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Monday, 27th September 2010
In General Japan News,

Japan classroom to use digital textbooks

A new project in Japanese schools will involve the introduction of digital textbooks.

In the trial, a total of ten elementary schools will provide students with tablet PCs as part of a new pilot to increase the use of IT for education. The same schools will also install electronic blackboards in classrooms.

The specially-designed computers will allow the children to trace characters on-screen and can act as a virtual sheet of paper, reports AFP.

Textbook publisher Mitsumura Tosho has confirmed that its teacher digital textbooks are already used in 3,000 schools and this latest pilot could help to extend the benefits directly to pupils.

However, the new devices are unlikely to replace traditional pen and paper methods.

"There is big doubt on whether digital tools will replace all paper-based materials. We adults also print documents if the information is important," said Masami Matsumura, a software marketing official of Mitsumura Tosho.

The pilot scheme is expected to start next month and will be eventually extended to include 50 schools in 2011.

A recent AP report claimed Japanese education officials are considering increasing the size of school textbooks in an attempt to improve student results.

Written by Mark Smith