DNP to Provide Digital Pen System Targeting Tablet Terminals Owned by School Students

Will facilitate provision of input functions from paper to e-texts and learning applications

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) has developed a system designed to digitalize text and diagrams created on paper by school students using a digital pen, and allowing for the sharing of this data not only on instructor computers or tablet terminals, but also between tablet terminals used by school students. DNP has entered into an alliance with the sales arm for ICT-related products of Daiwabo Information System Co., Ltd., a major marketer of tablet terminals for educational purposes, and the new service will be launched in June, 2014.

Looking ahead, DNP will also form alliances with vendors of software for educational purposes, and develop functions facilitating the input from paper to e-texts on tablet terminals used by school students, and educational applications, aiming for adoption by a total of 2,000 schools by March 31, 2015.

[Background to Provision of the Digital System]

We have seen increased adoption of tablet terminals by school students at primary and middle schools, through the Future School Promotion Project promoted by Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) since 2010, as well as ICT projects designed to create employment in the regions. It is planned that every school student will be provided with a terminal by the fiscal year for 2020. DNP operates a classroom support system that instantly digitalizes and forwards text and diagrams written on paper by school students using a digital pen,   to instructor computers or tablet terminals, or allows it to be projected it on to an electronic blackboard. This system has already been adopted by 600 primary and middle schools, and is used in classroom work totaling 150 academic units. It is going with the flow of this background that needs have emerged from schools that have already adopted digital pens to use them in tandem with tablet terminals. Schools aim to share paper-based hand-written text, along with the underlying thinking processes, on available terminals, and conduct classroom work where the learning experience can be shared by all students. DNP also received positive comments from schools that had introduced tablet terminals, such as participants in the Future School Promotion Project. Some schools had reverted to paper-based hand-written answers based on the need to write large amounts of text in order to explain mathematical proofs and in reading comprehension in language and literature classes. However, as a result of introducing digital pens, it has been found that tablet terminals can be used once again, and it was against this backdrop that DNP developed and will provide a digital system that can be linked to tablet terminals used by school students.  

[Overview of the Digital Pen System]

The contents written on paper using student digital pens is forwarded to the student's tablet terminal in real-time by Bluetooth, and transferred to the teacher's computer or tablet terminal by Wi-Fi. Apart from allowing the teacher to display the contents input by the student on an electronic blackboard or projector, it is also possible for students to browse contents updated by other students on their own tablet terminals. Uses include formats whereby students each use a tablet terminal and a digital pen as a set, or where one complete set is distributed to a group of students making it possible for each students or group to share the contents input by its members. It is possible to connect up to 5 digital pens to each tablet terminal, making it possible to share the contents of individual inputs in a group work format. Other available functions include, the storage and replay of input contents, the printing out* of the dedicated paper used with digital pens, and simple surveys.

* A color printer certified for use with the dedicated paper for digital pens is offered on an optional basis.

[Features of the Digital Pen System]

  • Students can extract a portion of the contents input by other students and display it on their tablet terminals, allowing them to compare a variety of opinions and answers. And by replaying the order in which answers were input, it is also possible to study the thinking process of the student that input the contents.
  • Utilizing a tablet terminal for instructor uses, also makes it possible to for the instructor to carry out classwork by referring to individual student inputs at the same time as moving around the classroom.
  • As digital pen coordinate only axis data is forwarded by Wi-Fi from student tablet terminals to the teacher's computer or tablet terminal, it is possible to perform smooth data transfers even in instances where the students input data simultaneously.  

[Looking Ahead] 

The digital pen system will be marketed under a discretionary price system. DNP has entered into an alliance with the sales arm for ICT-related products of Daiwabo Information System Co., Ltd., and will market this system to municipal educational committees throughout Japan. DNP will also enter into alliances with vendors, and work to link this system, which has made it possible to input hand written text, with various other learning applications for tablets, such as digital texts and teaching materials, collaborative learning systems, and class support systems.  


* Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG Inc.
* Product prices, specification and service contents mentioned in this news release are current as of the date of publication. They may be changed at any time without notice.