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How education will change in the metaverse

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How education will change in the metaverse


One of the many use cases of the metaverse could be its role in the future of education. The remote capabilities of the technology, coupled with the endless virtual possibilities, can transform schooling as we know it.

How education will change in the metaverse
Web 3.0 and the metaverse are expected to have a massive impact on how we live our lives, just as web 2.0 and the internet did when they first burst onto the scene. Through Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and other related technology, the metaverse can bridge the gap between the physical realm and the virtual world. And as such, its applications could be endless.
One of the many use cases of the metaverse could be its role in the future of education. The remote capabilities of the technology, coupled with the endless virtual possibilities, can transform schooling as we know it.
Experts believe that, as long as the metaverse can conform to the best principles for learning, it could transform how lessons are taught and how kids learn. And according to a paper published by the Brookings Institute, these best principles can be broken down into six basic criteria, or the 6Cs as the paper calls them.
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1. Collaboration: Social interactions are central to human behaviour. They also foster a spirit of learning, cultural understanding and community building. Such associations help instil the quality of self-regulation during engagements, which is something that elementary schools strive to achieve in children’s formative years.
2. Communication: Speaking, reading, writing and listening together comprise communication. Earlier, these were developed through in-person interactions and physical mentoring. However, replicating it in the metaverse is a challenge.
As such, points 1 and 2 shouldn’t be much of a hiccup in the metaverse. Thanks to advanced technology such as AR, VR and more, collaborating and communicating with one another in the virtual world is child’s play!
3. Content: Conventional methods of learning have always involved paper content that cannot be frequently tailored for customised learning experiences. In the metaverse, a combination of collaboration and communication will play a crucial role in determining what content shall have to be offered in the virtual world to best facilitate learning.
4. Critical Thinking: Students commonly struggle with this vital skill as they are too young at the time to know what they can do with the information in hand. Applying the knowledge in other areas of life by self-evaluating the pros and cons of doing so entails some guidance. If the children are to be able to reason, they should first learn to collaborate and communicate amongst themselves in order to be able to listen to alternate viewpoints, present their own, and make an informed decision.
5. Creative Innovation: Amalgamating the offered content with critical thinking leads to creative innovation among children. Here is where gamification of content helps as it not only provides audio-visual aids but also lets students visualise what they’re learning. Play-based learning also ignites curiosity, even if dormant, thus encouraging further exploration of the subject matter. Interestingly, according to the World Economic Forum, creativity is also the 3rd most sought after skill for employment.
6. Confidence: This trait plays a crucial role in making learners flexible as well as persistent. Usually, over-fixation on performance leads to dwindling confidence and may end up compromising interest in learning. If the learner is able to use the above 5Cs comfortably, the sixth comes naturally.
As can be seen, the six ‘Cs’ are often interdependent and inculcating these characteristics into a virtual teaching model does present a challenge. However, tech has always found a way to overcome obstacles and the hope is that it can do the same in the realm of education.
As the virtual world focuses on delivering an immersive experience through cutting edge technology, developers must focus on the end objective – learning through the experience.
“It is imperative to get the social interaction component right from the start,” says the Brookings report. Interacting through avatars may not be appealing at the start, and despite having them dressed in the most fashionable clothing online, they may not be the perfect replacement for physical interactions. The biggest challenge of them all shall be the fusion of both worlds in a manner that preserves “real teacher-child, caregiver-child, and child-child social relationships.”
Moreover, learning games and other metaverse experiences will have to be more diverse and be culturally inclusive for all. Developers will also have to be mindful of the fact that misinformation is widespread on the internet, and the flow of any such misdirected propaganda does not enter the metaverse.
The metaverse has already absorbed fashion brands, event planners, real estate companies, banks, and other institutions. It is now coming to education, slowly and steadily. The question is, how effectively will developers create solutions that address the problems we expect to face then?
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