinryu School for the mentally retarded
(1) History up until the last school year
One high school student, Masahiro Mameda, had a tracheotomy in May when he was in the eleventh grade and could not return to school even after he left the hospital. Even before this happened, we wanted to prepare equipment for disabled students who are unable to attend school that could be used to communicate with others just by pressing a button.
In December 1996, we bought a Macintosh machine and a Kinex input device, and let him use them at home during the winter vacation. The Macintosh machine had a built-in modem so he could access the Internet. In Saga Prefecture, people can access the Internet by connecting to the Saga Education Center. Therefore, he could look at home pages via the Education Center using the schoolfs ID.
He later bought a notebook type Macintosh and a Kinex input device and received his own ID to use the Internet from the Saga Education Center.
(2) Activities this year
He bought a notebook Macintosh in February 1997 and practiced operating it by connecting a small button (picture 11) that he could press with his thumb to the Kinex input device (picture 10. White box under the computer). However, he was hospitalized with pneumonia for a short time in mid-March, so he could not practice for a while. He came back home in April and started home study. Teachers visited him twice a week, teaching him five basic subjects on Tuesdays and communication using a computer on Fridays. The following is a review of what he did using a computer in FY 1997.
Unit: Inputting letters
Study materials: SimpleText and Kinex
He started using word processing to get used to using a computer. A keyboard appears on the screen, a button moves on it, and he pressed the button on the key that he wanted to push. He was not very interested because inputting data took a long time and he became physically tired because he had to aspirate about every twenty minutes.
Unit: looking at home pages
Study materials: Netscape Navigator
I showed him home pages recommended in computer magazines, but he was not very interested. However, when we searched gspecial schoolsh as practice in using a search engine, he was looking at art works and self-introductions by other students from other special schoolsf home pages with a gleam in his eyes.
Unit: Using e-mail
Study materials: Eudora-Pro and Claris Mail
Some teachers sent him e-mail and then opened his mailbox when I visited him so he could read their letters. He enjoyed this at the beginning, but he didnft open his mailbox except when I visited him, and he wrote no responses. Along with teacher in charge on Tuesdays tried to exchange senryu (seventeen syllable poems) with him, yet he did not respond to those either by himself. However, he looked happy when he received the message that his classmates wrote via e-mail. He wrote replies to these messages, and this showed us that he wanted to correspond with friends instead of teachers. His correspondence with other students was short lived because it required the assistance of his teachers.
Unit: Using CD-ROMs
Study materials: CD-ROMs included as magazine supplements, PhotoDeluxe
He was interested in artwork, such as pictures and designs. He was also interested in the stories that accompanied them. The stories were illustrated and could be made to run by clicking on them. We asked him to make some artwork and he made a calendar. He looked satisfied when he finished this work.
(3) Participating in Challenge Kids
We continued to teach methods for communicating by computer, but he did not send information by himself. We decided to let him look at Challenge Kids, which our school participates in, freely for a week or so. We also showed him a videotape of a TV program gMedia and Educationh televised on October 3, which introduced the activities of Challenge Kids and let him read gChallenge Kids Digest f96h (published by the Special School for the Mentally Handicapped affiliated with the Faculty of Education at Shiga University). He sort of understood the contents of Challenge Kids and started to access it often by himself. His mother said that once he had a problem accessing Challenge Kids and tried various ways of doing it for two hours. A teacher asked him if he wanted to introduce himself to the members of Challenge Kids and by the teacherfs next visit he had already written an introduction about himself that he could send by e-mail. This is his introduction.
gHello. Ifm Masahiro Mameda from Kinryu School for the mentally retarded. Ifm 18 years old. Teachers come to teach me twice a week. I learn about using computers on Fridays. This is the first time Ifve ever sent e-mail. I hope I can make friends here.h
One of the good points of Challenge Kids is that you can get a response very soon. He was very happy because he got many responses to his first e-mail. He participated in Challenge Kids because he felt that handicapped students have a chance to freely communicate with each other on Challenge Kids. His world has expanded steadily. He was able to write a composition for our Himawari (sunflower) essay collection, something he was unable to do last year. This is what he wrote:
gIfve been using a tube inserted in my neck for breathing since May of my junior year. I cannot talk or go to school any more. However, teachers come to teach me at home thanks to the principal and other teachers. Teachers tell me about the school and friends during breaks and I nostalgically remember my school days. Mr. Fukamachi teaches me how to use a computer on Fridays. Now I can read and send e-mail. From now on, I want to make friends using a computer.
(4) Potential for supporting home study
This student cannot go to school because of his severe handicap, so has to study at home. He can barely go out, yet he wants to talk with his former classmates.
When he was discharged from the hospital, he wasnft motivated to do anything. He probably did not have any clear idea about what he could do with a computer when we brought the Macintosh to his house. However, he started to check a conference room after he participated in Challenge Kids. Currently he doesnft write so often, though we feel he will enjoy corresponding with friends in the future.
