Ellen Britt for CNT #NFT
If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s that the education of our children cannot rely on them sitting in front of a computer video camera all day. Yes, it was a stop-gap measure and served its purpose, but the real future of education in the metaverse is just around the corner.
The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. and founded in 1916, has just published a report titled A Whole New World: Education Meets The Metaverse.
Caught In The Undertow
They argue that if educators fail to “lead the way instead of getting caught in the undertow” the technology of the metaverse will define education instead of educators themselves. Educators must be prepared to leverage these opportunities to bring immersive virtual worlds into the classroom.
Beam Me Up Scotty
They envision a circular classroom for example, surrounded with whiteboards and with children in moveable chairs learning about various Greek myths. A timeline is now projected onto the floor, the chairs are quickly moved out of the way, and through the magic of immersive technology, the entire classroom is transported into the year 300 B.C.
Immersed In The Past
The children are immersed in the sights and sounds of a Greek market, with rumbling carts, traders announcing their wares and in the distance, the looming visage of a temple to the gods. This is a far cry from a child being crammed into a chair, stuck in their room in front of a laptop, while the teacher tries to explain Greek culture.
A Moment To Remember
The children return to the present and are now given a chance to use archeological skills to excavate the site from which they just returned. Opportunities for collaboration and conversation with the teacher and other students abound. This is a learning moment they will remember.
A Promise And A Warning
But the Brookings Institution also warns that these experiences will have to be carefully thought out and they state:
“It is imperative at this moment, while the metaverse is being developed, that scientists, educators and developers co-construct engaging, immersive, and collaborative opportunities that are good for children and families.”
They warn that the social interaction component of this type of education has to be built in from the start, that distractions in the environment must be avoided that children be given real agency as they begin to explore these worlds.
The Metaverse Is Coming
“The metaverse is coming to education. The question is whether as designers, policymakers, educators, and parents, we can mold intentional and appropriate opportunities that are truly educational within this new and exciting context.”