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Education in the Metaverse

The Metaverse will impact all facets of our lives, not least our work and social lives. But it will also have a significant impact across all industries, from the extraction and production of raw material, to manufacturing, construction and service industries.

One area that is sure to be impacted in a significant way is the education industry. No stranger to innovation and technology, the education industry could see significant opportunity in the Metaverse. One reason for this is the fact that people retain much more information through active learning, such as demonstration and discussion, than passive learning, such as lectures and reading. Consequently, Metaverse technologies that enable immersive, interactive experiences, will only enhance learning and education.

Distance learning, first introduced by Caleb Philipps in 1728, did away with he need to be physically present in the classroom with weekly mailed lessons. Sir Isaac Pitman built on Philipps’ innovation and, in 1858, the University of London began delivering degrees through their External Programme. The Open University, founded in 1969, vastly altered higher education, by delivering learning materials through television and radio broadcasts.

The introduction of the internet, and the ability to fulfil multiple education roles via text, images, sounds and interactive components, rapidly increased remote learning. Pre-Covid, e-learning and the introduction of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), first offered by Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012 were growing in popularity. Since the onset of the global pandemic, distance learning has become the new norm, and the majority of institutions still want to continue with distance learning.

So how might the education industry embrace the Metaverse? Well, the possibilities are pretty much endless. In the Ernest Cline’s 2011 science fiction novel Ready Player One, schools are all computer-generated and teachers are able to take their students on a virtual field trips without leaving the school grounds. History class included a trip to Egypt circa 14th Century BC followed by the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922. Biology class involved a journey through the human heart Innerspace-style and astronomy class included a trip to Jupiter's moons.

Imagine if everyone had access to the world’s all-time best teachers, physics taught by Galileo Galilei, economics by Adam Smith, cosmology with Stephen Hawking and philosophical debate with Socrates. Imagine hyper-realistic, immersive, experiences, where students can take geological samples on the moon, travel to the bottom of the world’s oceans, witness defining moments in legal history, explore the inner workings of an active nuclear reactor. Here at The Metabite, we’re all eagerly anticipating the start of class.

Miguel Henriques/unsplash

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