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594Challenges for Bioethics from Asia

Video Conferencing for Bioethics Education

- Mika Asato .

Naha International High School, Okinawa, JAPAN

Email: asatom@nahakokusai-h.okinawa2.schoolnet.gr.jp

I will report on the Bioethics Project which we are working on as a international exchange program. The students taking part in the project are 10th grade. The project has been conducted in English and Information Science classes since July. Both are required subjects. In the Information Science class, students have been actively practicing five small projects with integrating technology. The students come to be able to consider deeply with moving activities forward. They also have to send their message to the students in New Mexico, so it is important work to translate everything to English. Then in the English class, students learn how to translate Japanese to English and practice speaking English. They prepared various things for video-conferencing also in the English class.

Bioethical topics are difficult, so students need enough time to work on these topics. One of the important roles of the teacher is designing the activity carefully to let students think as much as possible. By doing so, students come to understand these topics and be able to have own their opinions.

I believe that teacher is a facilitator and a bridge between the student and the learning source rather than transmitter of information and knowledge in person especially in a class focused on project-based learning.

I am teaching mathematics and Information science at Naha Kokusai High School. This is my second year taking part in the challenging “Bioethics project”. Last year, it was my first time not only to learn about “Bioethics” but also to part take in this project-based learning. That’s why it was a series of trial and error. It leads to a smooth promotion of this school year  “Bioethics project”.

The bioethics project consisted of five activities (1 Writing reports; 2 Presentation in class; 3 Making a questionnaire; 4 Video conference; and 5 Making web pages). By doing these activities, students are enabled a deeper understanding about each theme. In addition, they make active use of technology so that they also learn how well to use technology. It is an objective of Information science class. I will explain each activity in more detail.

I want students to learn how to write report, so I let students challenge formal report as the first activity of the Bioethics Project. When they write a report, they have to make a bibliography and they must not copy word for word from resources. At the high school level it is a good chance for students to do the project style learning because they can learn important things which are useful learning skill and manner on the net.

After writing a report about bioethics theme, each group move to making a presentation to the class members by using Power Point. The presentation style is not one I am doing now. There are four sections in the classroom. It means there are four presenters at the same time in the classroom. Other students picked one of four presentations and then they listened to the presentation. The presenter told the listener about what they studied like an instructor, and listeners took notes as if they were being lectured. After the presentation, the listeners evaluated how the presenter had made them easily understand with comments.

The object of this activity is sharing the knowledge of Bioethical themes each group studied. Doing presentation let students consider the themes more deeply.

The third stage was “Making the questionnaire”. There is a very convenient web tool for making the questionnaires. This allows students to put their questionnaires on the Internet easily, so students concentrated to think contents of the questionnaire. In addition, using such as web tools to conduct surveys also lets the students reach a larger audience beyond geographical and time constraints. Students of Nishikigaoka high school in Kanazawa and students of Onate high

. pp. 594-596 in Macer, DRJ., ed., "Challenges for Bioethics from Asia" (Eubios Ethics Institute, 2004).

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