The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education will offer virtual science classes for elementary and middle school students that are grounded due to a COVID-19 pandemic. The online classes will be based on a metaverse platform, a simulated digital world platform. Students can improve learning skills by exploring the interactive virtual world.
The metaverse is a digital world that connects physical reality to virtual spaces. Users can have hands-on experiences through virtual reality (VR) using their own avatars. South Korea’s online giant Naver has gained more than 200 million users through its avatar platform Zepetto.
Due to the prolonged coronavirus pandemic, South Korea’s educational ministry launched virtual classes in April 2020. Depending on the number of daily infected cases, elementary and middle schools have switched from offline class curriculums to online classes. Various online education platforms have been developed including mobile carrier LG Uplus’ U+ Elementary Country, a multilanguage-learning service for children.
Seoul’s education office said on August 26 that it will operate metaverse-based science classes that provide a virtual science exhibition hall called “Gather Town,” where about 2,100 elementary and middle school students can participate in various science activities with their avatars. Students can freely look around the hall using Google’s Chrome browser.
“We will provide virtual reality and artificial intelligence programs through the operation of metaverse-based creative science classrooms and do our best to serve as a hub for convergence science education,” Seoul education office director Kim Yeon-bae was quoted as saying. The office said its virtual exhibition hall will provide music classes, observations of astronomical objects and AI-based art classes.
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