The term “metaverse” is sometimes derided by educators as empty jargon. The reason behind this is simple to understand. However, the rapid advancement of metaverse technology has profound effects on the direction of education. The purpose of this Q&A is to introduce readers of EdTechTeacher to the Metaverse and its possible classroom applications.
Describe the meaning of the term “metaverse.”
The Metaverse can be thought of as a computer representation of our physical reality in its most basic form. It runs on a distributed network of computers and provides users with a huge selection of free decentralised games, communities, and gathering places. In the Metaverse, users can create or join a wide variety of virtual communities. There will soon be a significant change in how we interact with digital settings.
How does it function?
The Metaverse offers users a social environment that is totally immersive, 3D, immediate, and interactive through the use of AI, AR/VR, VR, and “Web3.” In these environments, users of the Metaverse can play games, interact with avatars and 3D digital objects, and build things (alone or with others). However, only a Metaverse development company that can assist you in moving your business to the current era can achieve this effectively.
Does the Metaverse still exist today, or is that a thing of the past?
It is only accessible to a small portion of the Metaverse. There are a number of online interactive worlds where one might have a “metaverse experience,” but these worlds are not connected to one another and provide little options for social interaction. However, the technology underlying the Metaverse is evolving quickly, and many experts are predicting that it will eventually become widely used.
An Educational Approach That Is Revolutionary
The most recent VR headsets are the key that opens the Metaverse’s entrance. The user is completely engulfed by virtual reality headsets worn on their heads, giving them an unmatched sense of physical presence. Users can move about a 3D scene and interact with it with their hands just like they would in the real world. To address the global capacity deficit, virtual reality technology is becoming affordable (costs roughly $300) and has moved past the hype cycle of Gartner. An internet connection is not even necessary for solo play.
VR stimulates the motor cortex in the brain, which helps to build muscle memory. Virtual reality (VR) may imitate any situation to help with training, from farming to combating fires. One example of a talent that plays to the unique characteristics of the Metaverse is spatial training, which includes the hands and body for tasks that are too unsafe, expensive, inconvenient, or just impossible to execute in real life. In a safe and controlled environment, simulations can also be used to practise important procedures, high-stakes situations, emergency reactions, and demanding work settings until they become second nature.
It seems that instruction in the virtual world is
In its most basic form, the term “Metaverse” refers to a future version of the Internet where users will be able to leave their immediate surroundings by utilising immersive technologies. Imagine taking your pupils on a field trip to the moon without ever having to leave their desks, or swimming through a coral reef without ever leaving your living room.
A researcher and doctoral candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education is Eileen McGivney. She delivered a course on digital literacy last spring. She is currently a member of a group that has created a manual called An Introduction to Learn in the Metaverse to assist instructors in comprehending the difficulties and advantages of integrating the Metaverse into the classroom.
According to McGivney, “there has been much discussion about the Metaverse in recent months, and this guide can help teachers and individuals who develop educational technology recognise what it can accomplish for learning and what is just a gimmick.”
In the future, education will resemble this in the Metaverse, a virtual representation of our real reality. It can be customised to meet the demands of specific users, allowing developers to create custom environments like virtual schools or sporting arenas.
Students and instructors can collaborate in a virtual space using VR eyewear, regardless of where they are physically located. Then there are the visual possibilities that a school in the Metaverse offers. The instructor can go through the results with the class and show them off in an entirely immersive 3D environment. Teachers can design immersive digital environments based on their curricula. A useful complement to the traditional classroom paradigm is the use of VR to transport students to other eras and locations or allow them to experiment with potentially harmful products in a safe environment. Through a role-playing simulation, students can learn about historical events or physics-related topics, for example. But throughout these sessions, real-world interaction is where the teacher and student bond.
Main features of education in Metaverse
- Participate in classes and meet people in an entirely online environment
Before and during COVID-19, classrooms were being replaced with hybrid and virtual settings. A virtual campus or institution can be entered by students using VR headsets, allowing them to take part in an immersive university experience made possible by the Metaverse. Students have access to a variety of online resources in this location, including specialised “learning pods,” a library, a breakout space, a counselling office, and a common area where they can mingle with other students.
Through the easy, affordable, and quick connection of students from all over the world and socioeconomic levels, these digital exchanges have the potential to drastically democratise education. For instance, the Kenya-KAIST virtual campus, which will open in September 2023 and be 60 kilometres from Nairobi, the country’s capital, will enable the university to expand its reach across continents and enable students to study together on cutting-edge subjects without having to travel outside of their home countries.
- The cost of educational resources is reduced
Universities frequently lack the resources necessary to meet the educational demands of their students due to financial issues. They can overcome these restrictions with the help of the Metaverse.
For instance, Fisk University in Nashville has refrained from purchasing any bodies due to the expense and maintenance required. Less expensive virtual reality cadavers are now being used in the university’s pre-medical programme.
In the VR lab, it is possible to take a human heart out of a corpse’s chest cavity. It gives the heart a real-world appearance, as though students might pick it up and examine it. There is potential for growth. The walls of the ventricles are visible and palpable to students. By looking at human hearts, students might discover the effects of previous lifestyle decisions. They had a protracted discussion before agreeing on the correct diagnosis.
- Enhances student performance in the classroom
Effective activity illustration is made possible by virtual training’s use of visual demonstrations of ideas and step-by-step instructions. They enable practical education. Allowing players to lose themselves entirely in the game can increase participation in educational activities.
Morehouse College in Atlanta is running a metaversity test out pilot programme that offers courses in biology, chemistry, and world history. Comparing virtual reality lessons to those given in conventional and online venues, the school discovered that the former created higher levels of student accomplishment, engagement, and pleasure. For instance, students’ GPAs increased by 10% in the virtual reality world history course compared to the course’s Zoom and in-person delivery the year before.
- Boost training in virtual and mixed environments for application in the real world
The Metaverse enables physical, hands-on learning by simulating real-world situations and high-stakes situations in which students can make mistakes without suffering severe consequences. It combines data science, spatial design, and virtual reality (VR) to increase students’ interest, skill, and motivation. A few benefits of metaverse training include the following:
doing-based instruction. Novartis, a global leader in the pharmaceutical sector, trains its staff on life-saving laboratory procedures using high-fidelity, multiplayer VR simulation. Students can access an online lab where they can execute tasks like labelling bags, weld tubes, and open bag tops while getting unlimited teacher comments.
deliberate instruction. In the Metaverse, students can experiment with different variations of a concept and get quick feedback on how they are doing. Randomly produced content is used in the game Spark City, which is available at Walmart. Customers must approach within 10 feet of the player before asking for assistance, but only after spills and other possible hazards have been cleaned up.
State-based education. Addressing workplace microaggressions at Providence Health has a significant psychological cost. The camera on your smartphone or tablet will create a 3D volumetric video of a real person that will appear to be standing in front of you, giving you a realistic atmosphere for studying and reviewing.
- Improve interpersonal and crisis-management abilities
It can be difficult to teach and test personnel on “soft skills” like leadership, listening, and empathy. The Metaverse, which immerses students in a real-world environment and enables them to practise “soft skills” in a risk-free environment by simulating situations like awkward conversations with coworkers or clients, makes this possible.
The inclusion of B robberies in safety training scenarios can make Verizon employees feel frightened and overworked. Verizon trained nearly 22,000 employees across 1,600 stores using virtual reality for this scenario, and the company reported that 97% of those taught felt ready to handle challenging circumstances.