The Metaverse and its impact on education
As time goes by, new and improved technology is introduced and made available to the public; from new gaming platforms or a fireplace that burns without wood to Siri or drones. The interesting thing is that technology development will not stop any time soon, and one of the most prominent technology terms used these days is Metaverse.
What is the Metaverse? Until recently, used mostly for gaming with a VR (visual reality) headset, the Metaverse is a virtual space that lets you see and interact with various activities by means of a special headset. In other words, you enter another world where you can experience things that you aren’t able to experience in real life. Of course, the Metaverse is not one virtual reality that all people can view at the same time but rather many different worlds under the same platform. And now finally without being limited only as a gaming platform, the Metaverse now incorporates education.
How does it work?
The principle of the Metaverse being a gaming platform is still evident but with the focus being different. Instead of slaying dragons in a mythical world in VR, children and teens can engage in activities and worlds where education is the focus. For example, while wearing the headset, children can go to a tropical island and choose different subjects/activities with each focusing on a different part of learning; one activity could focus on mathematics and the other English or Geography. The possibilities are endless.
Now that we know what the Metaverse is and how it can assist with education, let’s discuss the pros and cons that come with it in terms of education. The biggest benefit of course, would be the entertainment factor that comes with it. Children and teens love exploring new areas and engaging with technology, and with the multiverse offering fun activities that they can complete with other friends that are logged in, it is the perfect place to learn. Another would be teachers can also log in to assist students and provide guidance during activities, or a teacher could even move classroom sessions to the Multiverse instead of going to a school, which seems like a solution worth considering especially during a time where Covid is present.
With the disadvantages of the Metaverse, they are luckily not severe. The most prominent of which is the price of getting a VR headset, setting people back 300 to 500 dollars, not to mention that the hardware the headset needs to run will also be quite pricey to run at an optimum pace. But with the pace at which technology is developing, in the future it will be available to more and more people, thus maybe even being considered as a valid place to learn and coincide with regular school learning. Some people have also complained that the headset is very heavy and uncomfortable after being worn for long periods of time. Other complaints include nausea but both these are known to occur when the user is not accustomed to a VR headset.
It is evident that the presence of the Metaverse is only just beginning, and will continue to grow as time goes by. This is inevitable but so also are the benefits it could provide for education, both now and in the future.