Contributing to Society with Education Solutions
Casio’s education solutions statement is “Boost your curiosity.” Curiosity is the starting point for learning. Curiosity generates interest. Casio believes that these are important elements that enrich people’s lives. Based on this statement, Casio is 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
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.
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 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.”
Casio Espana ’s Support Activities
│1,925 scientific calculators donated to students in need of financial assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Casio Espana, S.L. donated 1,925 scientific calculators through the Ministry of Education in all 17 autonomous communities to students in need of financial assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Casio also made the online ClassWiz emulator available free of charge to all teachers and students in Spain, and provided webinars and other support to help users learn to use the ClassWiz emulator. This has helped to lighten the financial burden on students and has created an environment in which they can continue their studies in mathematics, even in difficult times.
│Calculators donated to schools affected by the eruption of the volcano in La Palma
The Cumbre Vieja volcanic eruption on the island of La Palma, which began in September 2021, affected a total of 25 schools with more than 8,000 students, including schools whose school buildings were covered in ash and even covered in lava. Casio Espana contacted the Canary Islands Ministry of Education and donated 800 scientific calculators and 300 general calculators to these 25 schools.
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.
Under a national policy of developing internationally competitive human resources, Indonesia is implementing educational reforms to improve higher order thinking skills (HOTS) such as analysis, evaluation, and creativity. Organizations related to the Ministry of Education, which is responsible for educational reform, showed a high level of interest in the effectiveness of scientific calculators and the fact that Casio’s GAKUHAN activities are in line with the country’s human resource development goals. Pilot classes were held for first-year high school students in the province of Jakarta, where a new curriculum, which will take effect in 2024, will be introduced first. The Jakarta Provincial Department of Education has instructed the high schools that have achieved positive results in the pilot classes to share their successful know-how with other schools. (Casio is currently in discussions with the Ministry of Education to implement support activities to establish the new curriculum using scientific calculators in Jakarta first, and then expand it to a nationwide scale in the future.)
In Thailand, Casio established a consultative platform for the utilization of scientific calculators with organizations related to the Ministry of Education and held a signing ceremony in February 2022. Since the development of human resources in science and mathematics and the academic achievement gap between urban and rural areas are major issues, pilot classes were held for first-year high school students. After the pilot classes, a test was administered to students that had been given inquiry-based instruction using scientific calculators and students that had been given conventional instruction without scientific calculators. This demonstrated the effectiveness of scientific calculators, as student who learned with them had a higher rate of correct answers, and the difference was particularly large on questions that tested problem-solving skills.
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.
The beta version launched in April 2021 was adopted by more than 600 schools for fiscal 2022. In November 2021, ClassPad.net also received an Award of Excellence at the 6th IMS JAPAN Awards. Japanese educators have highly evaluated the ClassPad.net concept. In April 2022, Casio began offering ClassPad.net content for elementary, junior high, and university students. The same month, Casio concluded an Agreement on Digital Learning Support at Kochi Prefectural Schools with the Kochi Prefectural Board of Education. We are currently conducting ICT utilization practices using ClassPad.net at some prefectural high schools and junior high schools and verifying the effectiveness of ICT utilization practices based on their results. Casio will continue to strengthen co-creation with schools, to support various forms of learning.