Meta’s Nick Clegg: Metaverse will rehumanize education
Madrid, Apr 14 (EFE).- American tech giant Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, says that the Metaverse will not only become the next evolution of the Internet but will also serve to “rehumanize” education by inspiring and motivating students thanks to its immersion technology.
The Metaverse “does not intend to dehumanize education. Far from it, we are rehumanizing education. I think in many years to come we will look back and say, ‘My God, do you remember that? We used to sit on desks looking at pieces of paper’ and ‘people will say, that’s so dehumanizing’,” Nick Clegg, former UK deputy prime minister and current Head of Global Affairs and Communications at Meta tells Efe in an exclusive interview.
The Metaverse, a virtual space that offers immersive technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and mixed reality, is expected to provide “much more human learning experiences”, according to Clegg.
To offer the best immersive experience in the sector, the tech giant led by Mark Zuckerberg relies on tools like Meta Quest, mixed reality virtual glasses that allow users to enter a new world that blends physical and digital realities to immerse into either a creative, learning or leisure experience.
Clegg adds that the groundbreaking technology will not serve “to replace teachers”, but will work as an additional resource that will enrich education.
“It is giving teachers new tools to inspire and motivate young children in particular,” he says.
The so-called immersive technologies offer a new way of rethinking the classroom by creating a virtual environment that brings teachers and students together.
“The teacher will be completely in control of the experience that the children have. And that’s why lots of software developers are producing a lot of content,” he adds.
However, Clegg acknowledges that the technology is still in its “very early days.”
“We still need to make this technology much more teacher-friendly and teachers to be comfortable when using it.
“We still need a much richer ecosystem of software which can be used by teachers (…) and we can’t produce geometry and algebra lessons. This is really a partnership with teachers, with governments, with researchers to make this a reality,” he says.
According to a study carried out by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 40% of students who use virtual reality in their classes feel more prepared to apply what they have learned in real life and participate up to 150% more than in traditional classroom settings.
The use of this technology also increases learning efficiency since the time students need to absorb information is reduced to just 29 minutes, much less than the two hours a traditional session might take or a 45-minute long online class.
Meta has already announced the implementation of projects in educational centers in Japan, the UK and Europe, which will serve to analyze the necessary transformations the education system will need to adopt the integration of this technology.
The roadmap is still to be configured, though.
“It is happening already. We have accepted that it will take many years before this really reaches full scale. I think it tends to happen that you get a slow burn in technology and then, suddenly, it reaches a critical mass. And I can’t predict when that will be”, Glegg says. EFE