8 Sept 2022

Metaquette #VirtualEducation Q18

Tips & Tricks for negotiating The Metaverse......with Pooky Amsterdam

We enter the Metaverse for fun, fame and fortune! Well, most of us...some of us use it for Educational purposes which have proven highly successful. While recent lockdowns introduced new ways of going to classes, virtual worlds have played a great part and will play a greater part, I think moving forward over the next years. There are many ways to incorporate a kind of learning which reinforces lessons with additional context in a simulated environment. Deeper roads can be made here.

Q: Can The Metaverse make you smarter?

Although "Metaverse" is defined differently than Whyville, which launched in 1997 by a Caltech professor, Whyville users were rewarded  with inworld currency (clams) for educational game play which they then used to buy fun face parts. That was a cool Play2Learn model. Today educational investment in The Metaverse and hours spent by students has exploded.  From just this past June the figures for Roblox's 200 million unique users, show people between the ages of 15 - 25 create more messages there than on WhatsApp. 

Where kids go in The Metaverse, education follows, and that demographics engagement also makes Roblox Education a powerhouse in the field with 11.3 Billion hours of spent in that for the first six months of 2022, bringing all sorts of games for educators and students.

Minecraft is another big site for educators used in over 100 countries with a lot of support for the teaching community and over 500+ lesson plans available for download. The Metaverse is a natural place for kids to learn, as the familiarity of games is embraced under the learning is fun concept.

Decentraland University hasn't really taken off yet but TheSandboxEDU seems vital with an emphasis on lots of science and art skills designed for kids 6 - 12. Learning about states of matter, operational ecosystems and functional electronics can be much more fun in a bright and colorful world, than in the classroom. Why not go there? Will future Metaverses have more of an emphasis on educational games? That seems a good probability, as the need for smarter content grows.

Spatial thinking is highly prized, but there is no formal edu consortium on Spatial The Metaverse yet, but with cool graphics and a more laid back community VRChat has a language learning going on in VRlanguage Exchange. Learning a foreign language in the Metaverse is really great because the visuals are reinforcing the content in an immersive way, plus it is a livelier way to engage a community of students around the grammar and vocabulary they need to learn. 

Here is a guided tour of Nefertitti's tomb in Somnium Space while Brookings has a great post on the Metaverse showing how history including Ancient Greece can be made much more vibrant by bringing it alive and allowing the student to enter a timeline. Building an ancient city can be a very illuminating hands on learning experience, more vivid than reading a book in our screen enhanced world.

The US Army is building a synthetic universe for training, which will enable educational deployment as an avatar, but not perhaps specifically to train medical professionals. Doctors and health professionals are receiving training in virtual environments. Johnson & Johnson built the Innovation room in Mexico with sophisticated medical devices to allow doctors and other medical professionals to rehearse in a virtual environment. 

One of my all time favorite stories of immersive education comes from 2007, when Loyalist University on the US / Canadian border did a virtual training to see if that improved test scores. It did, critical skills tests improved 53% to 95% as people's avatars trained amongst virtual border tolls, cars et al in this recreation.  

In 2012 Metaverse universities had a heyday when Second Life recorded 159 university sims including Princeton, plus NASA, NOAH and the JPL on their grid. It got even better watching the landing of the Mars Rover there, while sitting in Virtual Martian landscape while a huge media board played the inside of the NASA control room, courtesy of someone who was attached to their SL project at the time. 

There are opportunities to learn so much in The Metaverse, from more traditional kinds of lessons for children, to professional and teacher training, to a vast range of higher educational topics and areas.

With the very many different metaverses now there should be an educational community that works across platforms. Such as is represented at the Educational content heavy VWBPE going into its 15th year which has a very vibrant community and presentations from many Metaverses already mentioned. Over the years I have taken part in a virtual fire in the triangle shirtwaist factory, learned about Heiroglyphics and helped solve the puzzles of ocean pollution over the years. In the coming years there will be more of them attached, I'm sure.

The VWEC (Virtual World Educational Consortium) has an event October 5th bringing educators together., if interested it is open ot the public.The Metaverse can help people grow through the community of avatars which band together around shared interests as well, while lifelong learning is a highlight of The Metaverse. And Caltech always a frontrunner in learning technology, has a presence again on SL, VIRTech where teachers can train.

Virtual spaces provide so many ways for us to understand through inhabiting the moment, and being part of it. It can even help us understand our development into other phases of life as with InMind2 utilising Lovheims cube of emotion. You can learn how to beat over-thinking within the Metaverse!

And I do believe the best is yet to come.

I am personally waiting for an Allosphere to be built, and be able in the very surrounding Metaverse and see the inside of our minds, cellular structures and systems to learn increasingly more about them. 

For some very good reasons 14 to be exact from a University in Spain, here is why the Metaverse is great for Education. yes, you can get smarter in the Metaverse. What do you want to learn?

If you have a question, send an email to info@pookymedia.com with Metaquette in the subject, and it will be answered.

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