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 could buy land, hold meetings, go to concerts, football games and classes, and have an avatar controlled for you, here.
While nothing new, the Metaverse is back in the spotlight after Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram owner Mark Zuckerberg changed his name to holding company Meta and said it would be his next bet. The Matrix universe, mixed with characters from the video game The Sims, has now made its way into Brazilian education.One of the first such classrooms launched last week FIA Business School, he started managing courses in the Metaverse. Teachers teach using virtual reality glasses, while students who don’t yet have devices can join online spaces via video calls.
“It’s been an incredible experience for them. We’re not talking about a ‘high’ world, but a different universe. The student can participate at home, in bed, while he’s transported to the classroom. There , he walks, talks, claps and interacts with colleagues, while I write on the blackboard, I give a presentation and ask questions”, explains Alexandra Montini, Director of the FIA Lab Data Center, He is responsible for creating 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 sits and watches. For the teacher, he has to recite the subject, follow the avatar’s expression to know if the student understands it, control the technology resources available…in the metaverse, It’s like a marathon. You have to stop for 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 entered, becoming Metaverso’s first Brazilian public university, through a partnership with kaka radio (Variety), which gave the institution its first NFT (Non-Fungible Token). 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 obtained a “piece of rare earth” in the metaverse developed by Mars America (USM), its own 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,” explained Marcos Simplício, associate professor of computer engineering at USP Polytechnic.
“It’s an expanding market, not just for those from the tech sector,” says Juliana Tenório, manager of educational solutions at the Brazilian Institute of Capital Markets (Ibmec). The number of people looking for jobs in this niche has grown exponentially on the marketplace and on LinkedIn, she said.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. According to Juliana, the “product manager” profession is “on the rise” and “on the cusp.” “It’s a disruptive product.”