The Metaverse and the Dawn of a New Learning Civilization: Opportunity or Threat?

The Metaverse and the Dawn of a New Learning Civilization: Opportunity or Threat?

Denise Juanita Charles
Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-6513-4.ch003
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This chapter explores the opportunities and challenges that the metaverse could bring to education. It begins with an overview of the impact of the digital revolution on education and the imminent move from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 technologies. It explores how the metaverse will influence innovative approaches to educational planning, pedagogy, teacher training, and student assessment. It interrogates the notion of quality access and the inherent changes that a built-out metaverse could bring to traditional educational delivery. These changes include a keener focus on students' psycho-social needs in a new, immersive, virtual environment. Higher-order digital competencies and the digital soul are advanced as important corollaries for the development of a sound digital identity that is required to meet the demands of life in the metaverse. It concludes with critical considerations for the development of policy to safeguard students and promote the maximization of learning in this new civilization.
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From Web 2.0 To Web 3.0

That Web 2.0 technologies have brought significant change to the practice of pedagogy and to educational delivery goes without refute. This second generation of the web enabled individuals to move beyond being passive browsers of information as in Web 1.0, to being active creators, collaborators, and producers of content (Triantafyllou, 2014). It has seen a rise in the use of blogs, wikis and of social networking sites which are strongly built on the ideal of a cross fertilization of ideas and experiences. Web 2.0 tools enhanced students’ ability to problem solve and encouraged their active participation in the learning process.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Virtual Reality (VR): This is a totally immersive computer-generated, 3D environment where users interact as if the simulations were real.

Web 2.0: This refers to the current state of the internet which is dominated by user-generated content, interconnectedness and sharing.

Digital Soul: This is an extension of the notion of digital identity and represents the imperceptible, unseen self, which interacts internally with digital spaces as influenced by prior experiences and perspectives.

Web 3.0: This refers to the still evolving third generation of the internet which is expected to be more immersive and intuitive to its users, as it will also utilize artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Augmented Reality (AR): This refers to interactive, multi-sensory experiences which are created with technology and are integrated with real world objects to create an enhanced experience of the real world.

Extended Reality (XR): This is an inclusive term which embraces the spectrum of immersive technologies from Augmented Reality (AR) to Virtual Reality (VR) to Mixed Reality (MR).

Digital Identity: This refers to the traits, beliefs and practices which inform how we interface with changing digital technologies.

Digital Literacy: This is the combination of technical skills, cognitive and socio-emotional competencies required for successful navigation of digital environments and for life in the 21 st Century.

Mixed Reality (MR): This is an immersive technology which allows real and virtual elements to interact in an environment. It is viewed as an extension of AR since it merges the real and virtual worlds.

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