The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLVIII-M-2-2023
24 Jun 2023
 | 24 Jun 2023


C. Lee

Keywords: Virtual Education, Metaverse, The Korean War, United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea, Turn Toward Busan, Social Inclusion, Augmented and Extended Reality for Cultural Heritage, Technologies Changing Education

Abstract. The prolonged COVID-19 pandemic has restricted civic engagement with heritage sites and on-site learning. Although active participation is a prerequisite for managing cultural properties, most communities have had to cope with related activities – particularly memorialization at cemeteries – during the pandemic. This study explores the dynamism of innovative technologies that radically change pedagogical approaches through the United Nations (UN)-designated graveyard, the UN Memorial Cemetery in Korea (UNMCK). It focuses on the metaverse learning program of an international memorial ceremony named “Turn toward Busan,” which is honored on Remembrance Day, 11 November, to commemorate the fallen UN veterans who died in the Korean War (1950–1953). The online activity provides students with the opportunity to engage in a silent tribute to UN veterans and to participate in the virtual UNMCK implemented on the metaverse platform called “Gather. Town.” Qualitative analysis of a literature review, interviews with related stakeholders, and video participation reveals that this program of incorporating the remembrance of war veterans into the framework of the metaverse has a high educational impact in the era of Industry 4.0. The proposed solution demonstrates how virtual learning courses integrate multi-dimensional methods to encourage participants’ proactive heritage involvement and awareness of peacebuilding. Given that 2023 marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, this study is expected to provide a stepping stone for further research investigating the correlation between the humanities and digital technologies to foster a more reconciliatory world.