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

Planning lessons using a Networking System
—Advanced Use Project: Using Existing Databases—

Yoshinobu Arao, Tama University Meguro High School

1. Introduction

We would like to mention some things you should know when using a network in your lessons (database), and to help you plan lessons similar to the ones we conducted in our project, "Advanced Use Project: Using Existing Databases."

2. A lesson using Nikkei Shimbun's (newspaper) database

(1) Lesson outline

Teacher: Ms. Noriko Watanabe (social studies)
Students: Eleventh graders (one class)
Time: One lesson (45 minutes)
Activity: A group study as part of the "modern society" lesson.
In the lesson, Ms. Watanabe used articles found in Nikkei Shimbun's database related to environmental problems. In a previous lesson, students learned of measures taken by companies to protect the environment, to prepare for the group study. Each group selected keywords beforehand, so they could concentrate on searching the database during the lesson.

(2) Lesson Preparation

1. Calculate how many computers we can use to access the Internet (Internet access: analog 28.8 bps, leased line via TRAIN) and decide on the lesson format
In this lesson, the teacher, with six groups of six or seven students each, used a total of seven computers.

2. Prep work for using the network
As on-line dictionaries or stationery, computers and networks should be used in a lesson without hindering the original content of the subject. To achieve this goal, we wanted to develop a system in which teachers could smoothly incorporate Internet into their lessons. We then decided to teach some students how to use networks, to make it possible for them to assist the teacher. We felt that teaching only several students would be enough, since most students in the class could enter Japanese characters.

We selected three students who used a browser on regular basis in the computer club, and spent about three hours teaching them how to use the Nikkei Shimbun database. Ms. Watanabe also spent about ten hours learning how to use a browser and a database.

3. How the Nikkei Shimbun database works

We searched for data using various keywords, and examined more effective ways of searching.

1) Things to watch for when using the Nikkei Shimbun database

(3) Carrying out the lesson

I gave students a brief lesson in using a browser and the Nikkei Shimbun database, using Mac Ace at the beginning of the lesson. Ms. Watanabe conducted the remaining portion.

Students were able to search efficiently, because we accessed the database's home page before the lesson started. Each group printed out its results for use in the following lesson.

1) Things to be look for, and how things went
2) Examples of keywords used in the lesson: Earth summit, nature conservation movement, global environmental problems, energy saving, recycle, environmental impact assessment.
(4) Benefits of using Nikkei Shimbun's database in our lesson

3. Actions required in using a network for a lesson (existing database)

1. Know the line capacity. If we plan a lesson that demands more line capacity than is available, proper results cannot be obtained.

2. Plan a lesson according to line capacity.

3. Practice using the database in advance. When using a network for a limited time, we should confirm the best way to use it to prevent problems from occurring.

4. Instruct assistants to provide lessons efficiently.

5. Hopefully, make sure all of the students know how use a browser. (In my homeroom, during the long homeroom class, students access various colleges through the college information available on our school's home page, becoming familiar with browsers in this way.)

4. Conclusion

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