Conference to introduce results from the 100-School Networking Project (Phase
Junior high school meeting
Use of the Internet in Junior High Schools
Actual Use in Classes and Comprehensive Study
Takemi Hanada, Fuzoku Fukuoka Junior High School attached to
Fukuoka University of Education
- Our school is one of two schools from Fukuoka Prefecture participating in
the 100-School Networking Project. We set up nine client computers in our
computer room in FY 1997, and tried using them in our lessons. Since our school
was appointed as a research school in FY 1995, we've been designated to school
of research and development and worked on developing more comprehensive lessons.
We would like to report on our research into using computers in developing
more comprehensive lessons.
2. Activities in regular lessons
- 1) English (eighth graders)
We examined the yearly curriculum and re-planned the units, creating as many
opportunities as possible to use the Internet, as appropriate for each unit.
- We classified study materials into three rough categories. (SUNSHINE ENGLISH
"Who are the Aborigines?" "Who's Pele?"
To motivate them and provoke interest in the lesson, students view home
pages and pose questions about their content by e-mail.
Learning how to express oneself
"Let's send e-mail to people all over the world"
Students compose e-mail, learning he unique expressions used when writing
letters in English.
"My volunteer activity"
Students express their ideas on volunteering and write about actual experiences
in our English home page, then listen to opinions and have them evaluated
by people not associated with our school.
- Exchange with people living abroad, using e-mail
- In the beginning, teachers from both Japan and overseas played a larger
role in overseeing children's activities. But now all students have a pen
pal, with whom they correspond on their own, through e-mail. They write e-mail
once a week in their English lesson, during lunch break, and after school.
2) Art classVisual communication design (ninth graders)
Students normally create a poster to learn the value of communicating through
visuals. We decided to use home pages instead, given their increasing popularity
and effectiveness in communicating with visual information. By creating a
home page, we hoped to cultivate students' design skills, including skill
in choosing shapes, colors, and letters. In using the Internet, we wanted
to accomplish the following three things:
- Students create a home page as an exercise in learning about visual communication
- Students ask for expert advice by e-mail.
- Make student home pages available to people outside of the school on the
- 3) Technical arts and home economicsUsing the Internet to introduce
woodworking (seventh graders)
We established a unit on "Forest environment problems, and creating a
home page for them" at the beginning of our study of making things from
wood, which is in the subject of technical arts and home economics. Students
researched forest problems by visiting Nishi Park, located near our school,
and a branch forest office. They then created a home page, incorporating what
they learned. People not associated with our school sent their impressions
and opinions by e-mail, and evaluated student work.
- Summarize the results of the research and create a home page. (creating
and sending information)
- Collect impressions of and opinions from experts and people interested in
the problem by e-mail. (evaluation from people not associated with the school)
3. Comprehensive study
- At our school, we emphasize a curriculum that nurtures the personalities
of our students and cultivates their ability to learn how to live and learn.
Our revised curriculum consists of regular courses, comprehensive study, and
special activities. We established the units "How to live," "World
time," and "Graduation research" as part of our comprehensive
study. In these lessons, students select their own themes and study them independently,
using the Internet to gather information, and expressing their own ideas.
I would like to introduce some examples of how the Internet is used in the
lessons "Graduation research" and "How to live."
1) Using the Internet to collect information for the researchcomprehensive
study, " Graduation research"
Students reviewed their work over three years, including subjects studied
(regular subjects, "How to live," and "World time"), personal
hobbies and specialties, and club activities, then did a more intensive study
of a subject that interests them, and of possible future ways of living. Teachers
advised then on using the Internet for research within classes for the subjects
"World time," and "How to live."
2) Using the Internet to express themselvesomprehensive study, "How
In this lesson, to follow modern educational goals, we chose five themes;
friends, social welfare, the environment, traditional culture, and international
understanding. We teach students about these themes over three years to cultivate
a capacity for lives that are in harmony with nature, culture, other people,
and society. The lesson consists of three stages: grasping the problem, findings
ways to solve it, and implementing a solution. Students are supposed to learn
about the problem and decide what to do, while experiencing the whole process.
We feel that creating a home page to report what students learn during their
research is part of the solution.
Comprehensive study is a method of learning that involves problem-solving
and a cross-subject approach. Students use the Internet as a tool to collect
and send information, independently discovering various ways to learn. The
Internet creates the opportunity for global study, allows students to think
and express themselves from a global viewpoint, and improves their communication
- Using the Internet is becoming more common in our school, and from using
it in regular courses and comprehensive study, students' ideas about the Internet
are changing. The results of our activities follow:
- In our regular lessons, we were able to teach a wider range of material,
beyond what we traditionally have done, by using the Internet to exchange
- In our comprehensive study, students were able to experience more independent
problem-solving styles by using the Internet to collect and exchange information.
- The Internet has become a common tool to collect and send information as
part of our students' education.
We also met with some problems in using the Internet.
- Problems with hardware, communication networks, and software
The numbers of computers connected to the Internet and line speed sometimes
limits study. Maintenance of the server is too difficult for teachers and
requires expert help. More software that can be easily used by students needs
to be developed.
- Deeper understanding of methods for collecting necessary information and
the necessity of providing more meaningful information
It's hard to find the information that would help solve these problems. As
yet, students are unable to get this information using e-mail and bulletin
boards by themselves. And students have not yet learned that providing high-quality
information is just important as receiving it.
Conference to introduce results from the 100-School Networking Project (Phase II)