On Thursday 3 June, The Technology Education Innovation and Research (TIER) committee held an online event on the theme of "Technology's Role in the Future of International Education." We were fortunate to have a diverse and talented panel of expert speakers from all areas of the education industry, coordinated with generous support from the Australian and New Zealand Embassies in Tokyo and our TIER Committee members.
Daisuke Asano (Director, Educational Industry Office - METI) opened the session, sharing METI's 'StuDX' policy for digitalisation of the learning environment, including a "1-to-1" device initiative. Asano also introduced METI's EdTech pilot project with free open online courses focusing on the UN SDGs.
Our panel discussion was moderated by University of Tokyo professor Jenny Corbett, covering the unique ways members of ANZCCJ have embraced online opportunities in primary, secondary and corporate education.
Rose Hashinaga (Operations Director - CI&T Japan) shared her insights into how EdTech is being used in the corporate world and its role in supporting internal training at CI&T. As a global company growing at a rate of 30-40% each year, effectively doubling in size in three years, CI&T has embraced online opportunities to not only train staff, but also maintain a strong and connected company culture. Celebrating 25 years of operation during the COVID-19 pandemic, CI&T held a 25 hour-long online party for staff all over the world, involving simultaneous interpreters to ensure everyone has equal opportunity to be included.
Misa Kitaoka (Director of Education, Japan - Education New Zealand) introduced ENZ's New Zealand Global Competence Certificate (NZGCC) - a program with the aim to provide Japanese students (and students around the world) with the much needed soft-skills involved in becoming a 'global citizen.' In a saturated global online tertiary education market, Misa highlighted New Zealand's focus on the underserved secondary education sector. Misa, along with key partners Hiroyuki Osada and Haruko Tanaka from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education, dove into how the Tokyo-New Zealand partnership "promotes diversity, inclusion, and an entrepreneurial mindset in students."
Peter Gibson (Executive Advisor Tokyo 2020 - Australian Olympic Committee) shared the success of the Australian Olympic Committee's Connect 'Tomodachi' program. The program paired 311 schools across both Australia and Japan (a total of 622 classrooms and nearly 18,000 students), providing opportunities for students to share unique insight into their country’s customs, lifestyle and activities in the lead up to and during the Olympic Games. In an example of how this program is serving to overcome international borders, a primary school of only three students in Northern Hokkaido has connected and built relationships with students in Outback Queensland - an opportunity that may not have arisen were it not for the roll out of this program during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Peter commented, we "certainly hope there comes a time soon where they can visit each other in person."
Thank you to all of our wonderful speakers and to everyone who attended! Please visit our website to keep up-to-date with future events.