Ed3 Weekly #38: Don't Sleep on the Metaverse
Why we need to break up with AI go back to our first love: the metaverse
Hello web3 and education frens,
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With all this talk about chatGPT and AI, it’s almost like the metaverse was never a ‘thing.’ Oh how soon we forget. Wasn’t it just a year ago that major publications like Forbes were publishing articles with titles like “Why The Metaverse Is Marketing’s Next Big Thing.” Or the New York Times and their article “What’s All the Hype About the Metaverse?” Weren’t all the major tech companies supposed to be making a bunch of big acquisitions in the metaverse?
Here we are and the metaverse is already old news. It makes sense though. AI chatbots are very real and tangible applications of new technology. You can open up a web browser, enter some commands, and voila, you’re chatbotting!
Not so much with the metaverse. I can’t just send you a link to “get on the metaverse.” There’s no handy website that will just get you ‘metaversing.’ Sure you can go to your local Target and pick up a Meta Quest 2 headset. But isn’t that just a video game? And Zuck, god he’s really annoying.
If we compare the amount of discussion among educators between AI and the metaverse it’s not even close. My Twitter and LinkedIn feeds are filled with AI-related content. The Atlantic is even running articles with provocative titles like “The College Essay Is Dead.”
It’s pretty clear we’ve broken up with the metaverse and we’re now dating AI.
Well “not so fast my friend” as our friend Lee Corso says. There’s still a lot of building going on in the metaverse space. While AI is the topic du jour, I believe immersive learning will be more impactful than software-driven speech conversation. It might just need a little rebranding to make sense. Take a look for yourself and enjoy your resources for this week:
💀 A new era for the metaverse, aka the metaverse is dead
🎓 A university launches a metaverse project teaching teachers in the metaverse
📒 Get ready for the web3 revolution with this field guide for educators
✍️ Yours truly with a blog post on the effective use of immersive technology
A New Era of the Metverse
Image by Tommaso Di Bartolo
This is the best article on the current state of the metaverse that I have read. It starts with a list of the three things that define the metaverse right now.
The days of hype are over.
Easy-money speculations are done.
We know what not to do.
Tommaso Di Bartolo then walks us through his outlook for 2023. What is most exciting is the suggestion that the metaverse is about to undergo a major “rebranding.” He also shares about the role of blockchain in this next iteration of web3.
A big part of this newsletter is providing you with the resources that serve up the signal amidst all the noise. This is the perfect article to do that, especially with all the noise out there about the metaverse and the future of technology.
Learning How to Teach in Metaverse
Photo of Zach Wahl-Alexander provided by Northern Illinois University
Morehouse College has been leading the way with metaverse implementation in higher ed. This article is about how Northern Illinois University is joining in. What’s really interesting about their program is that they will be using virtual spaces to be training preservice teachers. According to a professor, students in the course offering will be able to “cut their lessons and, before they teach, they go into the VR space, they run through their lesson, they record it and then they rewatch it.”
This is the first I have heard of training teachers using immersive learning. This has huge potential. If the next generation of teachers is learning how to teach using this technology they are more likely to design lessons in an immersive environment.
Preparing Educators to Learn With Web3
NFT by Ed3DAO
Getting Smart has been a great source for keeping up to date on emerging educational trends. This article by Ed3DAO* co-founder Mike Peck outlines how web3 will enable innovations in our learning spaces.
I’ve linked to the other two articles in this series in my newsletter already. But here are the links again in case you missed them Three Ways Web3 Will Change Education For Good and What Can Decentralized Organizations Accomplish in Education?
*Full disclosure I am the community growth lead for the Ed3DAO discord community
The Ready Player One Test
Image generated by DeepAI with input by Dagan Bernstein
I spent a lot of time reflecting and learning about the metaverse in 2022. Two books that were really impactful on this were The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything and Virtual Society: The Metaverse and the New Frontiers of Human Experience. This blog post was the culmination of all that learning.
I wanted to come up with some simple and applicable rules that educators could follow for implementing immersive learning in their classrooms. I am seeing a lot of examples of XR learning experiences and I worry that it will be treated as just “the next big thing” and soon be replaced by something else. These four rules will help us decide whether or not we are properly implementing immersive learning experiences.
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