Imagine you are an astronomy student. In a class on the Milky Way, the teacher takes the class to traverse the land of Mars, walk on Saturn’s ring and get to know Pluto closely. You and your classmates can see all the details and feel like you went into space, without leaving the classroom.
This is one of the possible applications metaverse in teaching. It started in October last year, when the Facebook announced the name change to purpose, this is one of the major areas to be shaken by innovation. Researchers in the area have already speculated that the convergence of technology almost to happen, and the process accelerated with the spread of disease and the reduction of local classes. Now, with the return of live action, the market is experimenting with new forms and teaching models.
In Brazil, the initiative of the pioneers, as MedRoom leading this movement. Edtech founded in 2016 offers medical education training with virtual reality glasses. Its field has a human anatomy laboratory, an office for clinical simulation of patient care and a motion picture center for examination.
Vinicius Gusmão, a biologist, CEO of the company and co-founder of the startup, said that one of the advantages of the class in the virtual laboratory is the ability to perform real-time anatomical inspections there. on a living human body, which would not be possible in a normal classroom – where the examination is usually done with corpses or mannequins.
“The metaverse offers another way to interact with content, more immersive than the two forms of a computer,” he says. “The idea is to be able to do activities that can’t be done in face -to -face classes or in distance learning.” Another example given by biologists is MRI training. Typically, classes are based on materials costing millions of dollars and containing radiation, which can be dangerous for students.
For Gusmão, virtual reality seems to make learning more secure and more productive. The best design, he said, is hybrid, combining face -to -face and virtual classes, with “obvious” applications.
ny Digital house, a program-and-data-focused intensive teaching startup, created in 2016, has sparked a similar debate: “What is the real value of installing virtual reality glasses to attend classes?”, the principal asks. general Sebastian Mackinlay. “It takes time and investment, it takes relevant content.”
In the industry, experience has been incorporated into part-time curricula by some teachers. “This first step is one of experimentation, to clarify the topic and understand how it is possible, what the limits are,” he said. According to the operator, the students gave good answers and showed interest in the new topic.
In Senai Cimatec University Centerin Saviorvirtual reality has been introduced in product development courses, for engineering students, as well as in workshops for different levels of training.
For Ingrid Winkler, lead researcher on the project, along with the presence of reality in the metaverse, there is also the fantasy aspect, the “not necessarily obeying the laws of physics”, which gives another perspective on the matter. Compared to distance learning, the environment creates more focus and interaction in the classroom.
To get all these benefits, there are still challenges. “The technology isn’t mature yet,” said Ingrid, who conducted the interview era of BUSINESS of the metaverse Horizon Workrooms, where Cimatec’s events take place. “There are questions about ergonomics and physical health, heavy glasses, dry eyes. We are considering the extent of the use of this technology. “
Another precaution is to avoid excessive excitement in the virtual space, so as not to allow the user to get intoxicated with any kind of opportunity. “It needs to be tightened so as not to interfere with the content and skills to be developed in the classroom.”
The final barrier, perhaps the most decisive, is access to glasses and clothing. All Cases mentioned in this article have limited resources and, for students who do not have them, participation can be done through a computer or mobile screen. Hopefully, however, these tools will become popular.
“As with any new technology, tools and software need to evolve to complete the experience. The talks are fully underway in the United States, I believe they will be completed in the next 12 months, ”CEO Sebastian Mackinlay predicted.
“People are very open to participating in experiences and finding new opportunities,” said Ingrid Winkler, researcher. “People bought the idea, now it’s just a matter of creating a solution,” concludes biologist Vinicius Gusmão.
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