HomeJapanese City Fought Absenteeism with Virtual Reality Education in the Metaverse

Japanese City Fought Absenteeism with Virtual Reality Education in the Metaverse

Metaverse schooling in Toda city, Japan shows how emerging technologies can address real-world problems such as improving education system.

Updated: March 9, 2023
Japan virtual school in Metaverse

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed how we live and learn, and it has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies in education. 

In Japan, the city of Toda has taken a unique approach to combat growing absenteeism among students using the Metaverse schooling program. 

It enables students to navigate through the campus and participate in virtual classes.

NHK, a local broadcaster, has reported that students must seek permission from their respective school principals to attend courses through this platform.

The Campaign–to Provide an Alternative Way of Learning That Would Keep Students Engaged and Motivated

Toda City, a suburb of Tokyo, has been facing a growing problem of student absenteeism.

In 2020, the city had the highest absenteeism rate in Saitama Prefecture, with 3.1% of elementary and junior high school students missing school for more than 30 days.

The city government launched the “Metaverse Schooling” campaign to address this issue.

The city of Toda has implemented a Metaverse schooling service that enables students to explore virtual classrooms and campus.

However, attendance through this platform requires approval from school principals, as per NHK, a local media outlet.

According to government statistics, 244,940 elementary and junior high school students in Japan were absent for at least 30 days during FY 2021.

NHK highlighted the story of a fifth-grader who preferred chatting online and playing outdoor games like tagging with friends despite not attending school in person for over two years.

Despite the ongoing challenge of improving school attendance, Japanese officials are placing their hopes on Metaverse schooling to help students build social connections.

The campaign involved collaborating with local companies to provide students with virtual reality (VR) education using the Metaverse platform.

The city government set up a “Metaverse School” that allowed students to attend classes virtually, even if physically absent.

The school offered various courses, including English, science, and history, taught by professional teachers who created 3D models and VR environments for their lessons.

The campaign aimed to provide an alternative way of learning that would keep students engaged and motivated, even if they could not attend school due to illness or other reasons.

It also aimed to reduce the workload of teachers creating multiple lesson plans for physical and virtual classrooms.

Japan virtual school in Metaverse

How Does This Differ From Other Campaigns in the Metaverse?

Toda City has a history of implementing innovative campaigns to address social issues.

The city has launched campaigns to promote environmental sustainability, prevent juvenile delinquency, and improve disaster preparedness.

However, the Metaverse Schooling campaign differs from these past campaigns in several ways:

  1. The campaign used virtual reality education, a relatively new technology that has yet to be widely used in education.
  2. The campaign focused on addressing absenteeism, a specific problem the city’s schools faced, rather than a broader social issue.
  3. The campaign involved collaboration with private companies to create and deliver virtual reality education, which was different from previous campaigns.
Japan virtual school in Metaverse

How Did the Campaign Perform?

The campaign has been successful, with positive feedback from students and teachers.

According to Toda City’s education board, the Metaverse School had an attendance rate higher than the national average.

The city government also reported a decrease in absenteeism among students who used the Metaverse School compared to those who did not.

The campaign has gained worldwide attention, with media outlets and experts praising Toda City’s innovative approach to education.

For instance, a Forbes contributor, Chris Carbone, said, “The project represents a forward-thinking approach to education that embraces the use of digital technologies to create new, immersive learning experiences.”

Using the marketing analysis, here is a concise bullet-point analysis of the campaign:

  • The campaign’s goal was to reduce absenteeism and improve student engagement.
  • The campaign used virtual reality education through the Metaverse platform.
  • The target audience was students in Toda City’s elementary and junior high schools.
  • The campaign successfully achieved its goals, with high attendance rates and decreased absenteeism among students who used the Metaverse School.
  • The campaign gained positive media coverage and expert praise for its innovative approach to education.
Japan virtual school in Metaverse

What Could Japanese City Learn From Other Campaigns in the Metaverse?

Metaverse schooling in Toda city, Japan, is a groundbreaking example of how any entity can use emerging technologies to address real-world challenges.

By leveraging virtual reality and immersive technologies, the city was able to provide an engaging and interactive learning experience to students while also combating the problem of absenteeism.

The campaign successfully achieved its goals, as evidenced by the increased attendance rates among students participating in the program.

The use of gamification and rewards and the involvement of parents and teachers were key factors in the campaign’s success.

While the campaign is effective, Japan could learn more from other Metaverse campaigns, such as Metalab, which created University in the Metaverse.

The campaign had tied up in real school, so the students will be credited when they attended the Metalab university.

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