school in New Mexico replied to our questionnaires. Both schools can access our questionnaires via the Internet and our school students can gather information from both school students via the Internet.
Through the questionnaires, students want to know how other high school students are thinking about these topics. The questionnaires should be in clear sentences, so the students should have come to understand each theme profoundly. I believe “Making a questionnaire” is a good activity to organize students’ thoughts.
Next let me talk about Videoconferencing. After the presentation in class, we tried videoconferences with Nishikigaoka high school and Onate high school. It was very interesting and exciting opportunities for students to communicate with their counterparts beyond classroom. This technology allows realtime interaction with each other, so observation of these conversations provides as much information as a similar face to face situation. Technology negates the restrictions of location, and makes communication possible between people anywhere on earth.
This technology is very wonderful, but it is not so easy to have successful videoconferencing. We have to get some tips on videoconferencing. For example, speaking speed, volume of the voice, and the pause between students so on. Teacher should not expect to do well at one chance, teacher should give students some chances. The more experienced they become, the better results they will get.
I will show you the contents of one of our videoconference with Onate high school.
Picking up questions from the chapters on the site of “The Bioethics Education Project” We choose these five questions.
Q1 If you were born from donated eggs or sperm, do you think your parents should tell you who your genetic parents are? (in the chapter 9. Assisted Reproduction P8)
Q2 Do you think surrogate mothers should be paid? (Chapter 9. Assisted Reproduction P9)
Q4 Do you think the Abai family and Maleki family will guess who the donor for Mrs.Maleki's heart was? Should recipirnts be able to thanks donors? (short version Chapter 5. Organ Donation)
Q5 Should genetic testing be used for children? Why? At what stage in lifewould you undergo genetic testing? (Chapter 3 Genetic privacy and information. P3 Q6)
Q6 Would you take a genetic test if a family member asked you to? What about if your school asked you? Or an employer or insurer asked you? Who has rights to know the results of your test? (Chapter 3 Genetic privacy and information. P8 Q12)
Then, students of both sides thought about them and then put everyone’s opinions together as a class opinion. Class representatives then presented their class opinions exchange information through videoconferencing.
The following is about the last activity “Making a News Web”. As working up all activities, students are writing articles of each theme. It will be issued as “News Web”. Now we are working on it. This “News Web” is published both in Japanese and English. Students also learn how to make Web pages through this activity. And they are expected to explain theme briefly and send own opinion clearly. I think it is an appropriate activity as the final activity.
I want to tell about how we got into this project. Our school takes part in International Exchange Program “MTP”, abbreviation of “Master Teacher Program” which is planned and distributed by Fulbright Memorial Fund. Last year our partner was a school in New Orleans, USA, and this year it is a school in Las Cruces which is about 100 km from the border with Mexico. I will talk about the schedule of this program shortly.
In March Japanese participants travel to partner schools' communities for a week of residence and learn about US education and American culture. And then US participants visit to Japanese partner school for 4 weeks and collaborate with their partner teachers in formulating joint project ideas and designing the ways of implementing them at each school. Though both stays are not long enough, the pair project from September might be successfully implemented by these exchange visits.
In this program, we have to choose one theme out of five as a “Pair Project theme”. Those five themes are 1. Water Environment, 2. phenology, 3. biological diversity, 4 bioethics and 5 urban programs Mars-observation satellite robot and so on We choose the “Bioethics Project”.