The classroom of the “future” may be closer than you think. Universities and schools in Brazil and around the world are beginning to explore Metaverse resources as advances in augmented reality technology and the pandemic push for distance learning. Sold as the next “revolution” of the internet, virtual reality spaces were created in the 1980s, where you can buy land, hold meetings, watch concerts, football games and classes, and have an avatar that is controlled for you.
While nothing new, the Metaverse is back in the spotlight after Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram owner Mark Zuckerberg changed its name to holding company Meta and said it would be his next bet. This mix of characters from the Matrix universe and The Sims game has now made its way into Brazilian education.
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One of the first such classrooms opened last week at the FIA Business School, which began offering courses in Metaverse. Teachers teach using virtual reality glasses, while students who don’t yet have devices can join online spaces via video calls.
“It was an incredible experience for them. We’re not talking about a ‘high’ world, but a different universe. Students can participate at home, in bed, while being transported to the classroom. There , he walks, talks, claps and interacts with his colleagues, while I write on the blackboard, give presentations and ask questions”, explains Alexandra Montini, director of the FIA Lab Data Core, which created the space .
She said she and her colleagues spent ten days of immersion to create the virtual classroom. Just to get the hang of the remote, it took three to four hours.
Despite the visual and interactive appeal, Alexandra noted that this is one of the main challenges for teachers of the metaverse. “It’s great for the student because he’s sitting and watching. For the teacher, he’s reciting the topic, following the character’s expressions to judge whether the student understands, controlling the technology resources available… Classes in a virtual world are like a Marathon. You have to stop for about 15 minutes and then rest,” he said.
Companies and universities from China, the US, Mexico and parts of Europe have invested in training and courses specifically taught in virtual reality. Among these advantages, they highlight the possibility of receiving students and staff from all over the world.
Last month, USP also got involved, becoming Metaverso’s first Brazilian public university through an international partnership agreement with Radio Caca (RACA), which ceded the first NFT (non-fungible token) to the institution. The goal is to promote the application of virtual reality worlds and research in technical, economic and legal aspects.
This NFT means that USP has acquired a “piece of rare earth” in its own metaverse developed by the United States of Mars (USM), an online “nation” created by RACA. In practice, Brazilian institutions can use this “virtual land” to build interactive spaces. However, until then, it is necessary to find qualified labor to produce the modules as well as to pay the required funds. “Right now, our goal is to attract people and ideas to build a space and what’s inside it,” explained Marcos Simplício, associate professor of computer engineering at USP Polytechnic.
“It’s an expanding market, and it’s not just from people in technology,” said Juliana Tenório, manager of educational solutions at the Brazilian Institute of Capital Markets (Ibmec).
She said more people are looking for jobs in this niche and on LinkedIn.Collaborate with magazines take an exam, Ibmec launched the Digital Manager and Metaverso master program this year, which lasts for one year and costs just over 18,000 reais, which is completely online and is equivalent to a graduate program recognized by the Ministry of Education. Information comes from newspapers. State of Sao Paulo.