In today’s tech-focused world, students and trainees are more comfortable with online environments than ever before, paving the way for EdTech companies to capitalize on the growing popularity of the metaverse.
Like all education technology, the metaverse represents a vast opportunity to improve the quality of education and training while boosting efficiency, enhancing user engagement, and reducing resources and costs.
Around the world, companies like Minerva, Blackboard, Kubrio, and many more have developed new educational experiences for schools, universities, and corporate organizations to disrupt traditional models and demonstrate the value technology can bring to the learning process.
With the metaverse representing the next significant paradigm shift in online technology and the future of EdTech, education providers can create new immersive experiences for learners and educators that redefine the meaning of experiential learning. Let’s explore a few examples and look at ways to get started.
Metaverse use cases in education
The metaverse presents a range of potential applications in education, spanning several areas of K-12, higher education, and professional development.
In the K-12 area, the metaverse can help young learners understand concepts like history by enabling them to “travel” to a digitally generated depiction of past ages. For instance, groups of students could visit the middle ages together to witness the socio-economic challenges of the time firsthand. Or even immerse themselves in a virtual science lab where they can collaborate on experiments or handle hazardous materials that wouldn’t be possible to test in a physical school environment.
By replacing the traditional classroom and the blackboard with these immersive environments, students will become more engaged with their lessons and take away memorable experiences that positively impact their learning process.
Along with a heightened level of immersion, the metaverse provides a unique platform for experiential learning activities, allowing students to do almost anything if designed and developed correctly. For example, you could create a virtual shopping mall where students can practice basic mathematical concepts. Or enhance a language course by inviting guest avatars from other countries to practice conversations with students in a virtual setting — imagine taking a French lesson beneath the Eiffel Tower.
For higher education, colleges could create a campus experience that allows potential students to visit a campus virtually, explore the grounds, meet professors, attend a lecture in a virtual classroom, and figure out if it’s right for them. One of the most prominent problems universities face is a high dropout rate. As the metaverse evolves, these immersive experiences could help students get back on track and keep them engaged with their studies.
In professional development and recruitment, the metaverse can help organizations onboard and train hundreds of employees in a virtual setting. For example, a global corporation could “project” a single holographic trainer into all locations through VR or AR to help employees practice sales pitches, claims processing, negotiations, crisis management, and more. Such a solution would significantly cut the cost, time, and human resources required to onboard staff.
Getting started with the metaverse
Education providers and companies in the EdTech sector have a long road ahead regarding metaverse implementation, but there are ways to begin that journey today.
First, think about ways to design and develop interactive simulations that students can use simultaneously. The insights from these simulations inform how best to advance, so try to measure how people respond to them and how your current infrastructure handles multiple users. Create a place where people can gather, such as a virtual classroom, and then iterate from there.
Since the social aspect of learning can often disappear from a distance, students might appreciate a virtual cafeteria, interest clubs, and other networking events in the metaverse to allow people to interact with other students and like-minded individuals. This social aspect is particularly relevant in corporate learning and workforce development, where the trend is to share your learning experience with others, so companies should enable employees to engage in social learning in the metaverse.
Before creating new virtual spaces, everybody needs to learn how to behave in this new world. For example, specific behavior patterns like bullying work against the learning experience when educating kids. Schools are an excellent place for kids to socialize in the physical environment, but as the world moves toward the digital and the metaverse becomes their world, we also need to teach them how to mix in the virtual world.
Partnering for metaverse support and growth
While it’s still very early days for the metaverse, companies in the education sector should look to partner with technology and consulting companies like Globant to discuss the most impactful and effective ways to capitalize on its growth.
Through our EdTech Studio and Metaverse Studio, we’re helping companies in the education industry find ways to leverage metaverse technologies, experiment with virtual reality and augmented reality tools, and solve problems in their current approach to learning.
One of the key areas we focus on is best practices, in which we help EdTech companies integrate phygital and metaverse experiences to ensure continuity across all “universes.” For example, with a learning passport, students can easily attend virtual educational events with great speakers and professors worldwide, interacting with millions of students simultaneously — a great starting point for EdTech companies who want more traction with students.
The paradigm shift is coming, so the educators who prepare metaverse content and process transformations today, with support from experienced, third-party enablers like Globant, will be most prepared to usher students into an exciting new future of immersive, experiential learning.