In today’s era, digital technology is in a constant state of change. New technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (VR) are becoming more popular and increasing immersively. It is where the concept of the metaverse origins.
The term ‘metaverse’ is wholly new in the field of the internet, as it gained popularity in the last couple of months. It happened when some of the renowned companies from the FANG group called ‘metaverse’ as part of their future strategy. Metaverse, also known as meta, is one of the leading technologies that is being developed, at present.
Moreover, many organizations are developing metaverses for education. But before jumping into the metaverse in education, let’s learn what metaverse is and how it is evolving the way of teaching.
What is Metaverse?
Metaverse is a 3D space network where anyone can create their digital version of themselves and stay in the form of an avatar. You can also replicate everything in the metaverse that you can do in the physical world. Many activities such as shopping, visiting places, going to events, etc., can be mirrored in the metaverse. Moreover, a person can interact with each other in the metaverse, similar to human interaction.
Metaverse in Education:
All the industries in the world got affected by the pandemic. Due to this, everyone started engaging virtually, especially in the education sector. However, this can affect the performance and motivation of the students, as online class somewhat lacks interaction and class experience.
But the metaverse is something that provides an engaging experience to the students, as the students can interact with the teacher and classmates. All school day activities such as classes, workshops, projects, science experiments, and seminars happen like regular classes, making student participation more effective.
In the education sector, presently, the popularity of Virtual Reality (VR) is increasing. As VR can provide both theoretical and practical knowledge, it is also helpful in making study more fun and interesting.
Advantages of Metaverse in Education:
Metaverse is an interactive platform from which students can learn concepts effortlessly. It can entirely transform the education system. There are numerous benefits of the metaverse, some of them are as follows:
Metaverse is a remarkable way through which students get to learn about the concepts that are difficult to observe in real life. For example, it is difficult for students to learn about outer space as it is practically impossible.
But with VR, they get to experience what outer space is and how planets work, etc. Thus, the metaverse can help students in learning and observing phenomena that are quite difficult to witness in real life.
Metaverse is a very interactive platform where learning can be fun. But if a student has an objective to achieve, they will engage themselves more in learning. Metaverse can help in gamification of the learning by introducing elements such as badges, quests, quizzes, etc. It will aid students in completing their tasks, being focused, and being more motivated.
Improved Knowledge and Test Results:
Indeed, the success of something can only be evaluated by the outcome that it produces. It applies to this technology as well. We can not say that the metaverse is producing good results in the study by just relying on the feedback received from teachers and parents.
A study done in 2019 by the University of Newcastle, Australia, states that the students who learned by using VR performed well and scored more as compared to the other group. It reveals that VR learning is more helpful for students in the study.
Drawbacks of Metaverse in Education:
Despite having many advantages, there are still some disadvantages that metaverse has on education. Some of them are as follows:
Hardware and Connection Issues:
For working without any hindrance, metaverse requires a fast internet connection and hardware specifically designed to use VR. Continuous usage of the internet and special equipment can be costly. However, these expenses can not be borne by some less fortunate people, creating a type of discrimination among people of high and low class.
As VR is a 3D space created over the internet, you can access it through your avatar, but still, it is not real. Psychological studies state that constant use of VR can increase the likelihood of separation from the real world. It can cause many psychological problems such as stress, depression, psychosis, delusions, etc.
Addiction and Losing the Touch of Reality:
Addiction to metaverse can cause many harmful effects on the students. Students can keep themselves fully immersed in the virtual world and lose touch with real life. It may cause many problems in their social life as well as health.
Veysi Çeri, an expert on child and adolescent psychiatry, says that “Metaverse is surely a delightful experience which will increase the risk of addiction to it.” It states that people under 18 are more prone to addiction to VR.
Applications of Metaverse in education:
Educational Social Networking Service:
Social Networking Service (SNS) is an online platform, used for creating social interaction or relations with a person who shares the same interests as you. However, Educational SNS is a platform, where one user is connected with others on their educational interests.
Currently, this system is being utilized in Korea, the system is based on an AI system that provides customized learning programs and evaluates the performance also.
Virtual Educational Spaces:
Virtual educational space is an emerging trend in the field of the metaverse. Gather Town, an online video conferencing platform based on the mirror world concept. In Gather Town, a user can create their own spaces with the help of creative tools. Spaces like virtual office conferences, classrooms, wedding venues, and party venues.
Zepto is an AR service where users can create their 3D avatar and interact with other users through message, text, and voice. It can also be used as an educational application, as a teacher can create a classroom map and invite all students to it. Through this, students can interact with each other by voice or text message on the classroom map.
Although the metaverse helps in understanding the practical concepts and maintaining high retention rates, still, it lacks human interaction that can cause isolating behavior among people.
However, in the upcoming time, the applications such as Educational Social Networking Service, Zepto, and Virtual Educational Spaces will bring evolution in the education technology. Ignoring the existence of the metaverse will be inevitable in the future. Thus, the metaverse will hold a vital position in the education sector.