Contact with the outside world and keeping in touch with others must be very difficult for people who have to stay at home all the time. However, they can communicate with others using the Internet or other wide area networking systems. Communication via the Internet is mainly done using e-mail, but finding partners to correspond with can be difficult. Correspondence within the fixed members of a conference room is the most desirable. In that sense, Challenge Kids is extremely useful. Students can write freely without worrying about failing or making mistakes. Corresponding freely in a closed society like this will give them a needed boost of confidence.
Because teachers can access the Internet at school, they can notify students about the content of a lesson beforehand and make necessary arrangements with students who can access the Internet at home. Teachers also can support the conference room on Challenge Kids from the school they work at. This system can be applied to support home study for students of regular schools as well.There are two methods of participating in Challenge Kids: server access and client access. FirstClass is used as a server. Client software is free. With version 3.5 or better, performance is close to that of a regular server.
FirstClass uses a fixed port so you have to be able to use this port. Some school lost its ability to access the Internet because the port was closed.
I published the studentfs name and picture with his and his parentfs consent.
Nakasatsunai High School for the Handicapped Takaoka School for the Handicapped
School for the Handicapped attached to Toyama University
Ioh School for the Handicapped
Ishikawa Prefectural School for the Handicapped Nanao School for mentally retarded
Heiwa-machi School for Disabled Children
Koumei School for the Physically Handicapped
School for mentally retarded attached to Faculty of Education, Shiga University
Moriyama School for the Handicapped Ohginosato Elementary School
Aoyama Elementary School Ishiyama Elementary School
Otsu-municipal Hirano-elementary school Mikumo Elementary School
Mikumo-Higashi Elementary School Bodaiji-Kita Elementary School
Notogawa Junior High School
School for the Mentally Retarded attached to Faculty of Education at Fukui University
Harue Elementary School
School for the Handicapped attached to Wakayama University
School for the Handicapped attached to Kobe University
Anan School for the Handicapped
School for the Handicapped attached to Ehime University
School for the Handicapped attached to Naruto University of Education
School for the Handicapped attached to Yamaguchi University
Kinryu School for the Physically Handicapped
Simajiri School for the Handicapped
Shinichi Ichikawa, graduate school of pedagogy at Tokyo University
Akira Arakawa, KEIO GIJUKU FUTUUBU High School
Fumio Uchida, Miyamoto Elementary School, Saitama
Ryuji Enomoto, Sinjuku Yamabuki High School, Tokyo
Tadaaki Matsuzawa, Sayama-Minami Elementary School, Saitama
Tetsuji Yamaguchi, Sayama City Education Center, Saitama
Kazuhiko Ishihara, Otsu-municipal Hirano-elementary school, Shiga
Shinichi Ohmata, Komakiminami Elementary School, Aichi
Takashi Yamawaki, Nakayama Elementary School, Tottori
Eiji Ohoka, Utsumi Elementary School, Aichi
Motohiro Tamai et al., Suzuhari Elementary School, Hiroshima
Hideo Uno, Elementary School, attached to the faculty of education Fukui Univ, Fukui
Masaru Ueda, Shimada Elementary School, Tokushima
Setsuo Iwano, Minami-Koshigaya Elementary School, Saitama
Akira Arakawa, KEIO GIJUKU FUTUUBU High School, Kanagawa
Masaaki Ichige, Kasama Junior High School, Ibaraki
Koichi Hashiguchi, Fukuoka Junior High School attached to Fukuoka University of Education, Fukuoka
Koichi Kawakami et al., Junior High School attached to the Faculty of Education, Okayama University, Okayama
Kazuto Orita et al., Daiyon Junior High School, Gunma
Hironao Nakamura, Chofu Junior High School, Yamaguchi
Shunji Kin, Daini Junior High School, Yamagata
Akiko Ueno, Seisen Jr. and Sr. High School, Kanagawa
Naomi Omori, Reitaku High School, Chiba
Iwao Iguchi et al., Tohoku Gakuin High School, Miyagi
Tatsuya Saito, Iwai High School, Ibaraki
Kunio Takahashi, Togane Girlsf High School, Chiba
Takashi Baba, Nobeoka Commercial High School, Miyazaki
Takayoshi Ogura, Yonago-South Commercial High School, Tottori
Keiji Zuiki, Tsukumi High School, Oita
Hiroshi Nedachi, School for the Mentally Handicapped attached to the Faculty of Educational Humanities, Yokohama National University, Kanagawa
Tatsunori Ono, Kinryu School for the Physically Handicapped, Saga
Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan (IPA) is a quasi-governmental organization established in 1970 with a mission of promoting information technology and the information industry. Its activities include surveying, and R & D on software technology, the promotion of the development and utilization of computer programs, and providing support for the information-processing services industry.
Center for Educational Computing (CEC) was established in 1986 as a foundation supported by the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
Its activities include research and development on the basic computer system technologies and the dissemination of educational computing in schools throughout Japan.
Actual Example of Lessons Using the Internet II
Published in May 1998
Published by:Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan (IPA)
Center for Educational Computing (CEC)