The Metaverse in Education — How ’bout No?

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In response to: What Should Higher Ed in the Metaverse Look like? – from by Joe Schaefer

“The Metaverse is coming whether we like it or not…”

Spoken like a vendor with a vested interest in the Metaverse coming. In truth, any school or institution that embraces the Metaverse will have to content with the significant cost of equipment, content, and developer talent that will be required to offer rich AR/VR/XR experiences. They’ll have to balance vendors’ desire for “lock-in” and large profit margins against learners’ and schools’ need for affordable learning solutions, local choice, and technical interoperability. They’ll have to ensure that there’s good pedagogy at the heart of any learning experience so it’s not all eye-candy and whiz-bang tech excitement, but rather an authentic thinking task presented in as authentic of a virtual setting as possible. Very much like gamification in ed, solutions often tend to be expensive, underwhelming, and of questionable instructional value.

Remember the last tech bauble that bewitched the minds of tech purchasing institutions – the iPad? 12 years and millions of dollars later, the research shows that it’s had no positive impact on student learning. Bummer, right?

Are you ready do that all again with a proprietary walled garden in cyberspace?

The Metaverse is coming… that indeed is true. Don’t forget though, that the people pushing it to us, Meta, are the same people who single-handedly have destabilized reality as we know it. The people who have weakened democracy, obliterated humans’ mental and physical health, understanding of science, and broken the bonds of human kindness at a global scale — now want to lure us deeper into their immersive funhouse of mirrors.

Part of being an educator is taking a learner-centric approach to your craft. I always make instructional decisions by asking “what will enhance my students’ well-being and help them achieve their learning goals?” I suspect it will be a very long time before the answer to that question is “The Metaverse”.

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Written by

Ted Curran is a Learning Experience Designer/Developer for Autodesk. He is committed to empowering educators and learners to create transformational change through effective pedagogy and technology integration. You can follow Ted on Mastodon, LinkedIn or learn more at my 'About" page. These thoughts are my own.

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