Contributing to Society with Education Solutions | CASIO

Contributing to Society with Education Solutions

Casio listens to the needs of teachers in education settings worldwide, developing and supplying education tools that meet the needs of the classroom and support modern education.

GAKUHAN Activities — Supporting Math Education with Scientific Calculators

Casio supplies scientific calculators for use in education settings in some 100 countries and regions worldwide. The mission is not just to supply calculators, but to support teachers and students, who are the end users in education settings. In addition to fostering human resources who are needed by the governments of these countries, we hope to help children realize their dreams of attending university and becoming a doctor, engineer, or whatever else they want  to be.
In Japan, scientific calculators are largely seen as tools for university students in science and mathematics, whereas many countries incorporate scientific calculators into their junior and senior high school education. In the U.S., Europe, Australia, and other countries, scientific calculators are used by nearly all students at those earlier levels. Their use is being driven by changes in mathematics education around the world. There is growing recognition that the power of technology is essential to the study of statistics and programming in an IT-driven world. For example, leveraging technology to perform complex calculations enables a greater focus on nurturing problem-solving and thinking skills.
It is one thing to purchase a scientific calculator, but teachers and students need to know how to use scientific calculators properly for classes and exams. For more than 30 years, Casio has been actively supporting teachers and students around the world with its GAKUHAN activities. In addition to providing training and teaching materials for educators, Casio is implementing a pilot project aimed at improving academic skills, as a way to support better education and build optimal learning environments.
Anchoring these activities is Casio product development, which provides customization according to government course guidelines, languages, and  curricula in each region. With the aim of developing true educational tools that support learning, Casio engineers visit schools and join classes to grasp the needs in education settings, which are reflected in the product specifications. In this way, Casio develops localized models that are tailored to national and regional requirements, currently offering 61 models in 18 regions. Casio can customize scientific calculators in short cycles to rapidly reflect the needs of education settings, utilizing large-scale integration (LSI) and automated assembly suited for high-mix low-volume production.
GAKUHAN activities also facilitate product development that reflects the needs of education settings and support learning environments that foster thinking skills. In Europe and the U.S., students and teachers already know how to operate scientific calculators, and in recent years the axis has begun to shift to emerging economies including ASEAN countries.

│Features and Framework of GAKUHAN Activities

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│GAKUHAN Pyramid

Education is implemented by classroom teachers providing instruction (bottom-up), based on education guidelines (top-down) from national governments.
The GAKUHAN pyramid consists of both top-down (education-based) and bottom-up activities and is Casio’s own system for efficiently supporting mathematics education with scientific calculators.

│Trainer Network

In each region, Casio builds a network of trainers in the order of master trainers, trainers, and classroom teachers. It is extremely critical to foster the needed master trainers.
Casio fosters master trainers to achieve and perpetuate the following:
(1) Improve quality of training (create needed training program)
(2) Build environment that enables trained teachers to use scientific calculators in their teaching (develop teaching materials)

GAKUHAN Activities outside Japan

│Striving to end educational inequalities in Thailand

ASEAN countries are making progress in reforming their education curriculums, pursuing national strategies that focus on fostering human resources for industry. It is critically important to improve science and mathematics skills upon a foundation built with advanced mathematics education.
In 2018, Thailand adopted an upper secondary school curriculum that utilizes technologies such as scientific calculators in lessons. However, as scientific calculators had not been used commonly, Casio helped by conducting teacher training on the use of scientific calculators.
In 2020, Casio launched a project in Bangkok to supply upper secondary schools with lesson plans that utilize scientific calculators. Thirty-two upper secondary schools in a western Bangkok district participated in the project, which ran through March 2021. The project’s intermediary report revealed that students who had taken classes or short tests utilizing scientific calculators displayed a 21% improvement in exam results compared with their past scores.
Thailand presently faces geographic inequalities in education between urban and rural areas. Expanding the project from Bangkok to other regions will increase scientific calculator utilization and reduce inequalities in education in Thailand.

Expanding GAKUHAN’s Reach Online

│Supporting mathematics teachers in Indonesia in collaboration with the education ministry

In the State of West Sumatra in Indonesia, Casio conducted ten seminars in 2020 on utilizing scientific calculators in online lessons, to support schools that had closed their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In recent years, Indonesia has been focusing on STEM* education to improve academic performance, and the nation is strengthening its science and mathematics education. In September 2018, Casio signed a partnership agreement with the Indonesian government to develop the skills of teachers and students in STEM education. As part of the initiative, Casio is cooperating with the department of education in the State of West Sumatra to initiate training for mathematics teachers on utilizing scientific calculators in lessons. Teachers from more than 400 schools have received the training, which to date makes up more than 70% of all schools in West Sumatra.

