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HomeThe Metaverse in Higher Education: A Coming Reality?

The Metaverse in Higher Education: A Coming Reality?

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The Internet has become as much a part of our daily lives as the material reality that surrounds us. Offering increasingly immersive opportunities for interaction, work, learning, shopping, or entertainment, the Metaverse concept is gaining momentum.

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Like the virtual and hybrid classrooms that are already slowly replacing traditional classrooms in the new era of education, it is almost a given that the Metaverse will soon become the natural teaching and learning environment for new generations.

Today, buy narrative essay online service will tell you exactly what this digital territory is, what its implications are for the education of the future, and how educational institutions are already taking advantage of it to become more competitive and innovative. Read on!

What Is the Metaverse?

The metaverse has gained popularity recently, especially when Facebook announced its brand shift to Meta. The offering is based on a unified ecosystem of 3D virtual environments that allow users to connect, learn, collaborate and have fun in unimaginable ways.

However, “pre-metaverse” in one form or another has been around for years. As an example, many online games simulate open universes and allow users to explore different worlds, customize avatars, interact with each other and even engage in various forms of virtual financial transactions.

Before the pandemic and the blockchain technology boom, virtual reality universes were considered mostly leisure options. But with the emergence of freedom constraints and the need to explore new possibilities for remote work and study, the meta-universe has become an innovative tool for all kinds of everyday activities, including education. 

Understanding what the meta-universe is and how it will affect all areas of our lives can be quite difficult. A simple way of looking at it is that the metaverse will become the “new Internet” and many web pages or platforms will become immersive virtual reality environments where the user can freely navigate with his or her avatar. 

Metaverse in Education: 4 Key Technologies

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Many companies around the world are starting to develop immersive 3D technologies for educational purposes. Again, one of the best examples is Facebook, which indicates on its website that it is currently investing $150 million in virtual reality resources for education. 

Beginning to take advantage of the meta-universe in education requires educational institutions to become familiar with immersive technologies that drive virtual environments and allow them to provide students with experiences that are closer to the real world. Some of the most important of these include: 

1. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality 

Although they have a lot in common, virtual reality and augmented reality are not exactly the same thing. In the first case, the entire environment with which the user interacts is generated by a computer, while in the second, digital elements can be integrated into the surrounding reality thanks to a phone screen or smart glasses.

According to the best dissertation writing services, augmented reality will be a very effective way to connect the meta-universe with the real world. 

2. Virtual Reality Glasses and Smart Glasses

While it is possible to access a virtual environment or change reality with a screen, the trend is toward a much more immersive and organic experience through innovative virtual reality lenses and smart glasses.

Virtual reality glasses are used to connect the user to a 100% computer-generated digital environment that can be accessed through any device.

Smart glasses, which are still in the early stages of development and commercialization, allow virtual elements to be combined with the user’s physical environment.

It is expected that smart glasses will soon become as popular as smartphones as personal wearable devices and, according to some predictions, may even replace them.

3. Artificial Intelligence 

Artificial Intelligence (AI), among many other applications, allows us to analyze vast amounts of data in real-time and personalize immersive experiences according to user needs and preferences. 

In the field of adaptive learning, this is especially relevant because AI will allow students to take courses at their own pace and with dynamic content that adapts to their learning style.

4. Blockchain and Smart Contracts

Given that the activities and transactions carried out in the meta-universe will have the same impact and validity as those carried out in the real world, high-tech control and security systems are needed to provide peace of mind against possible hacking and information theft. 

Blockchain technology, especially in the form of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts, allows virtual environments to offer high guarantees of trust to users and companies alike.

4 Examples of the Metaverse in Education

There are many applications of virtual reality in digital learning environments at almost all levels of school and especially higher education. There is reason to believe that in the not-too-distant future, many students will be doing most school assignments without leaving home, thanks to the meta-universe.

Virtual Campuses in the Metaverse

One of the medium-term goals of many higher education institutions is to start a radical digital migration to the meta-universe. The goal is that students from around the world will be able to visit a 100% virtual campus identical to a real university campus and live simultaneously with peers and professors remotely and face-to-face.

The Tec de Monterrey virtual campus is a case in point. The environment was specifically designed so that students can attend classes with their personalized avatars. In addition, they can interact with peers in different scenarios, such as a multi-sport venue, a virtual classroom, an auditorium, a food court, etc.

This will require very sophisticated dynamic environments capable of accurately replicating the essence of university life, but it will also require that students and staff in face-to-face mode have devices to interact with their remote colleagues, such as smart glasses.

High Contextual Fidelity Simulators

A large number of simulators already exist for students in professions such as medicine, aeronautics, or civil engineering, which involve a high level of complexity and where one wrong move can be fatal. Thanks to technology, students can practice critical operations in a controlled environment before going out into the real world.

Metaverse can take these simulations even further and introduce them into a contextual environment that closely matches what graduates will encounter in real life. 

For example, from a simulator that allows for open-heart surgery to an entire virtual hospital for pre-graduate training, or from a “simple” flight simulator to an entire network of virtual airports identical to major airports around the world.

Virtual Tours Around the Planets

Thanks to virtual reality, it is possible to explore museums, distant cities, natural ecosystems, and even different geological eras. For example, students can learn English in Colombia or Brazil, and listen to and practice the language in an environment that simulates an English-speaking city.

In addition, technology promises a complete and unique immersion course in astronomy, where students will be able to see in detail the main features of each planet, constellation, and galaxy.

Learning on the Go

If students are equipped with “smart glasses,” they will be able to supplement their excursions to places of scientific interest with all sorts of additional information.

For example, while visiting a historical site or the ruins of an ancient civilization, the technology can scan QR codes, post additional academic resources, and additional digital content, and record the percentage of the student’s progress throughout the course.

How Can You Take Advantage of the Metaverse at Your University?

In addition to being competitive in education, if you start considering new immersive virtual learning environments, it will allow your students to become familiar with the reality that will touch them in one way or another when they enter the world of work.

Undoubtedly, we will have to go through a transition period when learning tools begin to include VR devices and virtual rooms identical to face-to-face ones.

Introducing hybrid learning using e-learning or mobile learning platforms, an adaptive learning model, gamification, etc. – these are the steps your institution can take to gradually transition to immersive education, which will soon become the university educational standard.

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