Metaverse is revving into high gear, stretching into and transforming almost every industry far beyond gaming and entertainment. The average age of players in the most popular virtual worlds spans between tweens and young teens. Considering this age range and the endless educational opportunities the metaverse presents, developing a metaverse education platform may bring value to both investors and users.
The facts speak for themselves: the global metaverse in the education market was valued at $4.39 billion in 2021. It’s projected to grow at around 40% annually and reach a whopping $32.39 billion by 2028.
All these make metaverse education platform development a tasty morsel for companies and startups within the industry. But where to start from? What to include? And is the educational industry ready for a change? Read on to find the answers.
From university to metaversity
The emergence of Web3 technologies brings new possibilities to the educational sector. It has already transformed the gaming industry and promises to make the educational process fun, engaging, and more accessible. This may play the key incentive in grabbing the attention of impatient digital natives like Gen Z and Alphas, who aren’t interested in consuming linear content.
Last year’s survey by Statista found that 29% of respondents believed the metaverse would provide new opportunities in education. Unlike Zoom or Microsoft Teams classes, the metaverse lets you create social spaces for individuals to learn, explore, socialize, and share experiences. This kind of game-based learning can better prepare K–12 students for a digital future and encourage self-learning skills.
One of its most exciting emerging metaverse trends is the Learn-to-Earn model, which has a high chance of breaking the financial barrier to education, increasing teachers’ and learners’ motivation—and completion rates. A good example is Metable, which raised $600 thousand in less than 1 hour and now has more than 20,000 users.
Metaverse giants like Roblox and Minecraft don’t lag far behind, either. They launch their educational platforms to empower teachers and learners to facilitate STEM curricula and provide more exciting online learning.
All these examples show that the world is slowly but steadily moving towards metaverse education. So let’s explore its features and how they contribute to better educational outcomes.
Essential components of an effective metaverse education platform
Metaverse educational platform goes above immersive and interactive environments offered by extended reality. It’s a fully functional digital world that exists beyond the boundaries of physical reality. Metaverse lets a large group of users experience an immersive simulated world all at once and share a strong sense of mutual presence.
Here are the essential components that empower it.
- Virtual reality (VR) creates an immersive environment to simulate practical skills and perform experiments that may be costly or dangerous in the real world. For instance, run virtual chemical reactions or fire-prevention training sessions.
- Augmented reality (AR) can add new capabilities to existing real systems by creating 3D digital overlays over real-world objects.
- Mirror worlds let learners enter the educational setting without being limited by time, location, or physical barriers. Metaverse allows to create a representation of real-world online classroom mirrors and enables learners to use digital identities to have real-time interactions with different forms of items.
- Digital twins come in the form of customizable avatars helping users represent their unique digital identity. It’s vital for embodiment and socialization in the metaverse world.
- Decentralized and editable content allows users to co-create or modify shared virtual objects in the metaverse. This involves changing their properties, position, or orientation. Blockchain and its underlying distributed ledger technology let users own digital properties, ensuring their safety and traceability.
- Tockenomics powered by blockchain and cryptocurrencies allows metaverse stakeholders – teachers, students, and investors – to run business operations efficiently (e.g., rent or construct school buildings, sell courses, and earn money).
- Non-player characters (NPC) are special AI-driven roles in the metaverse that help learners get tutoring, practice skills, or seek advice. These can be intelligent NPC teachers, learners, and peers that inhabit the metaverse and encourage users to learn.
- Lifelogging lets you capture and store learners’ historical information, such as footprints, assignments, and virtual works in the metaverse. It helps teachers review the learning process and assists students in seeking feedback based on their personal experiences and achievements.
Now that you know the features that make the metaverse fit for educational purposes, let’s find out why you need to build one.
Reasons to build a metaverse educational platform
Metaverse empowers the construction of social spaces for users to learn and share experiences in a better, more engaging way. Millennials, Gen Z, and especially Gen A consumers are highly accustomed to technology and expect more personalization and engagement than previous generations. Metaverse educational platform can cover that need.
