The Impact of the Metaverse on Education


12 min read

Buzzy metaverse projects have already sprung up around gaming, socializing, working, and creating, so it’s unsurprising that educators have started to explore ways to bring education into a shared virtual world. Today we will explore the metaverse for education and how you can expect it to be used in the future.

Why Use the Metaverse for Educational Purposes?

Education in the metaverse is based on immersive technologies — a virtual extension of reality that allows you to perceive better and understand the surrounding reality. That is, they literally immerse a person in a given event environment. There are several advantages to the immersive approach:

Visibility — Virtual space allows you to examine in detail objects and processes that are impossible or very difficult to trace in the real world. For example, the anatomical features of the human body, the work of various mechanisms, and the like. Flights into space, diving hundreds of meters underwater, traveling through the human body — VR opens up tremendous opportunities.
Concentration — A person is practically not affected by external stimuli in the virtual world. He can fully concentrate on the material and absorb it better.
Involvement — The scenario of the learning process can be programmed and controlled with high accuracy. In virtual reality, students can conduct chemistry experiments, see outstanding historical events and solve complex problems in a more fun and understandable way.
Safety — In virtual reality, you can carry out complex operations without any risks, hone your transport management skills, experiment, and much more. Regardless of the complexity of the scenario, the student will not harm himself or others.
Efficiency — Based on the experiments already conducted, it can be argued that the effectiveness of training using VR is at least 10% higher than the classical format.

How Can Educational Institutions Use the Metaverse?

One of the main metaverse use cases in education is a virtual classroom. Basically, this means that the virtual classroom will have everything that a physical classroom would have, but it would provide additional benefits, especially in today’s environment where everything is done remotely. The virtual classroom can also help address the low participation rates for online courses by helping remote students feel more connected and less isolated. VR classrooms give students the opportunity to raise their hands, ask questions organically, and, another interesting benefit, the convenient semi-anonymity that avatars provide. There is a lot of research on the so-called Proteus effect, or how a virtual reality user’s behavior can be subtly affected by the characteristics of their avatar.

Another interesting use case is replacing mundane classroom processes with exciting VR interactions. For example, if students are learning about ancient Rome, it’s one thing to read about in a textbook, but it’s an entirely different experience to actually walk through the colosseum, watch the gladiators in action, and everything else that was important and exciting to learn about that time period.

Metaverse Solutions for Schools and Colleges

One of the main benefits colleges can offer is a safe space to train future professionals. For example, let’s take a look at medical schools. In medical school, most medical students endure hours of rigorous hands-on training. Typically, they train with cadavers, mannequins, training software, and other hands-on devices. Although these tools have trained excellent doctors for years, virtual reality training replicates the real world like never before. Conducting such training in the metaverse will offer students greater value since it can better simulate the real-world environment.

Such real-world experience is especially important for specialized professionals such as surgeons. Students primarily learn within a classroom environment throughout the first two years of medical school. Real-world experience usually doesn’t come until clinical rotations, with only a small surgical rotation. This leaves very little time for the hands-on surgical experience. With VR training, medical students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a surgical experience long before they are in a surgical residency. They can observe surgeries and even see surgical procedures from a first-person perspective. VR truly places students ahead of the curve from a very early stage.

While this section focused on medical training, any subject can take advantage of educating in the metaverse. A metaverse development team can create a solution for you to meet all of your needs and help take the educational experience to a whole new level. For example, Morehouse College is teaching three classes in VR. Using this headset, remote students meet on a virtual Morehouse campus to attend their virtual classes.

Corporate Training in the Metaverse

Many companies have both learning objectives that overlap with other companies, such as customer experience protocols, and highly specific learning objectives, such as how to repair a piece of proprietary hardware. Interestingly, due to these overlapping learning objectives, it’s possible to create a Metaverse app that can be shared between numerous companies and industries. A metaverse app with learning and development in mind would bring multiple L&D designers together to collaborate and create a centralized place for all types of professional training programs. Company-specific processes or procedures could still be kept internal, but certain processes that are similar across industries could be generated, remixed, and shared.

Many companies are already starting to use virtual reality to train their employees:

Erste bank is using VR to train up to 16,000 branch employees in a variety of customer-facing scenarios.
Dutch Railways (NS) is using VR to deploy company-wide interactive tours for new train types easily.
Shell is using VR to improve safety awareness. Workplace safety is significantly improved by training 9,000 frontline workers on the best ways to prevent failures and stay out of harm’s way.

How the Teaching in the Metaverse Will Change Education?

Looking at current trends, we can confidently say that VR equipment will become more affordable over time. One of the key factors in the spread of technology will be the increase in available VR content. Not only for schools but also for universities and other institutions. At the same time, virtual reality can be used in education at any age — both for primary school students and for older people who decide to learn a new profession or improve existing skills.

But if VR technologies are already so developed today, why haven’t they become widespread? The first reason we have already mentioned in the price. The equipment is still quite expensive for the mass consumer, apart from smartphone devices. In addition, not everyone is ready to invest right now, as they fear that in six months or a year, there may be a new rapid leap in technology development, and the purchased equipment will become obsolete.

However, in addition to price, there are several other important factors.

The high cost of developing programs for VR. This process requires a lot of time, effort, and investment. In addition, not all materials can be competently and effectively transferred to VR.
Possible difficulties of adaptation to virtual reality. Not all people perceive VR in the same way. Some people experience dizziness, nausea, and disorientation after a couple of minutes. These are the individual characteristics of the body, from which there is no escape. But this problem in most modern devices is practically solved and will soon be completely defeated.
The need to significantly change the curriculum at the state level. So far, VR is being implemented at the level of experiments. To make technology a full-fledged part of the educational process, it is necessary to work on educational programs in schools and universities radically. But due to bureaucratic complexities, this can take years.

Trust Skywell Software to Create Your Metaverse Solutions

Suppose you are looking to create an education solution in the metaverse or would like to help companies make their corporate training more effective. In that case, you will need to partner with a trusted metaverse development company. Skywell Software has extensive experience creating virtual and augmented reality solutions for some of the world’s leading brands. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

Originally published at https://skywell.software.

The Impact of the Metaverse on Education was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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