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5-4 Internet and Education Symposium 2000 in Okinawa Japanese Page


The "Internet and Education Symposium 2000 in Okinawa" was held May 27 and 28 at the Okinawa Convention Center. On the first day, as part of Session 1-3, "Presentations by Various Institutions that Promote Education Utilizing Networks," JPNIC made a presentation about "ED Domain Name Experimental Project" completed recently.

Thanks to good weather in the middle of Okinawa's rainy season on the first day, the Opening Ceremony was well attended. After the ceremony, sessions were held in several meeting rooms. As there was not much time for moving between sessions, we were a little concerned about the number of people who would show up for our sessions. The attendance turned out to be more than expected, and some of the participants who came in the middle of the session cound not secure their seats in the small meeting room of 40-50 capacity.

Because of time limitations, the presentation could not cover the entire ED Domain Name Experimental Project, but focused on reporting the current situation. However, we believe that our presentation on domain name that is hardly discussed is benefitial for those who consider an introduction of Internet in education,since it givse them some hints seek network operation policy in the future (JPNIC presentation materials are posted in the latter part of this newsletter).

The session provided the opportunity to hear opinions from many professionals in the field of education. We found that the newly established ED domain name was generally perceived as being effective. On the other hand, many were of the opinion that recognition of these effects and the ED domain name itself are not enough. It was strongly felt that there is a need to make further efforts to make information more readily available.

Please refer to the following Web sites for more details on overall program and other presentation materils.

- "The Internet and Education Symposium 2000 in Okinawa"
- Outline of JPNIC presentation materials
(not complete; please refer to the above site for the full documents)

Establishment of a Domain Name Space, for Internet Access for Educational Purposes New "ED Domain Name" and its Current Situation.

- Challenges before establishment of ED Domain Names-
While considering establishment of the ED Domain Name, several problems were pointed out. The major problems are summarized below.

Previously, primary and secondary educational institutes, such as elementary schools, junior high schools and senior high schools, registered with geographical type domain names. This type of domain name contains the area name(s). For example, a school in Tokyo's Chiyoda ward uses the domain name, "GAKKO.CHIYODA.TOKYO.JP." A problem with this naming convention was that domain names tended to be lengthy, and difficult to remember and use, especially for younger children. For this reason, there became a demand for shorter and simpler domain names.

Others requested that the domain name should clearly indicate that it is a school. In addition, it was predicted that domain name registrations by schools would rapidly increase because of the popularization of Internet access at schools, thus requiring improving the efficiency of registration processing, to better cope with this.

The Results of the Experimental Project

[ Subjects In this project,]
We conducted a questionnaire survey of elementary schools, junior high schools, and senior high schools. The survey was distributed to 5,047 schools, including 748 schools that had already applied for ED domain registration. We received 1,660 responses.
[ Consideration ]
ED domain names have already been established and utilized; this includes use by educational networks. As more than one school is connected to each network, the actual number of schools using an ED domain name is higher than the number registered.

It may take some time to confirm the effectiveness of ED domain use, because it has not been long since its establishment. However, some responses in the questionnaires indicate that:

  • Interchange among schools will be easier if the domain name is recognized as being that of a school
  • It is easier to identify school names than geographical type domain names
  • Domain names became shorter and simpler, which was an improvement
  • It has become easier to recognize that schools are utilizing the Internet.
  • School staff has become more conscious of the use of the Internet. We may safely say that the effects originally expected are being recognized.

Future Outlook

The ED Domain Name is one way to provide a framework for realizing use of the Internet in school education. Mere acquisition of an ED Domain Name does not directly promote the use of the Internet. At the same time, it will also be necessary to establish an information infrastructure and understanding of the parties involved, regarding the use of the Internet for education, among others. With a combination of these and other efforts, the ED name will finally become effective.

As of July 2000, approximately 1,800 schools (of more than 40,000) had applied for ED Domain Names, and the number is expected to soar in a short period of time. At the same time, however, the survey has made it obvious that there is not enough recognition of JPNIC and ED Domain names among educational institutions. We feel that there is an urgent need to cope with this challenge.

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