The Metaverse will only be what the most optimists paint after much effort (big and small, old and new) and after much trial and error.
For this reason, the columnist highlights (and does) the recent moves of two Brazilians: Júlio Cancellier, 56, from the state of Santa Catarina, and José Luiz Nogueira, 62, from São Paulo.
Nogueira works in advertising, politics and audiovisual marketing and owns a production company in Fabrika, Brasilia. When he realized how this market was changing, he decided to bet on education. and created Cientik, a streaming channel that supports public education in developing future skills and competencies.
Tailored projects have sponsors who help pay for content production and delivery infrastructure. The rule is: students and teachers don’t have to pay for access. They get all teaching content for free.
A few days ago, Professor Débora Garofolo, Coordinator of the CIEBP (Centre for Innovation in Basic Education in São Paulo) invited Cientik to the Expo Movimento Inova at the Ibirapuera Coliseum in São Paulo.
Débora is an enthusiast of using virtual reality in the classroom, and explained the reasons for this enthusiasm in an article:
“[A realidade virtual] It allows for interaction, differentiated learning possibilities and teaching adjustments that take into account the individual needs of students. With digital resources, students who are struggling to keep up with their studies will be able to feel more confident. The high-cost idea cannot be seen as a challenge, as it is possible to make e.g. 3D glasses with the class and enjoy the benefits of virtual reality during the learning process. “
Nogueira immediately accepted the invitation and went there with a gadget. “We built a robotics and additive manufacturing shop outside Ibirapuera, using Mobtic trucks, with a full fabrication shop with laser cutters, three 3D printers, drones, fiber laser engravers and robotic arm monitors , accessories and prototyping materials. Mobtic is a partnership between Cientik and Creative Universe,” he said.
“But we wanted more. We were looking for something that would really lift students off the ground. Then came the idea of the Cientik challenge, which involved a plank spanning between two buildings, over 150 meters high. Fear is universal, fear of heights is a feeling that mobilizes people,” he added.
“Students know it’s virtual reality, which is to say, it’s not real. But there’s a big difference between ‘knowing’ and ‘feeling’. At the end of the journey that many give up halfway through, an animation with text welcomes those who are The adventure is complete,” he concluded.
The response from students and teachers is the best. Emileny da Silva Pereira, 17, a student at Professora Maria José Margato Brocatto, a public school in Santa Bárbara d’Oeste, in the Campinas region of São Paulo, faced a 40-minute queue but was satisfied.
“It’s really worth it, you look down, like on the roof, on the plank, and it feels like you could fall at any moment. Your legs start shaking. Next time I want to go or stop under the sea or the stars,” he said.
Emileny’s colleague, fellow 17-year-old Thiago Bozelli, loves it so much that he dreams of one day having virtual reality glasses available in all schools, “learning while playing,” in his words.
Pedro Henrique Lucas Silva, 16, a student at the Myrthes Therezinha Assad Villela State School in Barueri, also in São Paulo, said: “It feels very real. And weird, you know it doesn’t exist, but it seems like the brain is telling you that you’re in that world.”
Professor Tábata Tibério Gomes Gonçalves, educator of CIEBP – EE Dona Pilar Garcia Vidal, is also delighted with virtual reality. “I thought it would be like a video game, but it’s very different: I’m at the top of the building. I’m shaking.”
“Look, I’m really enjoying this experience of experiencing a little bit of virtual reality. It’s amazing, I can only imagine how much we can teach with a tool like this.”
The reaction that led to Jose Luis Nogueira’s conclusion:
“At a dark time when the legacy of the Enlightenment is under attack, it is important to value research and science. Technology can adapt schools to the 21st century, making learning more active and effective. The digitalization of education has been accelerated by the pandemic, and blended learning is the point of no return. New things are always scary, but who overcomes fear gains new horizons. Every discovery comes from research. This is the wealth of human knowledge. Does curiosity nourish science?
Julio Cancellier has been researching immersive content for at least a decade. He started using a Kodak camera to shoot spherical videos of 180-degree images. Then he learned about Theta 360º and Nikon Kaymisssion 4K. Five years ago, when Pokémon launched, it ran a campaign using augmented reality at the Federal University of Santa Catarina using the Zappar app. When he visited the Oculus Quest 2 from Meta (formerly Facebook), he decided to test these possibilities.
The first result: a virtual gallery to browse the work of Santa Catarina-based artist Willy Zumblick, who showcases the Italian hero Giuseppe, on any phone, computer or Oculus itself through the Spatial app Pe Garibaldi and his wife Anita from Brazil.
In the real world, these works are either in the Willy Zumblick Museum, located in the cultural center of the city of Tubarão (South Carolina), or in private collections or other museums.
Wearing the avatar, visitors can move freely through the corridors of the virtual gallery, viewing the work of Zumblick, a self-taught man who died in 2008 at the age of 94, from any angle and distance. He is considered the most important contemporary artist in the state of Santa Catarina.
Cancellier said he chose virtual reality because he believes it has the potential to expand people, especially young people, with art and culture.
“Museums limit the experience to contemplation, with no greater possibilities for interaction. With virtual and augmented reality, stories can be told and extraordinary experiences from a distance. With virtual worlds, it is possible to enter a virtual world and learn about history,” he said. .
The paintings and engravings have no captions, making it difficult for those with little knowledge of Garibaldi and Anita’s history to recognize what they are seeing.
Júlio Cancellier says it’s possible to put these subtitles, but that’s not the main goal, because the virtual gallery is part of the Storytelling Garibaldi project – 180 chapters a day on social networks about the couple in Brazil and Italy, in the mid-19th century,” It is the guiding thread and argument for each project, it advances into the metaverse, and it also becomes a panel exhibition with augmented reality.”
The “Metaverso de Garibaldi” project was initially supported by the municipality of Tubarão, through the Ministry of Culture, which manages the Willy Zumblick Museum, the Anita Garibaldi Rural Electrification Cooperative (Cergal), and the Unisul Foundation, which manages the University of Dehon.
Cancellier sees the metaverse as the point of no return. “If it seems like an adventure today, it will soon become a reality. I believe that as this technology becomes more widespread, there will be profound changes in the way entertainment and information are consumed. Creating specific content for the platform is definitely a A great future.”