Since Mark Zuckerberg declared the rebranding of Facebook Inc. Being Meta Platform Inc, the conversation about Metaverse is getting hotter. Many practitioners open discussions about the metaverse, ordinary people also wonder what the metaverse is and what is its potential in the future. No exception in the world of education and academia, many studies and studies discussing the metaverse are currently booming.
In this article, let’s discuss together what a metaverse is, and how it can be applied to the world of education.
What is Metaverse?
According to Mark Zuckerberg, a Metaverse is a place where people who are on the internet can not only see but also feel they are in it. In the metaverse, the world of the internet feels like the real world through digital experiences.
In fact, the first person to introduce the term metaverse was Neal Stephenson. Neal Stephenson mentioned the term in his 1992 novel Snow Crash. The term metaverse refers to a 3D virtual world inhabited by avatars of real people.
Therefore this term does not have a universally accepted definition. Think of the metaverse as the internet visualized in 3D. In short, the metaverse is an endless virtual world that is interconnected. Metaverse is a world where we can meet, work and play at the same time using virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses, our smartphone apps and other devices.
Metaverse in the World of Education
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on learning methods in education. It is estimated that more than 1.6 billion students from 192 countries around the world, experience disruption in the teaching and learning process.
Learning that used to meet face-to-face between teachers and students, now has to be done online using various online platforms.
With the virtual world concept promoted by Metaverse, online learning can be done more interactively. Metaverse provides support for online learning without compromising the learning experience at school or college.
Several universities in the world, have started this learning concept. They call this the Metaverse University. Campuses are competing to innovate and become pioneers in metaverse learning. The following are some universities that are active in implementing metaverse in their learning environment.
Amman Arab University
Amman Arab University, Jordan, in collaboration with EON Reality, a leading company in Augmented and Virtual Reality, launched EON-XR as a Metaverse Hub. Amman Arab University which has 6 study programs, applies the concept of a metaverse in their classes with the aim of making learning more interactive. Teachers no longer need physical devices to teach training, and students are assisted in attending classes remotely.
One of the lecturers at BrainSTEM University, named Ricky Mason, had tried to apply the concept of metaverse learning in early 2021. However, at that time no investors were interested. With an unyielding spirit, Ricky and his team continued their project called Metaversity. In BrainSTEM Metaversity, students will have their own avatar, be able to walk and chat with other students and teachers, and experience an interactive learning experience. The Metaversity project is targeted to add 200 more students in the spring of 2022.
CEU University, located in Spain, built a prototype of the Metaverse version of CEU University to support a virtual learning community based on Minecraft Education Edition. The project started on the CEU University Cardenal Herrera campus involving 200 students. This project is expected to reduce stress levels, and the learning process becomes more relaxed and attractive.
Khon Kaen University
At the end of September 2021, the president of Khon Kaen University (KKU) Thailand officially launched the Metaverse Experience project. This project is handled by KKU Library. KKU became the first Thai university to initiate a metaverse-based project. KKU is aware that the rapid development of technology also has an impact on the world of education, that’s why they started this metaverse project. With the VR Headset, it is hoped that teachers and students can interact with each other in the digital world.
University of Nicosia (UNIC)
The University of Nicosia (UNIC), located in Cyprus, introduced the UNIC Open Metaverse Initiative program to faculty, scientists and students in early November 2021. This program focuses on research, policy, and issues related to the metaverse. This project has a strong foundation as UNIC has been known for 8 years in blockchain and cryptocurrency development.
University of Muhammadiyah Prof. Dr. Hamka (UHAMKA)
Not inferior to universities abroad, the University of Muhammadiyah Prof. Dr. Hamka (UHAMKA) also began to multiply studies and scientific articles related to the metaverse. UHAMKA is a pioneer in applying metaverse in education in Indonesia. With the support from the Information Technology Research Institute (BPTI) UHAMKA, researchers at this centre actively introduce and open discussions related to the metaverse. UHAMKA has the vision to build a campus using the Metaverse Education method.