Here are eight reasons why adopting metaverse learning solutions is worth a shot.
- Eliminate classroom walls. Metaverse promotes interdisciplinary learning by combining different subjects to demonstrate their connections. It also lets students participate in the learning process irrespectively of their geographical location and do much beyond what a physical classroom allows. This helps businesses expand their reach and target a wider audience.
- Create a gamified learning environment. Modern learners expect gamification and rewards to better engage with learning activities. Statistics prove it: the global game-based learning market size is expected to show annual 20% growth in the next five years and reach $32.6 billion by 2027. Metaverse can cater to that need by incorporating game traits and principles like competition, points, and rewards within learning.
- Gain better outcomes. A recent PwC report shows that training in the metaverse using VR technology is four times faster than in a regular classroom. Moreover, learners are four times more focused than their e-learning peers and 3.75 times more emotionally connected to content than classroom learners. Businesses can use these numbers when advertising their metaverse learning platforms.
- Assess learning performance. Thanks to AI and data collected in the metaverse, companies can analyze learner behavior, in particular, performance, attention, and engagement. It gives them insights into learners’ progress, helps identify gaps, and enhances the learning experience.
- Aid students with special needs. An immersive metaverse environment gives more freedom and educational opportunities to people with special needs, including persons with autism spectrum disorder, social interaction issues, and other disorders. It makes education more accessible not on paper but in reality.
- Boost safety. Metaverse makes it safer to operate any machinery. That’s crucial in construction, law enforcement, healthcare, and manufacturing, where even the slightest mistake can damage human health and the company’s budget.
- Expand the reach. Using metaverse education platforms, you can reach more students at a time and capture their attention by offering multiple activities. Metaverse can help students see and experience phenomena that are impossible or difficult to observe in the real world (e.g., running specific chemical reactions, exploring star synergy, etc.).
- Bring high ROI. Brighteye Ventures’ report shows that since 2020, investment in EdTech has tripled, reaching $20 billion in 2021. The report also states that investing in EdTech can produce outsized returns just as in the fintech and healthtech sectors.
All these benefits behind the metaverse prove it to be worth investing in and make it easy to advertise to learners, teachers, and entrepreneurs. Metaverse education platform development has already gone to the fore and raised investors’ interest.
For instance, Legends of Learning has recently received a $5 million investment for its metaverse education platform. Another EdTech startup, Tomorrow’s Education, raised €3.4 million to develop its metaverse university.
Still, introducing the metaverse into the educational field may trigger several controversial issues. Read on to discover which ones.
Limitations to the global metaverse adoption in education
Despite all the buzz around the benefits of the metaverse educational platforms, several challenges hinder its massive adoption. Knowing these limitations is key to maximizing the benefit metaverse can bring to learners, educators, and other stakeholders.
The limitations linked to the metaverse include:
- Technology and equipment. Some activities require users to own wearable devices to teleport to the metaverse world. VR headsets can cause symptoms like cybersickness, dizziness, or blurred vision. Another constraint is the cost of this equipment. Only some students can afford it. The good thing is that most activities can be accessed through PCs, tablets, and phone interfaces.
- Ethics and morality. Metaverse offers a high degree of freedom, posing new potential concerns like racial problems, religious conflicts, bullying, and violence. According to Statista, 18% of users are willing to run unethical experiments over virtual humans, and 14% would engage in hate speech, but only in the metaverse.
- Addiction. Young learners lack self-discipline and self-control, which may lead to addiction and damage their physical and mental health. Teachers and parents must provide guidance and control to help students balance their time spent inside and outside the metaverse.
Aside from these limitations, metaverse adoption in education can also pose some technical challenges. Just to mention some:
- High computational requirements. The need to render large volumes of learning scenes as well as interactions between learners and educators requires high computational requirements. The throughput of the network and the cloud computing power may not cope with it, which may result in lagging and pixelization.
