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The metaverse could update the remote classroom
The Future. Educators are looking to the metaverse to connect students in a more natural way than online video. One platform, Gather, is hoping to meet teachers where they are by recreating universities online. With COVID keeping students home once again, the desire to make learning more dynamic may be the biggest adoption force for the concept of an avatar-filled metaverse.
In-person learning may be canceled again, but you might still be able to go to class.
- Launch House, a California-based community and residency program for startup talent, launched a metaverse platform called Gather.
- The 2D browser-based destination models real-life universities.
- The virtual universities don’t just function as classrooms— they also have hallways and corridors that allow for surprise meetings and run-ins with other people on the platform.
Several startups are already signed up to use Gather, which has 10,000 virtual offices already digitally constructed. For its educational use, Launch House said that the platform will cost less than its in-person programs (typically around $4,000-$5,000).
Gather’s platform demonstrates just how desperately people want to feel like they’re actually interacting again… instead of feeling like they’re trapped looking at colleagues and classmates on small screens. Zoom fatigue is already widespread, and that sense of eye-and-mind fatigue is only set to continue in 2022. And with the continuation of remote learning, universities know they can’t justify normal costs for education — people just aren’t falling for it.
While Gather isn’t widely adopted yet, some schools are already looking past Zoom as a way to bring students together. Last year, the University of California, Berkeley had their commencement on Minecraft.