Outline of the E square (e2) Project

E-square Project (Japanese)

1. Project Objectives
The E Square (e2) Project was designed to realize the following three objectives:

(1) Enabling the knowledge obtained as a result of the 100-School Networking Project to be shared with as many outside parties as possible, and ensuring that schools planning to access the Internet or improve their current network environment are able to easily and effectively use that resulting knowledge.
(2) Providing all project participants, from newcomers to advanced net users, with an opportunity to study together and expand their knowledge in an environment conducive to the free and open sharing of ideas.
(3) Verifying the effectiveness of advanced educational methods incorporating information and other such technology.

2. Project Background
The 100-School Networking Project introduced the Internet and other information technology to approximately 100 schools with advanced information orientation in 1994, when net use was still not common even in large companies. This project enabled participating schools to conduct joint research, thereby demonstrating the effectiveness and potential of the Internet in the field of education. Several other Internet-based projects have been conducted. The Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture (MOE) is undertaking research-and-development projects involving net use at schools. Such private-sector educational projects as the "KonettPlan" and "MediaKids" also employ the net, and there is yet another project currently underway that aims to provide Internet access to approximately 40,000 public schools nationwide by the end of 2001. The number of schools with Internet access is expected to steadily increase thanks to this project.

3. Project Name
"E square (e2) Project"
Meaning behind the project name:The "E square" is a square in cyberspace that is designed for education. The capital "E" in this project name stands for two adjectives -- "educational" and "electronic." We adopted the word "square" because, like a plaza in the heart of a town that enables participants to increase their knowledge through communication. Our project is open to all comers involved in education. The project is intended to provide data to net users at elementary, junior high, and senior high schools around the country. We adopted the abbreviation "e2" because of the two "e"'s -- "educational" and "electronic" -- and another meaning of the word "square" to multiply a number by itself.

4. Project Outline
The E square (e2) Project consists of the following two projects:
(1) School Network Support Project
Providing opportunities for both schools planning to access and those having already utilized the Internet, to communicate and interact with each other and to join the corporative projects with the Internet use. Information service on technology to introduce and to use the Internet at school shall also be provided.

(2) Advanced Information-Technology Application Project
Inviting applications and examining the cases of schools planning project work which use advanced technology and methods on the network. The results shall be published on the E square homepage and openly discussed.

5. Operation of the Project
The E square (e2) Project Promotion and Cooperation Committee shall be established to discuss the introduction of information-based education to schools and plan cooperative learning projects. Sub-committees or research councils, consisting of academics and specialists, shall be set up in order to make policies and plans and to evaluate the results. The Information-technology Promotion Agency and the Center for Educational Computing shall be the secretariat of the E square project in cooperation with the National Education Center. They will work to ensure the effective implementation of the projects. We will incorporate into our proj- ects the achievements of other projects designed for the promotion of information-based education at schools, as the need arises. We will work to advance our projects in cooperation with universities, educational institutions, and network projects that are already assisting schools. We will also launch public-relations activities in order to expand our activities under this project and disseminate information on its achievements.