LEGO(R) Education and Z-kai Group enter into a licensing agreement for programming education services
December 20, 2016
Zoshinkai Publishers Inc.
December 20, 2016 – Zoshinkai Publishers Inc. (Headquarters : Sunto-gun, Shizuoka, Japan; CEO Takaaki Fujii, below, “Zoshinkai”), the holding company of Z-kai Group, announces that the company has entered into a licensing agreement with LEGO(R) Education, a division of LEGO(R) Group, based in Billund, Denmark (President of LEGO(R) Education: Esben Staerk Jørgensen) for the creation and provision of programming education services. The two companies will combine and leverage their respective strengths to offer high-quality programming education services in order to increase customer satisfaction.
The development of the information society means that children are growing up in an environment of rapid change. In order to survive in such a world, they need to acquire not only the abilities that have always been needed but also skills in reasoning, expression and problem-solving.
The 21th Century Learning Research Institute, Inc., one of the subsidiaries of Zoshinkai, defines “problem-solving skills” as one of the “competencies and abilities required in present-day society” including the ability, when faced with a situation with no clear solution, to derive through trial and error an acceptable or satisfactory solution or new value, and to propose or suggest this to others.
Programming education is considered to be highly compatible with the development of problem-solving skills, the reason being that the logical thinking processes involved in programing - how to connect actions to complete a task, how to code each action, how to improve the coding to achieve the intended purpose – are the same as the processes involved in recognizing a problem, considering solutions and giving them expression. This being the case, the Japanese government is considering incorporating programming into the curriculum in all public elementary schools from 2020.
Other countries are also placing a high priority on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and focusing on the development of human resources who will bring about innovation. In this social environment, Zoshinkai, whose corporate philosophy is “excellence in education for future global leaders”, hopes through this tie-up to offer programming education services that will develop the abilities needed to survive in the new times to come.
Standing and strengths of the companies
The Z-kai Group offers a wide variety of educational services, including correspondence courses, publications, mock examinations, assessment and ICT-based tutoring services, aimed at students ranging from kindergarten children to adults. The group delivers these services in line with the corporate philosophy “excellence in education for future global leaders” through Z-kai Inc., Z-kai Educe Inc. Z-kai CA Inc., and other subsidiaries.
LEGO(R) Education has as its corporate philosophy “Only the best is good enough”, on the basis of which at educational institutions in more than 60 countries around the world it offers hands-on experience in robotics using LEGO(R) bricks. The teaching program is comprised of a “4C (Connect, Construct, Contemplate and Continue)” framework and open-ended tasks, with no set answer, to help students realise their potential; rather than simply cramming the student’s head with knowledge, the programming robotics teaching aids of the LEGO(R) Group help foster the creativity that comes from wondering why things happen they way they do, from the discovery of problems and from logical thinking, and have earned the trust of educational institutions all over the world.
Nature of Business (projected)
- The joint development and provision of programming correspondence education courses using LEGO(R) MINDSTORMS(R) Education and LEGO(R) Education WeDo 2.0.
- The joint implementation of promotional activities, events and marketing strategies.
*Services are expected to start by summer 2017.
About LEGO(R) Education
LEGO(R) Education was founded in 1980 as an educational division of the LEGO(R) Group and has been delivering hands-on experience-based materials using LEGO(R) bricks and curriculums to educational institutions in more than 60 countries around the world. By offering teaching materials that combine the familiar LEGO(R) bricks with the latest digital solutions, LEGO(R) Education supports the creation of an educational environment that encourages children’s self-directed activities and develops the ability to find independent solutions to open-ended problems.
NB: Please note that all information contained in this press release relating to services/product specifications, contact details etc., is correct at the time of going to press, and may be subject to change at any time without notice. LEGO and the LEGO logo are trademarks of the LEGO Group. (C)2016 The LEGO Group.
◆Zoshinkai Publishers Inc.
Tel: 055-976-5568 (hours: 9am-5:30pm)
Tel: 055-976-8947 (hours: 9am-5:30pm)
03-6234-1808 (hours: 10am-6pm)