Special Session 2

Technology and Education in Japan: Research, Practice, and More

The President of JSET
Prof. Katsuaki Suzuki, Kumamoto University, Japan

Educational Technology Trends Toward a Super-Smart Society (Society 5.0) in Japan

The super-smart society or Society 5.0, as advocated by the government of Japan, calls for a major transformation of education to prepare future generations. This presentation introduces the educational technology trends in Japan that are related to the super-smart society (Society 5.0), a thrust in which the core researchers of Japan Society for Educational Technology (JSET) are involved.
In the presentation, the differences between traditional and design-oriented educational paradigms will be discussed first to clearly define Society 5.0. It is a keyword for the next generation of society, which has been used by the government of Japan to describe the image of a major societal change in the near future (MEXT, 2018). It is intended, not only to adapt to a digitally transformed society, but to lead such societal transformation. This has been advocated way back at the very beginning of the information society with the introduction of personal computers in schools (around 1985 in Japan). However, even though we are now well into the information society and anticipating another major shift to Society 5.0, school traditions remain almost the same in terms of core practices. The related issues and their possible causes in the current situation in Japan will also be discussed.
In order to address such issues, JSET itself is transitioning toward Society 5.0. The contributions of JSET in paving the way for Society 5.0 will be presented, alongside its brief history. JSET has been playing a major role in advancing information and communications technology (ICT) education in Japan from an academic viewpoint with its extensive and flexible approaches to research. Citing some JSET contributions, two examples will be introduced to showcase the educational technology trends in Japan. Finally, a plan for JSET’s dissemination of major parts of Japanese frameworks for ICT education in the English-speaking community will be suggested, including a newly established international journal called Information and Technology in Education and Learning (ITEL).

The President of JSiSE
Prof. Akihiro Kashihara, The University of Electro-Communications, Japan

Research on Information and Systems in Learning and Education

Learning is not easy for people. Lots of research on learning and education have addressed the issue how to help learners learn, but it has been still difficult to systematically support learning. The key towards the systematic support is to understand about learning from an informatics point of view. Research on informatics for learning and education has followed learning theories to model learning to develop methods and systems for learning support with technology. Japanese Society for Information and Systems in Education (JSiSE for short) has been the driving force behind this research field in Japan. In addition to theoretical development, JSiSE encourages practical use of models, methods, and systems. It also promotes the circular interaction between them where models, methods, and systems developed are evaluated in practice, findings from practice give rise to new questions, and questions found out in practice are addressed in theoretical development. In this talk, I introduce JSiSE, which includes history, main research, and academic activities. I also talk about research on theoretical development of models, methods, and systems JSiSE has been exploring, and its transition from past to future.

Akihiro Kashihara received the Ph.D. in Information and Computer Science from Osaka University in 1992. He was an assistant/associate professor in the Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research in Osaka University from 1992 to 2004. He is now a professor in the Graduate School of Informatics and Engineering, The University of Electro-Communications. His main research interests lie in designing of learning models, learning with robot, scaffolding with cognitive tools, and designing intelligent learning environments.