【Z-kai Inc.】Notice regarding selection for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s “Project for Classrooms of the Future – Learning Innovation”

Z-kai Inc.

The Z-kai group, as a “Knowledge Navigator”, will concentrate its efforts to maximize learning effectiveness in inquiry-based learning for eighth-grade students at Nihon University Mishima Senior and Junior High School.

Z-kai Inc. (CEO: Takaaki Fujii: below, “Z-kai”), having been selected to take part in the project of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (below, “METI”), is pleased to announce the conclusion of a contract as set out below with Boston Consulting Group (below, “BCG”), the administrative office for the said project.

Name of project

The Project for Classrooms of the Future - Learning Innovation
(FY2017 supplementary budget, ‘Classrooms of the Future’ Project to Create Learning Opportunities  Project to Promote Links between Education and Society)

Name of company Z-kai Inc.
Outline of the project Demonstration project as a Knowledge Navigator in junior high school

More information regarding the demonstration project can be found in the press release below.
BCG: https://www.bcg.com/ja-jp/d/press/17july2018-Future-Academy-197281

It is expected that the number of operators in the Project for Classrooms of the Future will gradually increase. However, at the present time Z-kai is the only participant operating in the position of ‘Knowledge Navigator’ (Details below). As a company delivering the best services to meet overall educational needs, Z-kai will take the lead in learning innovation through the cooperative interaction of human abilities and ICT (Information and Communication Technology).

Outline of the Project for Classrooms of the Future - Learning Innovation

It is said that the present-day society of Japan is ushering in the next industrial revolution (Industrial revolution 4.0) brought about by the spread of AI, robots and IoT. “Change makers”, people who can resolve the complicated issues of our rapidly-changing world and who can promote innovation, will be of greater and greater importance in our future society. And in order to develop this kind of human resource, changes need to be made in our education system. Under these circumstances, attention is being focused on EdTech (< Educational Technology), innovative educational techniques that actively incorporate technology.

Under the Project for Classrooms of the Future - Learning Innovation, Z-kai will combine the know-how and cutting-edge technologies of various industries with the advantages of traditional education to develop services and programs that will make the “Classrooms of the Future” a reality. The aim of the project is to create a successful case and to identify the challenges in its development and operation: and to pave the way eventually to the materialization of Classrooms of the Future throughout Japan.

Structure of the Project for Classrooms of the Future - Learning Innovation
Outline of the project to be carried out by Z-kai Inc.

The focus of this project is to carry out a longitudinal study of the same group of students for up to five years in order to spread student-centered Classrooms of the Future throughout the country. (The present contract is valid for 2018-2019. It is expected that a separate appeal for applications will be made in following years.)

In the current year, Z-kai will work in collaboration with the demonstration school to seek learning styles that help students to absorb themselves in exciting inquiry-based and collaborative study through efficient learning of the curriculum by making use of the Edtech tools developed by Z-kai and its subsidiaries.

Specifically, the company will help students in the effective acquisition of knowledge and skills using the adaptive learning methods of the Z-kai Asteria Four English Skills course and New Systematic Mathematics course, and offer remote collaborative learning using the system of the Z-kai Asteria Comprehensive Inquiry-based Learning course to develop non-cognitive skills. Furthermore, Z-kai staff will attend classes and field trips in order to offer the best materials and subject matter, whether digital or analog, in the optimum form for each student, to help students deepen their inquiry-based learning.

Through these efforts, Z-kai will act as a Knowledge Navigator leading individual students to “personalized deep learning”. In addition, Z-kai will evaluate students’ thinking skills and expressivity, qualities that are difficult to visualize from the adjusted standard deviation score or school grades, by setting the Z-kai group’s assessment test LIPHARE before and after the project.

The project will over a period of up to 5 years investigate the correlation between inquiry-based learning and academic assessment including the results of achievement tests at the demonstration school; examine how the second-year junior high school students change as they graduate from high school and go on to choose a career; and contribute to the optimization of the curriculum of the demonstration school and to the improvement of inquiry-based learning.

About the demonstration school

This project will be conducted in collaboration with the second-year students of Nihon University Mishima Junior High School. In this project, a part of regular classes (Morality, Home Economics and Integrated Studies) will be used for research activities, and students will each choose a topic to research from the theme of eating habits, studied in Home Economics class. All of the over 2,000 students at Nihon University Mishima Senior and Junior High School have an iPad with LTE connection and they use the device daily as a “Study Tool”.

On February 17 2018, an open class was held and the junior high school second-year students gave a presentation on Tourism, utilizing the “remote collaborative learning” of Z-kai Asteria’s Comprehensive Inquiry-based Learning course. The students gave their presentation to professionals and received feed-back. In the current project this activity will be further expanded and students will further deepen their inquiry-based studies in preparation for open presentations that will be given twice in the school year.

Nihon University Mishima Junior High School