MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Japan to Become Newest BLOSSOMS Country Partner

October 16, 2014

 by Richard C. Larson  

We are very happy to report that this month denotes the start of our newest international partnership—with Japan—through the generous support of Fujitsu Corporation and the Fujitsu Laboratories of America. Dr. Tetsuro (“Tetsu”) Takahashi of Fujitsu will be present at MIT during the active period of the partnership and spend at least half of his time on BLOSSOMS in and for Japan. He will be our bi-lingual interface with our colleagues in Japan and manage that relationship. He will also partner with MIT BLOSSOMS staff on innovative directions for the program. 

The first phase of the project, focusing on planning, training and translations, carries us through to April 1, 2015. After that we expect a Phase II major expansion. Here we discuss our Phase I plans.

The MIT BLOSSOMS team will first provide training on implementation of BLOSSOMS in Japan, starting with a highly respected science-focused science high school near Tokyo. This training will come in the form of regular virtual meetings during the project, the meetings via Skype. 

Also during this first phase, Fujitsu plans to select a number of existing BLOSSOMS videos for translation into the Japanese language. Fujitsu professionals, using the published transcripts of the lessons, will undertake the translations. Fujitsu will place the Japanese translations either as subtitles or voiceovers on high-resolution copies of the BLOSSOMS videos, and the translated videos will be returned to MIT for posting on the MIT BLOSSOMS web site. Japanese will be the 7th available language for BLOSSOMS lessons.

Also during Phase I, the MIT BLOSSOMS Team will train Japanese high school teachers on the pedagogy of BLOSSOMS and on design and creation of BLOSSOMS lessons. This training will be offered live, face-to-face, in Japan -- most likely in January (2015). 

The MIT BLOSSOMS team will work with teachers at the partner high school as they begin to design new BLOSSOMS lessons. MIT BLOSSOMS has a six-step design and production process, and that process will provide the guidance for this process. 

The MIT BLOSSOMS Team will share contemporaneously all progress on the BLOSSOMS project, in Japan, Malaysia, Latin America, the USA and elsewhere. 

We welcome our newest partner!