About DiTT

Promoting the popularization of Digital Textbook
and Teaching initiative.

Human capital has been the key driver for social, cultural and economic development. As Japan is facing a declining birth rate and an increasing aging population, it has become increasingly important to develop initiatives and promote activities that will raise the capabilities of the shrinking youth population. In these uncertain times, we should be investing in education and bring it to greater heights.

The democratization of education through digital information technologies has become an important factor to spur change and improvement in the future of education.

Our world is now connected digitally, where we can have unlimited access to words, sounds, video and data. We can easily obtain knowledge and ideas to create new value prepositions and expressions.

In addition to the cultivation of high-level logical and thinking skills, digital information technology has become indispensible for the cultivation of creativity, expressions and communication skills.

With the advancement of digitalization, it has becomes possible for global connectivity where anybody in the world would be able to communicate, exchange ideas and learn from each other.

However, the digitalization of education in Japanese school is lagging behind this speed of change. According to the information from the Media Education Development Center in September 2008, the ratio of computer to students in Japanese schools was 1:7.3 (1 computer per 7.3 students)
In America, the ratio of computer to students was 1:3.8. In Korea the ratio was 1:5.7 and in the UK, it was 1.57. In comparison with other developed countries, Japan is regarded falling behind in terms of the school’s LAN equipment percentage and high-speed internet connection rate.

In fact, this problem is not only faced by Japan.
Initiatives are currently being developed and researched in terms of the techniques in education and learning.
As indicated by MIT Professor Seymour Papert: “If a 19th century surgeon arrives in a operation room now, he may not be able to perform some tasks. However if a 19th century teacher comes, I’m sure there is something that he can do. That is because pedagogies had not changed in this 150 years”.

The Meiji government had made education compulsory as Japan developed from an agricultural society to an industrial society. With the current development from an industrial society to being the information society, we seek the appropriate change in education as well.

The exponential change and advancement in information technology has already began.

There is an increased useage of PCs and tablet PCs for learning and educational purposes. Devices such as smart phones, mobile game consoles and electronic books are also being developed for the consumer market, and being used as learning tools for children of the information age.
One change-making example is the development of the $100 PC for children in America.

There is also an increasing number of universities where digitalized textbooks were being developed for the PC, and distributed via smart phones to students.

There are also infrastructural developments such as electronic blackboards installed in elementary and junior high schools.

These latest development in e-learning has created opportunities for companies to create teaching materials and digital textbooks that are supported by these digital technologies.

Countries such as Korea and Singapore are already riding on this wave, as educational institutions and private companies are creating cutting-edge teaching materials and e-learning processes for students from elementary to university level.

Let us prepare Japan for this global, exponential change by developing and improving its education environment.

We have to speed up to be on par with the international competition, and provide our children with a world-class educational standards
We can bring about a change in the Japanese education pedagogy, shifting from the current focus in cramming and memorization, to creative thinking and expression.

On 22nd April 2010, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science held an “Information Change in School Education Forum” to examine policies and recommendations. In addition, the Minister declared in 2009, its aim of “equipping all elementary and junior high school students with digital textbooks by 2015”.

The “Digital Textbooks and Teaching Material” initiative seeks to play an active role in the improvement of education in Japan. This initiative is wide-ranging, from the research and development of contents and applications, to hardware devices, terminal equipments and materials, software environments, network systems, etc.

It also includes the items referred in the “General education and learning environment using digital technology” section

Children need to begin to learn, connect and create in a digital environment. In addition, the increased usage of digital teaching materials will contribute to the existing wealth of knowledge.

We hope to support and contribute to this quantum change and prepare a digital environment that is conducive for learning and education.

Let us develop and promote the use of digital textbooks and teaching materials.
Let us realize this important initiative in our real life environments.

Japan, who had always pursued a growth strategy, must speed up its development to evolve into an information nation.

Japan should leverage on its excellent IT industry, which has been the only growing industry in the past decades, to become its engine to propel future growth

The co-operation and partnership with like-minded leaders and organizations is important for the development and promotion of the Digital Textbook and Learning initiative. We hereby seek co-operation and partnerships with individuals and organizations to realize this initiative together.

May 2010

Founder of the
"Association of Digital Textbook & Teaching" [Name]

〈Professor of Ritsumeikan University〉
〈Former President, NHK〉
〈Chairman of the Institute,
Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc.
President emeritus, University of Tokyo〉
SON Masayoshi
〈Softbank CEO and founder〉
〈Professor, Graduate School of Media Design, Keio〉
HIGUCHI Yasuyuki
〈President & CEO, Microsoft Co. Ltd.〉
〈Professor of Tokyo Gakugei University〉


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