In October 2020, Casio launched a series of webinars on utilizing scientific calculators in online lessons, in response to school closures in Indonesia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To support teachers in West Sumatra and communicate the advantages of using scientific calculators as a study tool in online lessons, Casio is working with local education officials and mathematics teacher associations to increase the adoption and retention of mathematics lessons that use scientific calculators.
*STEM stands for “science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

│Conducting online workshops in Portugal in cooperation with a globally known teacher

In October 2020, Casio collaborated with Professor José Jorge Teixeira, awardee of the Global Teacher Prize 2020, to conduct an online workshop for teachers on techniques for utilizing scientific calculators and emulator software*1 in science lessons in Portugal.
Portugal is focusing on a government-led initiative to improve the quality of science and mathematics subjects, to strengthen STEM education in the nation. For example, science classes at high schools in Portugal use tools such as sensors and data loggers*2 in addition to scientific calculators, to conduct practical lessons on measuring data from natural phenomena and calculating the values.
With the support of Portugal’s National Teachers’ Federation, Casio has been conducting certified training and supplying teaching materials for mathematics and science teachers. More than 300 teachers attended this online workshop, which was designed to support teachers who are unable to conduct in-person lessons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Casio will continue implementing the GAKUHAN activities to support education settings.
*1 Emulator software is an on-screen scientific calculator that performs calculations exactly the same as an actual scientific calculator.
*2 Device that logs (saves) various data measured and collected using sensors.

│Implementing GAKUHAN activities in the Philippines with the cooperation of government authorities

Casio implements a wide range of GAKUHAN activities in the Philippines. This includes supporting the adoption of scientific calculators and providing support for online lessons, encompassing support for school education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schools in the Philippines initially shut their doors in March 2020 due to the spread of COVID-19. A plan for students to start the new school year in August was postponed until October. In response, Casio published programs for educators on the portal site of the Philippines’ Department of Education. A total of 20 programs were published from July to December 2020. The programs were designed to help teachers to conduct online lessons using emulator software that displays a scientific calculator on devices such as PCs and tablets and actually performs calculations.
As a result of these initiatives, there was a threefold increase in the number of user downloads of the emulator software from the previous year. Usage of emulator software in online lessons is increasing.
Casio will continue to support education improvements in the Philippines through the GAKUHAN activities.

Casio Mathematics Education Activities in Indonesia and Thailand Selected as MEXT EDU-Port Japan Supported Project

In July 2021, Casio’s mathematics education activities in Indonesia and Thailand were selected by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as an EDU-Port Japan Supported Project implementing Japanese-style education overseas.
EDU-Port Japan is a public-private initiative to proactively introduce Japanese-style education in other countries. GAKUHAN activities were selected to serve as a model for improving education by developing class content, providing a template for implementation overseas.r
With its selection, Casio will receive assistance in coordinating with local institutions through the Japanese-Style Education Public-Private Collaborative Platform. Going forward, Casio will cooperate with local teachers and other stakeholders connected by the platform in Indonesia and Thailand. Casio will aim to develop inquiry-based lessons utilizing scientific calculators to foster proactive learning among upper secondary school students, establishing a model for implementation overseas.

EDU-Port Japan website: https://www.eduport.mext.go.jp/en/

Supporting Online Study through ClassPad.net

Alongside GAKUHAN activities, Casio has newly provided the ClassPad.net solution for education settings for use during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. ClassPad.net is a comprehensive study platform that integrates study content such as online dictionaries with the use of digital notes.
Since 2018, Casio has operated ClassPad.net as a mathematics tool solution that uses technology from the equation processing system that Casio developed for scientific calculators outside Japan. The new ClassPad.net was upgraded in collaboration with seven education publishers, emerging as an online study tool containing study content for six academic subjects in the high school curriculum in Japan, with added features that are useful for online study.
A beta launch was released in April 2021 with restricted features, followed by a full launch in September 2021.
Previous digital study tools required the use of multiple applications such as dictionary and other applications, depending on what they were to be used for. The new ClassPad.net fully integrates digital notes and study content, helping to nurture the thinking skills of students and enabling them to study more efficiently. Since data is saved to the cloud, students can use the solution at school or from home as long as they have a personal computer, tablet or other device. With ClassPad.net, study becomes an interactive process between students and teachers.
Casio is looking at adding curriculum content in the future to support elementary through high school curriculums, for schools with high rates of deployment of personal computers that have already adopted the “one student, once computer” plan of MEXT’s Giga School Concept. Support for the curriculum of universities and other places of higher education is also being considered. Casio will strengthen its initiatives that are co-created with schools, to support various forms of learning.

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