- Privacy and data safety. A report from Morning Consult indicated that 55% of U.S. adults believe tracking and misusing their data is a major concern when entering the metaverse. Younger learners are more exposed to criminal events like fraud, surveillance, and leakage. Such events may violate the learners’ privacy and even affect their everyday life.
- Algorithmic injustice. Metaverse provides wide creativity possibilities, which may fall flimsy due to biased vision or algorithmic injustice, like setting wrong pre-configured options, like not covering the variety of skin tones that exist or not properly covering multiple marginalized identities. To overcome this algorithmic bias, you need to carefully consider demographics and representation, weight limitations, and use peer review.
The good news is that partnering with an experienced metaverse development company can help you address these challenges and minimize their impact.
Unicsoft’s advice on building a successful metaverse education platform
Developing an effective metaverse education platform requires two main things: a well-thought-out strategy and feature set (including UI/UX interface) and a correctly implemented blockchain component. The first part involves proper market analysis, idea novelty, and creative thinking.
As experts in Web3 game development, Unicsoft is happy to give recommendations on what to consider when laying down the foundation for your future metaverse education platform.
- Infrastructure and integrations. When building your product roadmap, pay attention to setting up proper infrastructure components (microservices, databases, and message brokers) and integrating them well into your backend.
- Blockchain ecosystem. Blockchain service components and smart contracts set up the platform, ensure decentralization, and regulate the collection of digital assets via NFTs. This step also involves choosing a framework for creating tokens (e.g., Ethereum’s ERC-20 tokens or Binance Chain’s BEP-2) and setting out DAO features.
- Blockchain admin panel. This essential component of the metaverse education platform enables admins to operate the platform’s NFTs and manage users.
- Marketplace. This web app allows users to trade main metaverse assets.
And here’s an exciting thing. Choosing a reliable development partner can reduce that technical burden and help you create a reliable solution. But before you do that, let’s see what today’s market can offer.
Real-life examples of metaverse usage in education
Given that 76% of children under 18 years play video games, the metaverse game learning format is a great way to deliver knowledge in a familiar way.
Let’s see which companies already did that and what students have to say about the results.
Minecraft, an eleven-year-old metaverse veteran
Minecraft Education is a powerful metaverse platform offering interdisciplinary learning on various topics. No wonder it is being incorporated into K-12 education. It offers collaboration tools, classroom controls, and open-world game activities, making learning entertaining. Peace Builders, its latest addition, helps students master topics like conflict mitigation and climate change in a collaborative, immersive environment.
Eduverse — the world’s first K-12 metaverse
Eduverse provides a safe and inclusive environment where K-12 students can interact as avatars and explore engaging virtual spaces supervised by teachers. Students and teachers can use their phones, tablets, or desktops to join the lessons. They can also use expedition kits and VR headsets for an even more immersive experience.
Unicsoft’s contribution to metaverse education
Recently, Unicsoft has participated in developing the first decentralized educational metaverse. It allows users to build schools, teach, collaborate, socialize, and learn in a gamified environment. It offers a Learn-to-Earn economy, which lets students combine their training with earnings and reduce curriculum costs to zero.
The platform also exploits the enormous business potential for teachers and entrepreneurs by allowing them to buy and rent assets and create and sell their courses. If you want to hear more details about this project — drop us a line, and we’ll be happy to discuss it with you.
Metaverse usage promises to improve education by making learning more immersive, detailed, social, and fun. Based on an immersive learning model and incorporating gamification, the metaverse paves the way for greater personalization, which leads to higher user engagement and better learning outcomes.
Yet, metaverse educational platform development comes with certain challenges, like ensuring data safety and controlling user behavior. Luckily, experienced Web3 development companies, like Unicsoft, can help you navigate them. Contact us to learn more about our expertise and successful use cases.