What is a Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s “Future Classrooms” demonstration project and overseas demonstration project?
In this age of competition in skills development aimed at producing creative, problem-solving human resources (changemakers), “Learning Innovation” using innovative skills development techniques (EdTech) is being rolled out globally. Using EdTech, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is developing and demonstrating a new learning program that combines efficient acquisition of knowledge with cultivation of the ability to identify creative challenges and solutions, with a focus on the three pillars of individually-optimized learning, integration of liberal arts and science (STEAM) and solutions to societal challenges, in order to achieve Future Classrooms designed for proactive learning.
In 2020, METI commissioned Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) to carry out a Future Classrooms demonstration project abroad with the aim of establishing and identifying the challenges of an effective global expansion model for Japanese EdTech firms.
”Future Classrooms” Demonstration Project
This column was written by Digika Co. Ltd., who implemented the “SoroTouch Verification Project on the effectiveness of Malaysian/Indonesian Version”.
“SoroTouch” Verification Project
“SoroTouch” is a new learning method where learners can enjoy acquiring abacus-style mental arithmetic efficiently.
If children between 5 to 8 years old study “SoroTouch” every day, they can develop advanced abacus-style mental arithmetic skills which can help them for life. “SoroTouch” is evolving everyday by integrating traditional abacus-style mental arithmetic with the latest technologies. We received Japan e-Learning Awards in 2017, Kids Design Awards in 2018, and was selected as the first ever SXSW EDU Launch Competition finalist as a Japanese company in 2019. In 2020 we applied and were selected for the “Future Classroom” overseas deployment support project hosted by METI and JETRO.
In Malaysia where we conduct our project, participating children acquired numeracy skills, and were capable of conducting mental arithmetic with only two months of learning, while having fun studying on their own pace through web lessons. We received thankful and comments reports from parents that children also seemed to develop cognitive skills as well.
Pictures: Children using “SoroTouch” in Malaysia.
The report on “Learning Effect” using “SoroTouch” patented technology was published at the international conference ICIET 2020.
Journal URL: https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3395245.3396417
OECD has emphasized numeracy and literacy to be the core foundation of learning in the “Learning Compass 2030”, and the expectation towards EdTech in actualizing effective learning has been increasing worldwide.
Discussing with educators around the world made us realize the strong need to look back and reflect on the foundational aspects. We need to keep our “back to basic” spirit, especially now that we in an age where educators need to strive in a world overflowing with information.
STEM education holds an important role in nurturing creativity. Competencies such as computational thinking, first principles thinking creates new values in this modern society, and it is clear that mathematics lies in the center of creation. But we cannot teach mathematics to a 5 year old. Mathematics is universal, and calculation is its introductory step. Dislikes towards mathematics develop from dislikes towards calculation. By developing methods for children to acquire calculation skills at a young age while having fun, we aim to foster confidence in using the universal language of “Numbers”.
The actual experience of acquiring abilities lets children have a “Growth Mindset” (thinking that you can grow through experience and effort) and gain perseverance. This can be the foundation for children’ learning and support for their passion, even if it is outside of the STEM area. Through developing abilities by “SoroTouch”, we plan to contribute in bringing out the infinite possibilities that people have.