The term “metaverse” has been a new buzzword since Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, formerly Facebook, presented his vision of the digital future. It’s a hot topic in the tech news today as metaverse is expected to replace the internet as we know it. It could take over all spheres of human life, including work, entertainment, travel, interpersonal relations, and education.
The potential role of the metaverse in education raises hopes and some concerns. Let’s take a closer look at how the metaverse could change pedagogical practices and student experience.
The term “metaverse” is still new to most people. In a nutshell, “meta” means “beyond,” and “verse” stands for the “universe.” The metaverse creates a computer-generated reality parallel to the physical world where people can interact with the digital environment and objects in it as well as other users.
The physical and digital worlds overlap in the metaverse, creating a shift in how we use technology. Virtual interactions become similar or even identical to our experiences in the physical world. People get virtual identities with avatars and inventories of digital items they own. They are expected to be transferable across platforms as the reality of the metaverse will be centralized.
The metaverse doesn’t refer to any specific type of technology. It’s a combination of them. Although it might take about 5 to 10 years for the metaverse to fully emerge, a lot of its key features are familiar to tech users. These are virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, image recognition, eye tracking, 3D environments, digital commerce, etc.
The metaverse might sound similar to video games, but its scope is much more extensive. If you’re a student and you need to research it for your paper, just search for “help with my essay” and writers will assist you in finding more information about its features and create a comprehensive overview of the potential of the metaverse in education and other industries.
The pandemic has forced many schools to adopt online learning practices. But let’s face it, Zoom classes cannot offer students an active learning experience. Without collaboration and hands-on experience, student performance and motivation to study suffer.
The features of the metaverse seem like a perfect fit for the education sector. One of its key pillars is experience. The metaverse allows full immersion into a digital classroom environment where students can interact with the learning content. It gives new uses and purposes to existing technologies that can empower learning. Thus, the physical campus gets a decent supplement or even replacement in the form of its digital twin.
A metaverse creates a comfortable digital environment for classes, research, experiments, and projects. All of these activities can happen in real-time, allowing students and instructors to interact in the same virtual space. This fosters creative and innovative teaching and learning solutions.
Experiences in the metaverse are limited only by one’s imagination. Students can literally travel through time and space. Here are some of the examples of using the metaverse in education:
- Travel on a virtual spaceship to learn astronomy;
- Have access to expensive lab equipment for scientific experiments;
- Manipulate and duplicate learning objects;
- Work on complex engineering projects in a safe digital environment;
- Travel in time to experience the life of ancient civilizations;
- See historical events right in front of you;
- Study any organ of the human body from within by stepping inside of it;
- Visit virtual museums and exhibitions;
- Examine thousand-year fossils;
- Perform simulated surgeries.
All these activities give students an embodied learning experience. According to EssayService experts, active engagement with the learning content promotes better understanding and knowledge retention. The metaverse supports the concept of edutainment and the long-standing trend of gamification, making the learning content fun to interact with.
The metaverse can also make it easier to deliver knowledge to a larger audience by offering lectures given by animated teachers. As a result, educators will have much more time to support each student and offer them personalized guidance while technology does routine tasks for them.
Although metaverse can empower education in so many ways, it is also associated with several challenges that we can’t ignore.
- Security. Student data security is a long-time issue that surrounds the digitalization of education. To be successfully implemented in the classroom, the metaverse needs to have solid security measures. Virtual reality will also need to have a trustworthy way of personal identity and digital entities verification.
- Regulation. The metaverse is a unified virtual space that extends over various platforms globally. To build and maintain such a diverse community, it needs a robust regulatory mechanism to make the space safe for all its users.
- Mental health. A distorted sense of time and space of the metaverse may cause users to detach from the real world and spend an unhealthy amount of time inside digital reality. This may potentially harm one’s mental and physical health.
- Cost. To keep the metaverse up-to-date, educational institutions will need to make significant investments in hardware and software. Considering the unequal distribution of resources worldwide, this might lead to inequality in access to educational opportunities. There are also concerns that metaverse will monetize education instead of making it more accessible.
The metaverse is still in its development stage, which leaves us with a lot of questions regarding its role in education. It has the potential to accelerate learning and rebuild the curriculum, creating a richer learning experience for students. At the same time, we need to see it in action and study its impact on the learning process to be able to form a balanced view regarding its relevance and effectiveness.
Yet, the fact that we need all the latest tech advancements in education is unquestionable. It’s the only way to support student growth and equip them with basic skills to succeed in an ever-changing and competitive world.