Conference to introduce results from the 100-School Networking Project (Phase
Junior high school meeting
Authoring on the Internet
Masakazu Fukushima, Sendai Daiichi Junior High School
- In FY 1997, as part of our Internet use project, we combined subject study
with special activities and undertook a more comprehensive approach to teaching.
In social studies, we taught students about the Sannai-Maruyama ruins before
the actual visit, and this lesson proved useful in preparing them for the
trip. For the first time, eighth graders interacted with students from other
local junior high schools in outdoor activities. In English classes, we used
the Internet to teach rapid reading skills to enable students to skim English
when searching for information. This effort had the added benefit of arousing
the interest of students who had been somewhat unenthusiastic about the study
We use the Internet for authoring and for exchanging data. We believe this
allows students to create more advanced simulations and to share each other's
data, resulting in more effective learning. Installed four years ago, the
computers at our school have hard disk capacities of only 170 MB, and came
with Windows 3.1. Installing Windows 95 to improve access to the Internet
eliminated much of what free hard disk space we had. As a result, we are considering
ways of using software on the Internet. We now use WWW authoring software
and store data on our Internet or LAN servers. This leaves at least 20 MB
of hard disk space for various other files, including plug-ins and ActiveX
2. Examples of usage
- Social studies for eighth graders Unit: "Places we know—The Yotsuya
The Yotsuya irrigation canal was built about four hundred years ago by order
of Masamune Date, the founder of the Sendai clan. Its main channel still runs
through our school district, though its appearance is quite different from
that in the past.
We focused our student research on the history of this irrigation canal, finding
out more about the area where we live. We reproduced a portion of the canal
that is no longer visible using VRRM. Students learned a lot from this experience,
and they came up with many interesting questions. They summarized and organized
what they had learned by contrasting the Yotsuya irrigation canal as it was
then and as it is now. We placed this information on our home page to make
it available to others via the Internet.
The purpose of this lesson was to learn about the intense efforts of the people
who once lived here to improve their province; and to use this information
to see our present lives from a different perspective. The goal of publishing
our research results on the Internet was to spur students to better efforts.
On the home page, our students published their questions and discoveries,
including surprise findings, expressing their wonder at the ruins found in
our hometown. Their research deepened their knowledge of their region and
deepened their perceptions of the modern world.
An optional art class for ninth graders
As we did last year, computers connected to the Internet were set up in the
art room, making them available to anyone at any time. As we did last year,
we used the Internet to teach art appreciation in the ninth grade elective
class. We established the "Ichibou Museum" in an empty classroom as part of
a memorial project to celebrate our school's fiftieth anniversary. We collected
the work of painters from our province and displayed them on our home page,
with comments from the painters, and used them in our lessons. Installing
Mac OS8 has made using the computers easier and has reduced the number of
mistakes made by the students.
Yotsuya irrigation canal
- Technical arts and home economics for ninth graders Unit: Using woodworking
software on the Internet
To learn how to make something from wood, our students made pens holder from
small logs. Later, they made a bookstand from sheets of wood from their own
design. Knowing from experience that students often fail in designing a bookshelf
because they don't have a sufficient grasp of drafting, I had our seventh
graders use computers to help with woodworking, with the idea that they would
learn both basic computing and techniques related to woodworking. I plan to
show the simulations, comparing them to the real thing. Every student needs
to complete a project. I use this software to raise their interest. My goal
is to get students, including those rather unskilled at technical drawing,
to become more interested in what they're doing, to understand the features
and methods of working with wood, and to improve their skills. My hope in
doing so is to improve their skills at creating something from wood and to
get them to consider its purpose and how it will be used.
A picture on display in the lchibou Museum
This software includes the following computer tools: choosing the front and
trigonometry, cabinet shape and isometric projection, bonding materials, direction
and strength of grain, straight grain and cross grain of wood, and logs and
boards. In the lesson, I plan to use mainly the front and trigonometry. One
characteristic of this software is that it uses WWW authoring software.
- Technical arts and home economics for ninth graders Unit: Using interior design
software on the Internet
Since FY 1994, we've used computers to learn about houses, designing dining
rooms and living rooms. Students came to see the planned three-dimensional
living space when looking at a floor plan, and learned to design their dream
LDK in no time at all. The disadvantage of the floor plan was that it lacked
symbols to indicate surface level and to designate furniture and appliances.
This hampered the ability of students to learn how to read floor plans correctly,
and how to arrange furniture while taking into account the movement of people
within a given space. To help students get a better understanding of LDK space,
I developed software for my class. In developing the software, I incorporated
various suggestions and listened to various expressions of dissatisfaction
regarding ActiveX software on the World Wide Web.
This software lets you to see a bookstand
from various angles
- Using the Internet for educational purposes poses some problems, including
difficulties with access. Our school set up fifty computers that are connected
to the Internet. Although we switched to a digital line this year, using more
than thirty computers at once still overloads our network. This problem should
be solved in the future.
Use of the Internet has become a regular part of our curriculum. I would like
to develop more software and to incorporate them into our comprehensive studies.
Conference to introduce results from the 100-School Networking Project (Phase II)