Is the metaverse the future of education?

the metaverse is a digital universe that allows everyone to access information in a decentralized way, so from anywhere in the world »Defines our expert Elliot Boucher, co-founder of Edusign *. A concept that heralds a small revolution in digital content! Not only is geographical space abolished, allowing virtual connections and boundless interactions, but this “meta-universe” also allows its users to be immersed in a simulated shared space where physical and digital merge thanks to virtual reality and augmented reality.

According to Elliot Boucher, tomorrow the metaverse should concern everyone, and he believes that the educational environment will have a lot to gain from it: “ Today information is centralized around a single teacher, good or bad. With the metaverse there will no longer be room for mediocrity, we will have access to the best teachings, accessible to everyone, from all sides.

Added to this is the possibility of living new educational experiences impossible to achieve in a traditional environment: giving life to distant or historical content through 3D images, digital exploration and Role playing game, bringing real people and acquaintances from all over the world to class, practicing manipulations in science laboratories, etc. Many new forms of learning by experience, capable of fascinating, promoting concentration, which facilitates and maximizes the memorization, understanding and anchoring of knowledge. In short, the best of digital technologies, at the service of training.

Will the teachers disappear?

However, obstacles stand in the way of the deployment of the metaverse: the economic aspect, for example. The equipment suitable for this type of education, even if it becomes more and more accessible, represents a cost that will have to decrease unless its use is limited to a privileged few and not to the majority. Furthermore, the Edusign co-founder specifies that if language is a potential barrier, ” there are tools to translate most of the content in real time. One can imagine an evolution of these tools towards any type of content.

Finally, on the merits, even in an increasingly digital world, traditional training still has to do well: ” Learn to synthesize, analyze, have a critical look at the information received, but also be able to exchange, collaborate and build social relationships “Says Elliot Boucher. Indeed, neuroscience research clearly demonstrates that the basis of all learning is human-to-human construction and that strong synchronization between teacher and child promotes brain growth and connectivity, as well as early learning *.

The future of training already underway

In the unprecedented context of a long pandemic, we have witnessed a rapid expansion of virtual learning that has allowed us to experience one of the applications of the metaverse. Companies, universities and schools have implemented distance learning tools and resources available online. The United States, with more means deployed, took the lead in this matter. In primary and secondary education, a dozen trials are underway that offer experiences in the form of virtual reality; “metaverse hubs” connect teachers in a shared virtual world; companies offer virtual reality experiences in labs and virtual worlds, and even Meta (Facebook) is dedicated to developing virtual educational applications.

So, the metaverse, the future of full-time virtual education, or the innovation in support of in-person learning modules? It is difficult to decide today, but in an era that already immerses children a lot in the digital world, there is a great risk of neglecting life in the real world. A world that gives way to the essential forms of communication: emotional expression, emotional ties, touch, smell and body language. It will therefore be necessary to find a balance that is perhaps not easy to achieve.

* Edusign is a dematerialized solution for remote or face-to-face student signing. www.edesign.fr
* source: study “Toddler word learning from contingent screens with and without human presence”, August 2020, Sho Tsuji, A.-C. Fievet, A. Cristia. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S016363832100028X?via%3Dihub

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