International Symposium 1998 TOP

Shinichi Takemura, Ph.D.

Awareness of the Earth and Possibilities for New Science Education
in the Internet Age

The Internet as "the nervous system of global size" and multimedia technology has changed our global experiences radically and suggests possibilities of entirely new approaches to the conventional education of sciences and environment.

They are not merely the changes where printed text books are converted into dynamic things with vivid appeal to our senses and information of the world's museums and art galleries being digitized and shared by all.

If the seismic activities occurring every day in various parts of the world can be seen in real form directly through the Internet by all the people of the world, how will children's views of the earth change and how will their scientific understanding improved?

If there was a system where one could monitor in real time, how one or others of the world net surf the global home pages, and if one could follow the "moving" process on the Internet, children would certainly appreciate the presence of the Internet as a global network of information.

The web site "Sensorium" (http://www.sensorium.org) was created by us in an effort to put these live experiences of the Internet into design.

Sensorium is not a site merely to digitize and list the existing knowledge and data. It is an experiment for the Digital Museum as a new "forum" where we may experience and share a moment. It is also an attempt to create tools for science and environment education which is only available on the network.

I would like to introduce works using the Internet and to share my attempts to encourage children to understand the internet through experiencing with their bodily senses at a children's workshop jointly given with NTT (including an experiment to create a structure simulating the Internet by use of paper-box-and-thread telephones). In addition, I would like to present my proposals for use of the Internet/Multimedia for education.

The following three points are of particular importance.

1) The substance of world experience in the age of Internet; possibility of integrating "Intelligence" and "Sensibility"

2) Taking out media from the Black Box (understanding not only "the result" but also "the process")

3) Bridging/combining "Real space" with "Cyberspace"

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