The Metaverse is the post-reality universe, a perpetual and persistent multiuser environment merging physical reality with digital virtuality. It is based on the convergence of technologies that enable multisensory interactions with virtual environments, digital objects and people such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Hence, the Metaverse is an interconnected web of social, networked immersive environments in persistent multiuser platforms. It enables seamless embodied user communication in real-time and dynamic interactions with digital artifacts. Its first iteration was a web of virtual worlds where avatars were able to teleport among them. The contemporary iteration of the Metaverse features social, immersive VR platforms compatible with massive multiplayer online video games, open game worlds and AR collaborative spaces.
Computer Science innovations play a major role in everyday life as they change and enrich human interaction, communication and social transactions. From the standpoint of end users, three major technological innovation waves have been recorded centered around the introduction of personal computers, the Internet and mobile devices, respectively. Currently, the fourth wave of computing innovation is unfolding around spatial, immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) . This wave is expected to form the next ubiquitous computing paradigm that has the potential to transform (online) education, business, remote work and entertainment. This new paradigm is the Metaverse. The word Metaverse is a closed compound word with two components: Meta (Greek prefix meaning post, after or beyond) and universe. In other words, the Metaverse is a post-reality universe, a perpetual and persistent multiuser environment merging physical reality with digital virtuality. Regarding online distance education, Metaverse has the potential to remedy the fundamental limitations of web-based 2D e-learning tools.
Education is one crucial field for society and economy where core implementation methods remain unchanged and orbiting around content transmission, classrooms and textbooks despite numerous technological innovations . Currently, there is an intense race to construct the infrastructure, protocols and standards that will govern the Metaverse. Large corporations are striving to construct their closed, proprietary hardware and software ecosystems so as to attract users and become the de facto Metaverse destination. Different systemic approaches and diverging strategies collide around concepts such as openness and privacy. The outcome of this race will determine the level of users’ privacy rights as well as whether the Metaverse will be inclusive to students and school pupils. Both issues have important implications for education as they will determine if the Metaverse can become mainstream in e-learning. The aim of this article is to raise awareness about the origin and the affordances of the Metaverse, so as to formulate a unified vision for meta-education, Metaverse-powered online distance education.
For this purpose, this article is structured as follows: Definitions of the key concepts are presented in Section 2. The limitations of two-dimensional learning environments are summarized in Section 3. A brief historical account of virtual media and VR technology is illustrated in Section 4. Next, in Section 5, the significance of virtual worlds and VR for education is presented. Section 6 is dedicated to contemporary Metaverse development, Meta-education and innovative applications. The conclusions are in the final Section 7.
This entry is oriis entry is originated from https://www.mdpi.com/journal/encyclopedia.https://www.mdpi.com/2673-8392/2/1/31/htm