DNP to Make Full-Fledged Entrance into Education-Related Business

Will develop ICT-driven learning materials and establish new learning style

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) will make a full-fledged entry into the education-related business. The Company will leverage ICT to jointly conduct researches with schools, researchers and other experts, aiming to develop the necessary learning environment of the future. DNP will establish learning methodologies and learning management techniques, while also creating the teaching materials needed for ICT-driven learning.

As the initial offering in this new series, and in conjunction with Professor Daisuke Fujikawa of Chiba University, the Company has commenced the development of collaborative learning teaching materials that include game-like elements targeting elementary and junior high schools. And in order to target universities, in conjunction with the Academic Link Center of Chiba University, DNP is developing teaching materials that use digital maps to help students gain a deeper understanding of a classic work of ancient Japanese literature - Fudoki (Records of the culture and geography of the provinces of Japan). And from April 2015, Chiba University has launched lectures using this teaching material.

[DNP and Education-Related Business]

The education field is undergoing significant changes, such as the progressive introduction of ICT into the learning environment, and the search is on for an effective learning style driven by ICT equipment, such as tablet terminals. DNP proposes a new learning style that fuses together the analogue elements of existing paper-based teaching materials with the advantages of ICT, and will offer a service to support learning sites that are looking to promote ICT-driven education.

Beginning with collaborative learning that emphasizes active learning, and a service producing optimal teaching materials on a timely basis, DNP will develop businesses in the three following areas. Firstly, new teaching materials designed to support library-study-based investigative learning, secondly, software supporting classroom work, along with ICT systems linked to tablet terminals used in lectures, and thirdly, school information systems, aiming to boost operational efficiency at schools, manage learning results, and support the studies of each and every student, while handling a variety of information related to the school, the home and the locality.  

[Teaching Materials that Include Game-Like Elements]

The teaching materials developed by DNP have been created to answer the needs of schools looking to conduct ICT-driven collaborative learning, and use a gamification technique that takes in game-like elements, including the use of learning mascots that act as MCs to guide the learning proceedings. Such teaching materials make it possible to operate a consistent lecture from the display of learning challenges, through motivation, and the summarization of collaborative learning efforts.

Demonstration tests based on this learning material will be executed from June 2015 at multiple elementary and junior high schools in Tokyo and Chiba prefecture.

[Collaborative Learning Teaching Materials]

  • These materials have been developed so as to allow for a learning mascot to act as MC, present the learning challenges, and guide the lectures in line with a pre-set scenario.
  • As a result of taking in game-like elements to help students learn in a fun manner, it is possible to promote voluntary participation by children and students in subjects and teaching units that would otherwise have been difficult for them. At the same time, children and students can learn in a collaborative manner while exchanging opinions and ideas.
  • As teaching staff can conduct class work in line with teaching material scenarios, it is possible to give more time to individual instruction in line with the reduction in time needed for blackboard-based work.
  • The materials have also been prepared to allow for collaborative learning that effectively combines analogue tools, such as paper-based worksheets, with ICT-environments at each school, such as tablet terminals and electronic blackboards.

[Teaching Materials]

  • Moral education: teaching materials will be developed with the objective of improving skills under the topics of hospitality, etiquette and communication for Moral Education which will be included in the curriculum from the school year for 2018.
  • Subject units (Arithmetic, Mathematics, and Japanese): The aim is to learn the necessary knowledge and skills in order to enhance language activities. In arithmetic and mathematics, teaching materials will be developed so that children and students can develop the capabilities to solve fractions, graphics and ratios, areas where children are prone to succumb to inherent insecurities, and units known for having high failure rates. In Japanese, these skills include the recording, explaining, reporting, introduction, communication of one's impressions, and debating techniques necessary in everyday life.

Scene from collaborative learning teaching materials

[Digital Maps for Universities]

As a result of introducing ICT at universities, we have seen a significant increase in instances of teaching staff using self-produced teaching materials in lectures in place of existing academic texts. In answer to this, Maruzen Company, Limited (Maruzen), a DNP Group Company is developing a service to support the production and distribution of self-produced teaching materials via the combination of paper and digital information media. DNP and Maruzen in conjunction with the Academic Link Center at Chiba University, have been involved in R&D designed to deepen student understanding, by digitalizing practice problems, and using them in a learning management system environment. The partners have also been involved in the preparation of digital materials and permissioning tasks when digitalizing materials. And in this latest development, in order to help students gain a deeper understanding of Fudoki, Google Map-based digital maps have been developed. These teaching materials, display photographs of historical landmarks along the route, and explanations of the events that took place at each location. This facilitates visual-based learning by being able to compare ancient and modern maps, and allowing students to further deepen their understanding. Lectures based on these teaching materials have been started in earnest at the Chiba University, Faculty of Literature from the teaching year begun April 2015.

[Future Developments]

In conjunction with Toshokan Ryutsu Center Co., Ltd. that develops cooperative links with specific localities and libraries, Maruzen, whose strength is in the university area, Kyoiku Shuppan Co., Ltd engaged in text book production, and Nihon Unisys, Ltd., DNP will develop and provide educational systems, services and teaching materials. The Company will also actively cooperate with publishing companies, and ICT vendors, and expand education-related business opportunities to kindergartens and nursery schools, schools, universities and lifetime education facilities, aiming for sales of 10.0 billion yen by FY 2020.

 

* 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.