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Nov 11, 2020
On September 10, 2020, Media Lab—The Asahi Shimbun Company’s department for developing new projects—signed an agreement of cooperation with APU to promote KIDEA, an experience-based online learning platform that connects international students and children, currently being tested by Asahi Shimbun.
The two parties will use the KIDEA platform to pair currently enrolled international students at APU, who will serve as instructors, with children, and they will work together on developing curricula for English education and practical multicultural exchange. Furthermore, they will aim to promote the development of human resources, education, and the creation of new businesses driven by the interactions between international students and children.
Under this agreement, APU will make KIDEA available to students in its Startup Program and other extracurricular educational programs, and The Asahi Shimbun will provide educational opportunities to APU. In this way, both parties will pursue a range of educational activities that pair and encourage exchange via KIDEA between Japanese children and international students currently enrolled at APU.
The two parties have already started encouraging interactions that match the children’s areas of interest with the strong suits of the international student instructors, and thus far lessons have been held for karate, banana pudding making, drawing, and dance, and a talk session was held by children and students who like trains. Click here to see a video of KIDEA in action.
KIDEA uses an online conferencing system to connect children with international students who serve as instructors. With sessions held mainly in English, children learn about the culture of the instructor’s country in a fun and interactive way with the aim of fostering the communication skills and interest in foreign cultures that the children will need in the future. It was launched after entering Startup!, an in-house business creation contest run by The Asahi Shimbun. The system is currently being tested with around 100 children in preparation for its commercial roll-out.