Metaverse in Education

Metaverse—A stepping-stone to New-Gen Education

July 08, 2022 11:49 AM

Metaverse in Education

The COVID-19 pandemic rocked the education industry. 91 percent of students went online unexpectedly. Teachers were forced to use Zoom and Google Meet to communicate with students. While teachers and students managed to muddle through, student peers suffered from a lack of interaction. The physical classroom and lab atmospheres were practically non-existent. Momentarily, the Metaverse stands to transform that.

What is the metaverse?

The Greek prefix "meta" indicates "beyond"—and in this case, we’re guiding to an entire universe of options beyond what current technology is presently capable of creating. Tech professionals use the term "metaverse" to talk about what comes after the internet, visualising a planet in which physical and digital realities are combined.

Other words explain this idea, such as "mirror world," "spatial internet," and "AR cloud." Metaverse is presently the most famous term, however. In October 2021, the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, made headlines when he rebranded the social media platform as "Meta" in practise for creating the metaverse.

Speaking at the launch last year, Zuckerberg said, "This may sound like science fiction."

Although the term "metaverse" was coined by science fiction writer Neal Stephenson in 1992, we are now seeing many of these technologies come together.

The metaverse does not live yet. But Zuckerberg indicates that an integrated physical and digital reality like the one the metaverse offers "is going to be mainstream" within the next decade. Then, through VR headsets, people will have access to alternate digital facts where they can discover, play, and socialize.

How would the metaverse in education work?

Theoretically, logging on to the Metaverse in education would be like logging on to the internet. Except, instead of considering content on a screen, you’d use a headset (and a motion tracker to pick up objects).

To build an integrated universe, no one organisation would be able to own the idea of the metaverse. But just as a handful of tech firms control the internet as it is now, we might find the identical players trying to manage areas of the metaverse.

Denise White, the creator of Blank XR, which creates immersive technologies, says: "There will be power players for sure." Once you’re able to place on your new AR glasses and you unexpectedly see these holograms walking around the globe, then you’ll know, you’re now inside of the metaverse. "

But no one understands exactly how it’s going to work, or even if it will be feasible. One theory is that businesses will make their media consistent and inclusive, letting users jump between them in the same way they drive from one tab to the next in a browser.

Virtual Campus

Knowledge is already moving beyond the four walls of the classroom, becoming interdisciplinary and application-based. The Metaverse now gets into the case of virtual campus life, where students can virtually participate in the school or university environment.

This also opens the chance for more significant access to high-quality education for learners regardless of location. For instance, the beginning of the Kenya-KAIST virtual campus 60 km from the capital city of Nairobi in September 2023 will let the organization extend its spread across continents, bringing scholars together in a "Metaverse" without them leaving their home country.

Holistic, boundless learning

There is a tremendous emphasis on breaking the boundaries between subjects and supporting interdisciplinary learning. Schools are encouraging project-based learning which applies to application-oriented learning and the convergence of multiple disciplines.

Learners will experience the history, culture, and geography of a place while testing to crack a mathematical issue, for example. The environment will be continuously updated with user-generated worlds that inter-connect and deliver learners with improved platforms for deriving deeper meaning and issue solving like never before.

Learner-centered, constructivist learning

Learning is becoming more focused on how students want to learn - with contexts to which they can connect and build. The purpose of 21st-century learning is to prepare students to be creators in a continuously transforming world.

Learners will be able to make their own avatar and travel seamlessly from one medium to another. Every element of the journey will bring a new educational possibility and the freedom to discover and experiment without any limits. Students, for example, may be capable of contributing to far-reaching projects aligned with the world agenda. For example, it may catalyze relationships with leaders and scientists to experience projects linked to the sustainable growth plans in the Metaverse.

Changing the role of a teacher

Teaching and learning already extend well beyond the classroom, and as education evolves to be more learner-driven and data-oriented, the role of a teacher should also adapt and evolve. It is each educator’s responsibility to empower learners to take risks, be creative, and become autonomous, lifelong learners.

In light of a shift towards a more personalized student experience, teachers of the future must be prepared to be data collectors, as well as analysts, collaborators, planners, curriculum specialists, problem-solvers, and researchers.

Metaverse has the possibility of user-generated worlds where teachers can curate or even create experiential learning atmospheres and collaboratively conduct research with their scholars. Possibilities for creating formative assessments measurement and evaluation of the significance of informal learning in this virtual world.

Multiple choice options for learning

The Metaverse enables the democratisation of learning and empowers learners to select their pathways and design their degrees. Learners can choose from a buffet of knowledge possibilities. They can decide to understand different subjects from their institution or even from different institutions and earn credits. This qualifies them for the unique roles that are occurring in the changing world of employment.

Students can access a world of learning options for students and Ivy League teaching from the comfort of their homes. As more firms establish their presence in the Metaverse, students will have access to application-based learning through internships in the Metaverse environment.

The Metaverse's Educational Benefits:

An immersive learning experience

Schooling through the metaverse can engage students in a 3D world of fiction where they can view and interact with their peers and the 3D objects around them, just like in a physical classroom. Whether it is about the prehistoric Stone Age or the modern age, metaverse knowledge can virtually transport students to different historical periods, stopping the requirement for originality. Wouldn’t it be amazing to learn about the voyages of Columbus by sailing on his ship and discovering 15th-century America?

Gamification

Although learners can be taught statically or passively and actively in an interesting way, the latter is the most useful as it can teach ideas better. Metaverse does the same for students through gamification, which is the process of integrating something with game elements to motivate user participation. Gamification in a metaverse connects both entertainment and learning to improve student participation and meetings where they have to satisfy fun tasks. This motivates students to keep learning and complete their assignments on time.

Hands-on practise

The metaverse is redefining the conventional meaning of education by engaging students in hands-on practices that can otherwise be difficult and risky to do in a real-world setting. It enables students to better understand theories and refine their mastery to train them for real-life endeavors. Students can do complicated surgeries or perform unsafe explosive experiments within a metaverse without putting someone’s life on the line.

Life-like learning

Unlike the conventional schooling system that barely enables active transmission and engagement among researchers, metaverse classrooms offer life-like ecosystems that encourage students to interact with their surroundings and peers. In a metaverse, teachers can take learners to different life-like scenarios where they can experience and act, after which they can examine their learning and findings.

Enhanced learning speed

According to research performed by PwC, employees in VR-enable courses learn four times faster than in the classroom environment. The metaverse’s immersive experience brought on by gamification, 3D elements, engrossing hands-on practices, and fun activities can keep learners a step ahead. Moreover, metaverse learners feel less distracted as they can understand subject topics better through 3D simulations that fully engage an individual’s vision and attention.

The Future of the Metaverse in Education

The term "metaverse" has been capable of drawing huge attention ever since Facebook was rebranded to Meta. It has stoked the interest of leading brands and companies that have already begun investing in several metaverse projects. Although the concept of the metaverse is also creeping into the academic field, its possibilities in the teaching sector are yet to be unlocked entirely. Students' key to learning through technology, as well as several startups and prominent schools researching metaverse education options, provide hope for the future. With its numerous advantages, the metaverse will certainly revamp the education system, accelerate learning, and restructure the current system into a more advanced, innovative, and relevant one.

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