Technology Fuels Virtual School Visits During the Pandemic
The Van Maerlant School in the Netherlands uses Matterport to provide parents and students a safe way to tour their campus
The Van Maerlant School found a new way to tour their school that keeps students and parents safe and protected in a COVID-19 world. Using AA360, it has created an entirely virtual solution. With Matterport, parents and students can walk through a 3D digital twin of the Van Maerlant School. They can click on various Mattertags throughout to learn more about different areas; some feature videos with students and teachers sharing information that is typically expected to receive in-person any other year. All in all, it transformed a physical experience into a digital one for anyone interested in getting the full story about the school.
We spoke with Arie Haksteeg, the co-owner of AA360, about creating this brilliant virtual space for the school, parents and students. AA360 is part of IQ4Learning.com and Sinteno.nl, both of which use Matterport in combination with e-learning.
What inspired the 3D capture of the Van Maerlant School?
Every year, schools in the Netherlands open their doors to attract new students on a given day in January. It gives these students the opportunity to choose the right school for them and it gives the parents an understanding of where they are sending their child.
Normally the student and their parents visit schools in person, but because of the coronavirus situation, they were forced to keep their doors closed. With Matterport, they can now visit virtually and safely, eliminating the need for physical tours and saving hours giving them throughout the year.
For this reason, AA360 has invited various schools we thought suitable for a virtual tour and we have successfully mapped a number of them virtually. Enthusiastic from the start was the Van Maerlant School in the Netherlands.
How are teachers, parents and children able to use the Matterport digital twin of the school?
In December 2020, we captured the school in 3D and produced a promotional film. This film was shared on social media and on the school’s website to prepare parents and students for a virtual open day, starting a countdown to January 23. During this period we made a teaser of what to expect. And on the 23rd, the Matterport 3D tour was posted on their website.
Because of the volume of Mattertags (they are still being added daily), we decided to use a layer. This made navigating directly to deep links and multimedia easier.
In just a week, the school was visited virtually almost 1,700 times by 662 unique users.
What other benefits are being realized by the school with its digital twin?
The school building will be completely renovated in the next two years. The old building will be demolished in phases and a new one will be built on the same site. A Mattertag with a movie of the new building has now been placed exactly at this location.
Many activities that the students have made themselves can be found in the Mattertags and teachers speak enthusiastically about their school in them as well.
The school wants to demonstrate that during new construction and these turbulent times due to the coronavirus, that it is a safe, professional, and fully operational place for children to study.