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February 15, 2013
  • Ritsumeikan Uji Junior and Senior High School
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Approximately 1,600 eReaders donated to Ritsumeikan Uji Junior and Senior High School

- The school becomes first in Japan to provide every student access to eReaders
from the new semester as part of efforts to promote digital education and reading -

TOKYO, February 15, 2013 – Ritsumeikan Uji Junior and Senior High School and Rakuten, Inc. today  announced an agreement to introduce approximately 1,600 kobo Touch eReaders at the school as part of a move to encourage digital education and reading.

Ritsumeikan Uji Junior and Senior High School plans to distribute the kobo Touch devices to all students from the new semester starting in April of this year. This is the first time that any educational institution in Japan has given eReader access to every student. The school places a heavy emphasis on reading in its curriculum, particularly focusing on the study skill of reading comprehension in the basic education for junior high school students. Students are expected to finish reading 20,000 pages within 100 books over a three-year time span. The school will introduce the kobo Touch to make reading more convenient for students and expects that this will increase the number of books read and time spent reading even further. The school will distribute one device to each student, and students will be free to use them as they like until graduation. The school intends for students to use the devices during morning reading times, but is also considering use within classes.

Along with the introduction of the devices, a kobo Use Committee will be set up at Ritsumeikan Uji Junior and Senior High School in the aim of further enhancing reading promotion activities, and the school will actively encouraging the use of eReaders in the field of education in general. Rakuten has donated the kobo Touch devices this time as part of the company’s efforts for the promotion of education. Rakuten will also create a special page on the kobo eBook Store for Ritsumeikan Uji Junior and Senior High School students from the start of the new school semester, and will recommend content for the school.

In the past there was discussion on the introduction of digital education materials into the field of education as part of the future school promotion project of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC), but this project was discontinued in 2011 following a government budget screening. Conversely, there are many programs underway overseas to promote digital education. In the United States, an increasing number of schools are giving students access to tablet computers. In South Korea, digital education is being promoted as national policy, with plans to introduce digital education materials to elementary schools in 2014 and to junior and senior high schools in 2015.

Ritsumeikan Uji Junior and Senior High School and Rakuten will use the kobo Touch to enhance the amount that students read. The school and company will share information and create a model for the introduction of eReaders to other educational institutions throughout Japan.

Outline of eReader Introduction at Ritsumeikan Uji Junior and Senior High School

■Start of Use:
From the semester starting in April 2013

■Target Users:
Every student of Ritsumeikan Uji Junior and Senior High School – approximately 1,600 (subject to change depending on the state of enrollment).
Note: One device will be distributed to each student by the school.

■Period of Use:
Until the user graduates

■Use at the School:
During the School’s morning reading time (8:30 to 8:45).
Discussions are also underway about use during class time.
Note: Rakuten also supports the international education promoted by Ritsumeikan Uji Junior and Senior High School.

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