The metaverse and the future of learning is a thing. The pandemic has changed many ways in how we live making our living more virtual. The convergence of this virtuality with other growing technologies is the next big revolution in the world of the Internet. This is described as the “Metaverse”. In our previous blog, we have touched upon the concept of the metaverse and its features and capabilities. Today we will talk about how can the metaverse augment education and learning.
Covid Accelerating the pace to Meta-Learning
The metaverse is emerging as the next big technological junction. Clearly, the Covid-19 outbreak has played a considerable role in accelerating the pace towards the metaverse. During the pandemic, schools and universities around the world closed and online learning became the only way to get an education. But do you think zoom classes can provide a good enough classroom learning experience? How about students’ engagement? In short, Zoom and its likes lack the level of connection and engagement of the actual classroom.
The Metaverse in Education
As we cited, zoom classes emerged as a go-to option for all educational institutions in times of lockdown. However, making them engaging was a serious challenge for every educator. Metaverse, with its peculiar features, comes as a solution to this problem of online learning. Being highly immersive, Metaverse brings out engagement in shared virtual spaces. It provides a digital classroom environment where students can interact with the learning content, make research and perform real-time projects.
This concept seems naïve but is already being explored and adopted in many ways. In 2020, STEMuli, an educational metaverse based in Dallas, partnered with Dallas ISD’s Strategic Initiatives department. This partnership will develop a virtual learning platform, STEMuli Classroom. Then, in 2021, STEMuli launched their game-based learning platform at Dallas’s first permanently hybrid school for students grades 3-8. This successful gamified learning model proves that the metaverse offers many applications in engaging and connecting learners.
In our previous blog, we mentioned Roblox, an immensely popular virtual space for gaming. Interestingly, the company is also planning to expand into classroom education, by leveraging its metaverse experience. Rebecca Kantar, Head of Education of the Roblox Community Fund, says:
“There is a huge opportunity to leverage on the engagement and motivation that students have for interacting with Roblox. We’re ready to find and reward developers and organizations who can figure out how to really lean into our great physics, immersive 3D capabilities, and multiplayer experiences to teach in a deeper way”.
The company plans to create virtual classrooms within the Roblox universe, and explore contemporary ways of teaching and collaborating in real-time on virtual science experiments. It has allocated $10 million funds for creating online education in the Metaverse and leveraging the Roblox universe to provide an immersive learning experience to its users.
The Metaverse and the Future of Learning
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed his plans of targeting the education sector as a key part of his vision when he rebranded his company name as Meta. Facebook Reality Labs mulls to invest $150 million in an education program to assist with tech development and train people to use augmented and virtual reality tools. In his meta video, Mark demonstrated how a student gets help on her astrophysics assignment by swiping her hands on a giant picture of the solar system and zooming in on the rings of Saturn. In another video, a student is roaming around ancient Rome, as his avatar is transported through an immersive VR world. Simply put, Metaverse has the potential to make you travel through time and space.
In order to provide a more powerful online collaboration, Microsoft is also bringing the metaverse to Microsoft Teams with Mesh in 2022. Mesh will be an avatar, that would represent the individuals in online video conferences. This can also serve as a great tool for students, to collaborate on assignments and projects, in an immersive way, regardless of their physical location.
Metaverse’s Applications in Learning
Below are some of the capabilities of studying in the metaverse across the fields of science, technology, arts, and history:
- A virtual trip to space to learn astronomy
- Learn about the human organs by virtually entering into the body
- Accessing expensive and complex lab equipment for scientific studies
- Perform complex engineering projects
- Time travel to experience the ancient civilizations and cultures
- Look and feel the historical events
- Visit virtual museums and exhibitions and examine centuries-old goods/fossils
Put simply, Metaverse education, with the help of 3D virtual representations and augmented reality, can enable students to experience and perform real-life practicals of the theoretical concepts they are studying.
Summing It Up
This experience of learning in metaverse might feel surreal and a distant dream but organizations worldwide are pacing to make it a reality very soon. Already some schools and universities are implementing some level of a metaverse in their teaching process, which clearly indicates that learning in the metaverse is possible. We are set to see many developments on this front in 2022 and beyond. Metaverse was traditionally associated with gaming. However, it has started to transition to many other sectors, including education. The metaverse could be the future of learning since it might overcome the limitations of online learning while engaging students better. Educational institutions worldwide are monitoring this technological intersection not to miss out if there is something to gain.
Authored by Ekta Bhatia
Fujn fuses learning with earning in a fun way. Fujn is made by women for women. Ladies, dare to reimagine your possibilities! Check us out at www.Fujn.us, Fusion spelled F. U. J. N.
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