With Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s recent announcement about his plans for the Metaverse, people have begun to speculate about what the main applications of this VR world could be as it’s poised to revolutionize the world of technology.
There’s no doubt that it will be used for entertainment, business, and education, but how far will this be taken? Will Metaverse versions of these be able to replace their real-world counterparts and, if so, will they be more efficient? Online schools certainly have the potential to boom.
People are Already Primed for Online Schools
Ten years ago, the thought of schools moving online would have seemed like an alien concept. In recent years, however, people have become accustomed to online education and have been able to see the myriad benefits of it.
For instance, nowadays, you can brush up on your French conversation with a private tutor at any time that’s convenient for you. You can get in touch with fluent French speakers, without having to be in the country. Likewise, you can get access to an expert Chinese teacher to help you learn to write characters, a skill that would have been impossible in the past for anyone who didn’t live near a specialist school for Mandarin.
Internet users are also prepared to do other things online that take up long periods of their time such as watching television or films. This highlights how they would also be ready to attend lengthy school classes.
Thanks to the rise of online video conferencing mobile apps like Zoom, people are used to conversing with friends, colleagues, or strangers around the world through a screen. It’s a great way to get numerous people together at the same time, regardless of location.
Ready Player One Introduced the Concept
When thinking about what the Metaverse could look like, the best reference that we have is the concept introduced by Ernest Cline in his novel, Ready Player One. This vision was brought to the screen by Steven Spielberg, and the successful film of the same name raked in $582 million worldwide.
In the futuristic story, people pretty much live their entire lives within a simulation known as the OASIS. This is vastly superior to the real world, which has become overcrowded and almost inhospitable. Within it, they attend schools that resemble the physical buildings that came before.
Currently, learners can study online using tools like Zoom and Skype, but it is fully digital and hard to introduce offline philosophies. The level of immersion in the schools in Ready Player One would enable teachers to conduct advanced hybrid lessons where they could combine offline teaching methods with digital advancements.
This Would Enable People to Attend any School
The other advantage to schools moving to the Metaverse is the fact that it would enable people to attend any educational institution they wanted. Up to now, people have been limited by geography, but this could be a thing of the past.
It would be particularly beneficial to students whose parents often move around the world with work. Instead of joining different international schools for a couple of years at a time, they could attend an online institution and never have to tearfully wave goodbye to their friends again.
When the Metaverse becomes the huge online ecosystem that it promises to be, there is a strong chance that a vast number of educational institutions will move towards existing solely in VR. However, the virtual world is unlikely to eradicate offline educational institutions completely.