The metaverse is almost here, and most of us are still confused about it.
Dr. Robby Ratan, Associate Professor and AT & T Scholar at Michigan State University (MSU), Department of Media and Information as well as Director of the Social and Psychological Approaches to Research on Technology-Interaction Effects (SPARTIE) Lab is an expert on the metaverse.
Ratan teaches students virtual reality (VR) at MSU in-person, on Zoom, and in…virtual reality. In a virtual world called ‘Engage,’ all of his students can sit front row ‘in class,’ and learning involves creating objects – from dinosaurs to flocks of birds to video screens. Class discussions, questions and answers, and interactive learning can be hosted in virtual realities, as if everyone is there, and this is just the beginning.
Let’s go a step further: A one-way flight to Machu Picchu is about $1,600 per person and 14 hours in-plane. Yet, for the price of headsets and a subscription to a VR platform, you and your learners can take a virtual trip to Machu Picchu, feel like you’re there, immerse in a profoundly memorable learning experience, and be home by lunch or dinner. A little more exciting than sitting at home ‘alone’ and working or learning remotely, right?
The metaverse may not be here yet but technologies are advancing, companies are investing, and it is, without a doubt coming.
In our latest Mindset in Motion podcast, “EL in the Metaverse,” Ratan joins Bill to unpack all things ‘meta’ (above and beyond) that the rise of the metaverse will bring, specifically for higher ed.
A few things you will learn in this episode:
- what (the heck) the metaverse is, and why you should care,
- how it will prospectively empower and enhance experiential learning,
- considerations when assuming ‘avatar identities’ (from bias to personal association with our avatars and personal safety)
- how the metaverse could evolve student reflections on what’s learned, peer reviews, study abroad experiences, and graduate employment opportunities,
- how the face of post-secondary will evolve through the metaverse, and MORE.
This podcast is as insightful as it is honest, giving us a comprehensive understanding of this ‘new internet frontier’ and how we can navigate interoperable virtual worlds, strategically, and with consideration for what makes us human. Thank you for joining us, Robby!