Online Education in Metaverse: Novelty or Innovation?

Online Education in Metaverse: Novelty or Innovation?

Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 32
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6351-0.ch009
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In this chapter, the authors approach the perspective of Online Education in the Metaverse from the tensioning between what characterizes a novelty and what characterizes an innovation in education. They present and discuss the subtopic “Learning Contexts in Metaverse” to draw attention to those aspects that involve the learning process in the context of 3D digital virtual worlds. In the subtopic “Methodologies in Metaverse,” they present the methodologies: “Methodology of Learning Projects Based in Problems” and “Problematizing Methodology of Case Study.” In the context methodologies, the authors approach the “Pedagogical Intervention in Metaverse.” In the subtopic “Novelty or Innovation?” they bring examples of 3D digital virtual worlds that represent a novelty and/or innovation. In conclusion about the chapter, the authors believe that the development of online education in the metaverse can contribute to elevating the quality in education within the world educational scenario through more innovative pedagogical proposals.
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In a worldwide scenario, education presents a paradoxical picture characterized by: an alarming index depicting the problem of illiteracy; strategies of actions promoted by different institutions as the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) and ambitious projects, involving emerging technologies, developed by the world’s great reference research centers, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Within this paradox, in the last decade it was possible to observe the progress of different countries, mainly in developing ones such as Brazil, particularly when referring to children’s access and inclusion in schools, new policies for the education system and the increase in the number of teenagers in universities. Projects that link different uses of digital technologies in education were created, allowing the teaching and learning process to contribute more and more to the education of men and women at this historical and social time.

In the Brazilian scenario, according to the report from the 2010 census carried out by INEP, some indices may be considered relevant in that there was an increase in the offer of children’s education, for those up to 3 years old. The reorganization of pre-school, aimed to children between 4 and 5 years old, and the implementation of elementary school for 9 year olds, started to include children from 6 years old on. This reform implied a decreasing enrollment index, but better profiting and performance of education, making it possible to make suitable adjustments between the age groups and the school year attended.

Another point noticed in the School Census 2010 is the confirmation of the expansion in professional education enrollments, from 780,162 in 2007 to a total of 1,124,388 enrollments in 2010 – a 46% growth in the period. There are 6.5 million university students in Brazil, 6.3 million of them on undergraduate courses and 173,000 on post-graduate programs. Growth in enrollments in 2010 was at 7.1% compared to the year 2009. Such development, though very recent to have its consequences evaluated, shows the changes in a contemporary society.

According to the data presented in the UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report 20111, 171 million people could escape poverty, if students from low-income countries had gained basic literacy abilities at school, involving writing and reading. This corresponds to a fall of 12% in the number of people who live with an income lower than US$1.25 a day. However, the report advises that the international efforts that have been made since the beginning of the decade are starting to fade, and the rhythm of progress initially achieved is diminishing. So, the report suggests that governments urgently need to intensify their efforts to achieve the objectives proposed at the World Education Conference in Dakar, Senegal, before 2015.

The paradoxical aspect is that, alongside this critical world situation, there are also societies where modernity is closer, where scenarios are further from lacking welfare. When we are interested in sketching the profile of an educational vision compromised with the current time, these scenarios should be visualized, but without losing awareness of national and international disparities, which are increasingly live and present, and their possible consequences towards countries’ economics, politics and social safety. (Moraes, 2004, p.114)

Modernity, equally paradoxical, has been unleashing a process of vast transformations in humanity. “Such a process is conditioned by countless factors, among them the scientific advances that multiply information, distribute knowledge, influence political, economic and social systems, both in the present and in the future” (Moraes, 2004, p.115). Words like globalization, outsourcing, quality, productivity, cost reduction, are part of a day-to-day life, including and excluding human beings in different groups that mingle to construct the so called “global village”. And in our intention to go beyond, maybe towards postmodernity, we realize, more and more, the plasticity of different frontiers (geographical, political, economical and cultural).

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