Japan To Introduce Digital Textbooks In Class

Japan to introduce digital textbooks in classJapanese students will use "digital textbooks" in class in four years' time.
An Education Ministry panel has decided on a basic policy for introducing tablet computers and other digital devices into classrooms at elementary schools as well as junior and senior high schools, starting with the 2020 school year.

The panel says the digital textbooks can offer videos and sound and will help students with, for example, foreign language studies. The panel also says the devices can serve the needs of disabled students with zoom functions to enlarge text or graphs.

Under the policy, a tablet computer will be provided to each student.

But some panel members argued that traditional paper textbooks are indispensable for developing students' writing skills and their ability to think.

In light of this view, the panel says both paper and digital textbooks will be used in classrooms for the time being, while some courses will be taught using only digital devices.

Some schools have yet to provide proper digital devices and Internet access.

The panel will finalize its plan next month. The Education Ministry will then begin preparations, based on the panel's proposals.