We were just getting acquainted with the concept of artificial intelligence and virtual reality when metaverse came on the scene to challenge our perceptions all over again.
Metaverse is all set to become a reality paving the path for new opportunities to learn and interact.
It will change the way we access information and is setting the stage for dynamic growth for diverse domains including education. The Dallas Education Foundation has created an educational metaverse where students choose their own avatars and navigate through an enhanced reality world.
Learning ecosystems need to take cognizance of the immersive way of learning metaverse will give rise to and prepare themselves for new opportunities.
So how is Metaverse for education going to be? Let’s find out.
Imagine a very hi-tech classroom setting with whiteboards, large screens, and movable chairs. There are timelines being projected right there on the floor and you suddenly find yourself surrounded by details of the very topic being discussed almost as if you are right there as things happen.
Metaverse learning environments can give you a real time scenario like experience. You could be in the middle of a world war in the early 20th century or watching an experiment in a Physics lab of a modern scientist. Or you could simply be sitting in the middle of the human brain marveling at its functioning.
This kind of immersive learning experience is surely going to stay with you for a long time. Now imagine being able to impart valuable lessons in this format to your students?
Metaverse and modern technologies also help children with special needs learn better and improve their perception of people and the environment they live in. More than 1,000 autistic children in Shanghai China, are learning effectively through VR and interactive games.
Considering that autistic kids tend to get distracted easily and are averse to concentrating on people’s faces or expressions, VR provides a way to walk virtually into different places and slowly respond to diverse scenarios.
Well, metaverse in education is all this and more. It is upon us and all set to become main stream like every other technological advancement we have seen in recent years. The metaverse infrastructure is still being made but that should not deter educators and policymakers from preparing themselves to leverage its potential for an extraordinary, connected, immersive world of learning. What they need to do is identify and adhere to best educational practices in metaverse to help children navigate through the virtual spaces it creates effortlessly.
High-quality, optimized educational products are the key
We need to derive insights from the learnings obtained from web 2.0 and the educational apps we have seen so far. Designers would then be more equipped to create cutting-edge solutions to empower us to step into the metaverse of the future. A lot of apps capture the imagination but disrupt the experience.
A few things to remember:
- Students have had a better experience with hands-on, minds-on environments and are inclined towards active learning
- Apps should be more engaging in a way that they improve the learning curve and do not interrupt the narrative with unnecessary questions or activities (suddenly bringing the narrative to a screeching halt with questions to test vocabulary)
- The app should seamlessly connect what they know with what they will learn rather than dropping them into the middle of something they have no clue about
- The app should have room for social interaction rather than forcing them to go solo
- Intrusive ads should be curbed to minimize distractions
Metaverse in education is already being explored in the form of virtual field trips and STEM classes. While K-12 schools are already using it to some extent, new ways of learning in the metaverse continue to emerge. Metaverse can be a turning point for EdTech. It’s however important to create metaverse learning platforms that will captivate the student and imbibe a love for learning. Metaverse can then help augment our in-person activities and create more opportunities for education.