The Metaverse is a fusion of virtually-enhanced reality and physical-persisted virtual space. It offers a convergence of the virtual and real world where the gap between the virtual and the physical world will be narrowed or eliminated. Metaverse uses three essential components – hardware, software, and content employed through three approaches that include user interaction, implementation, and application. The Metaverse provides a user experience that is multi-sensory, immersive, and almost authentic to engage in a variety of activities e.g., working, learning, training, socialization, and transaction.
With the increased proliferation of high-speed networks such as 5G and 6G, users can now use smart wearable devices to enter the Metaverse without the constraints of time and location. 5G technology is allowing people to achieve rapid and free access with the ability to switch seamlessly between the real world and the virtual world.
Education is one major application of the metaverse which portends greater potential soon. Metaverse in education is described as an educational environment enhanced by metaverse-related technologies that allow the fusion of elements of the virtual and the real educational environment. With online learning rising in popularity, education stakeholders are looking for ways to make distance learning more engaging and interactive.
Learners will use wearable devices to enter the educational setting using digital identities and have real-time interactions with virtual learning resources. Users will feel like they are in a real-world educational setting. The metaverse will be unlocking fantastic learning experiences for students and other learners.
How Metaverse will Transform Education
Digital Identities and Verification
Users in the metaverse can create and customize their unique digital identity in the form of an avatar. Creating a digital identity is more user-defined and advanced allowing for the editing of the details of the avatar’s face. Manipulation of avatars can be accomplished with real-time tracking technologies to create a 3D representation of users. The avatars play a critical role in ownership, interactivity, embodiment, and socialization. But avatars are not enough, we need verification processes and a global vision. In this way, EdVerso, an international organization based in Switzerland, works to create a common line to issue, track and validate skills and certification.
Engaging and Life-like Online Classrooms
Metaverse will bring online learning environments to life. Educators can build classrooms that suit their unique education needs – the limit is their imagination! Learners will use avatars that are a real depiction of themselves that adds to the sense of realism in the virtual classroom. Therefore, learners will be more engaged in the learning process.
Building Better Communication and Interpersonal Relations
The metaverse can be used to train staff and students in soft skills such as communication, leadership, listening, and empathy. These skills are hard to achieve and also measure. Immersing learners in real-world conflicts in the metaverse allows them to practice their soft skills in a safe environment. Simulations for sensitive or difficult conversations with employees or customers can also be replicated.
Online learning has the limitations of feelings of isolation and loneliness for both learners and educators. Interactions and communication are not easy. Metaverse can help counteract isolation and loneliness since educators can create study rooms that facilitate collaboration, socializing, and studying together. Through their avatars, students can connect, share files, and even play games to enhance the overall learning experience.
Enhanced Visualization and Storytelling
Visualization and storytelling are two hallmarks of a metaverse learning experience and are much needed today. Learners can step into an entirely different world or another person’s shoes using VR technology. For example, healthcare leader DaVita builds patient empathy by using an interactive, multi-sensory first-person story. Yet another example is a learner who can use a VR headset to examine a street transformation in South Asia or explore life in a green Smart City.
The Metaverse is supported by technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Learners using virtual reality headsets and glasses can fully immerse themselves in the virtual world with an unrivaled embodiment and engulfing of the senses.
Immersive learning stimulates better retention of knowledge, improved engagement, and putting theory into practice. VR engages the motor system in the brain and helps build muscle memory. Technologies such as VR and AR will allow learners to participate in simulations and games as if they are physically present in real life. VR can train anything from firefighting skills, and farming, to anything in the education field. For example, the use of 3D illustrations will help students see and understand how machinery works. Additionally, spatial training for tasks that are considered too dangerous, expensive, or impossible to practice in real life is possible with VR and AR technologies. It is a new way to learn in safe and controlled environments.
Gamified learning has lots of fun and effortless learning, improved problem-solving, real-time feedback, and enhanced learning experience. Metaverse transforms the gaming experience since students are inside the game-based activities. They will complete activities in realistic environments akin to those in real life.
The digital experiences created by Metaverse in education can truly democratize education. It’s increasingly possible to bring people from geographically dispersed locations and varied economic backgrounds together to learn and experience cost-effectively, flexibly, and in a very short time.
The Metaverse facilitates an immersive campus life, where learners wearing VR headsets enter the virtual campus or university to learn, explore, and socialize. Projects are emerging across the world such as the planned Kenya-KAIST virtual campus in September 2023 and located 60 kilometers from the capital city of Nairobi. It will allow the institution to extend its reach across continents for students to learn together on cutting-edge topics without leaving their home countries.
The metaverse is the next stage of the Internet no matter how skeptical some people are about its advent. Education is another facet of life where the Metaverse will offer its immersive experience and other greater benefits. Virtual learning environments stand to become more experiential and engaging for more scholars and teachers. The future holds out for exciting outcomes as the education sector is reimagined. However, we must look out for challenges in the use of the metaverse in education.
Author: Alessandro Civati (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Blockchain ID: https://lrx.is/UkEKlfeyPp