December Editorial: Building Online Networks for Schools Around the World

Among our programs, WorldClassroom is a project that connects classrooms from all over the world to make cultural exchange a reality.

Through the use of a digital device – whether a computer or a tablet – children can interact in English with their peers overseas while they are at school; and as a way to practice the language even further (when reading out loud or rehearsing for a presentation), we also have developed an AI based software that assigns scores to the children’ speech in real time Currently, WorldClassroom has been adopted by over 80 schools both within and beyond Okinawa prefecture. 

In 2023, the National Academic Learning Status Survey showed that over 60% of 9th graders scored zero points on English Speaking abilities.

We believe drastic changes are needed in order to address such gap. The MEXT National Curriculum Guidelines for Education states that all schools need to educate through language activities: this means going beyond drills and grammar– it means using English in practice to learn. 

Over the years, I have seen how big of an impact technology combined with peer interactions can have on learning. 

Every day, together with educators, we are constantly moved by the way children find their own learning motivation and purpose: many wish to talk more with students from abroad, others start dreams of a future English-speaking work environment. 

Searching for participants, setting up new technologies: all of this is not feasible for school teachers, whose hands are already full with school events and student guidance.

Such is the reality outside Japan too. As a response, WorldClassroom is an incredibly accessible tool connecting peers around the world within the space of public education. 

HelloWorld Co-CEO Hikari Nonaka

About this article

This is an English adaptation of a Japanese article. The original material is part of a monthly editorial curated and published by The Okinawa Times titled たんぽぽのタネ (“Dandelion seeds” ). Starting from October 2023, our Co-CEO Hikari Nonaka will have monthly features on the column through March 2024: the aim is to share with the readers HelloWorld’s core values and mission through an overview of our programs, such as “HelloWorld Cultural Exchange” and “WorldClassroom”.