Conference to introduce results from the 100-School Networking Project (Phase II)
Theme meeting

A Report on International Exchange Between High School Students from Five Different Countries along the Pacific Basin
—Joining the Internet Classroom Project—

Yoichi Tsuji, Tezukayama Gakuin Izumigaoka High School

1. Goals

(1) Creating and running a virtual classroom

(2) Use of a virtual classroom in lessons

(3) Education about international understanding and information

(4) Teaching foreign languages (English, Japanese, and Korean)

(5) Communicating with schools in the areas where time differences do not pose a problem



2. Project term

October 1997–January 1998


3. Preparation and the interim report conference

Conference between schools from three nations, held in Hyogo Prefecture (in July 1997)

Conference between schools from four nations, held in Osaka Prefecture (in December 1997)

Other conferences and study group meetings were held several times during the term.


4. Participating schools

(1) Australia: two high schools

(2) United States: two high schools and two colleges

(3) Korea: two high schools

(4) Canada: one high school

(5) Japan: eight high schools


5. Theme

(1) Multiculturalism: Australian room

(2) People's lives a hundred years ago: American room

(3) Pre-study for a school trip: Korean room

(4) Our environment: Canadian room

(5) Communication using CU-SeeMe: Japanese room



6. Benefits and problems

Benefits

(1) Creating a network for teachers
Teachers were able to establish a network, overcoming problems including far-flung locations, school types, student ages, lesson styles, and environments for Internet use.

(2) Increased international understanding and information-related knowledge
A composition written by a child who immigrated to Australia
A composition written by students from an international school in Canada with complicated cultural and family backgrounds
National pride of Korean students

(3) Collaborating with other teachers and colleges
Collaborating with the domestic science class on food and gender differences (Akatsukayama High School)
Collaborating with the social studies class in a study conducted with Korean students (Tezukayama High School)
Learning about the real world by communicating with students from a community college (Seiryo Commercial High School)
Collaborating with a social studies class on mental health (Kaizukita High School)

(4) Exchanging substantive letters in English
"Developing your mind," "the Japanese economy," and "an Information-oriented society" (Kaizukita High School)
Manuscript for an English speech contest (Tezukayama High School)

(5) Conducting school events to increase their significance for students (Tezukayama High School)
A teleconference held at a foreign language camp
Sending information overseas about an English speech contest
A school trip to Korea and a joint study between Japan and Korea, using CU-SeeMe

Problems

(1) Lack of exchange between teachers, rules concerning the volume of e-mail to be written in English, and lack of clear grasp of the theme

(2) Suitability of the coordinators

(3) Problems concerning copyrights

(4) Regulations protecting personal information and problems concerning the publication of personal information on home pages

(5) Differences in vacation and school term dates

(6) Lack of communication between classrooms

(7) Lack of a system to deal with problems—he server crashed during one communication session. (Kobe Commercial High School)

(8) Delays in starting the project



7. Proposals

(1) Collecting model sentences for writing letters in English

(2) Holding regular meetings using CU-SeeMe

(3) Creating an Internet high school


8. Tezukayama High School activities

(1) Participants: seventy-six tenth graders from two classes of *the International course*
Subject: English
(2) Flow of activity
A survey of student awareness
Learning about information basics and mastering e-mail
Meeting students from other schools (using a teleconferencing system and CU-SeeMe)
Exchanging substantive letters
Experiencing the fun of the Internet, by viewing home pages
Regular meetings and lessons

Activities thus far

April: We surveyed student awareness of international communications and the Internet.

July: Students from Hawaii and Korea participated in our foreign language camp.

August: A PCL room was established. (Fifty computers with Internet access were installed.)

September: Students from our computer club demonstrated a network game in the PCL room at the school festival.

October: In the PCL room, tenth graders in *the International course* learned how to use a computer and how to send e-mail.
To prepare for the school trip, students corresponded with students from two high schools in Korea.

December: Students in Japan and Korea jointly studied "the history of *Mt. Touki*" (using an ISDN teleconferencing system).
Five teachers from schools participating in the project visited our school and took part in this study.
We sent video mail of students from *the International course* giving speeches for their English speech contest to schools in Korea and Australia.
We tested CU-SeeMe several times with schools in Hawaii and Korea.
Students of the computer club managed and maintained the club's web server.

January: Using CU-SeeMe, we began holding regular meetings with Korean students.



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