Online schools may one day have graduation ceremonies in virtual reality too.
When you’re an online high school in Japan and attending your first day of high school may mean traveling 900 miles to campus, why not just attend in VR.
That’s what one online school did for their opening ceremony on Wednesday. The N High School, operated by publishing and media company Kadokawa Dwawngo Corp., said 73 of its 1,482 freshmen attended the virtual ceremony held in Tokyo.
Students and faculty in attendance of the virtual ceremony actually found themselves in a popular Tokyo music venue with stage and chairs lined up for their big day. Each chair had a Gear VR headset waiting for them and were instructed to all simultaneously tune into the official VR ceremony where the school’s headmaster spoke.
The Opening or Entrance ceremony is an important milestone in the lives of Japanese students across the country. Nearly as formal as graduation ceremonies, which we in the States mostly celebrate, the Entrance Ceremony congratulates students on their achievement and mark the beginning of the students’ full-time education.
N High School is an entirely new concept of an online school that just opened this April with a school campus in Okinawa. The online school offers most lectures through online videos with students required to watch them when convenient and take tests after each session. In addition to online assignments, students are mandated to attend five annual “schooling” days, as required under education ministry guidelines. It is unclear whether VR attendance to counseling sessions with teachers at the school’s main campus in Okinawa would suffice.
The school aims to nurture tech-savvy students and prepare them for future careers, so introducing them to virtual reality with Gear VR headsets seems like a reasonable idea for an online school.
Here’s to hoping they follow up their virtual opening ceremony with a VR graduation that parents can also don a headset to attend.
Thanks to our friends at MoguraVR for scouting this event.