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Virtual tour connects Japanese students


Travel restrictions may have put a hold on local students taking part in international study exchange programs, but one northern college has come up with an innovative way to stay connected with a partner school in Japan.

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Using state-of-the-art technology, Year 10 students studying Japanese at Gleeson College have created a ‘day in the life’ personalised virtual tour of their school and shared it with students at Kogakuin Junior High School in Tokyo.

The students used specialised cameras and Tour Creator software for the presentation, which shows 360 degree images with narration in Japanese. They also included fun snippets of information about their favourite subjects and what they do at recess time in the video.

Gleeson’s STEM and Lab assistant Melissa O’Loughlin worked with the students on the project and said it was a fun way for them to create a connection with their Japanese counterparts who, in normal times, would visit in person as part of the annual study exchange program.

“The students wanted to share their favourite areas of the school, so the tour meanders from various classrooms, the peaceful water feature of St Mary’s Garden, the newly built Micah Centre and the oval, which shows the expansive views of the surrounding hills,” she said.

“The visually impressive, personalised content connected the students and schools at a time when parts of the world were in lockdown and undoubtedly gave the students at Kogakuin reason to smile.”

Ms O’Loughlin said while many students were disappointed the exchange programs had to be put on hold due to the pandemic, the virtual tour allowed them to be “seen in new ways”.

“We can grow our friendships and human connections to experience the gift of goodwill around the world,” she said.



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