The “future” classroom may be closer than you think. With the advancement of augmented reality technology and the small push that the pandemic has given to distance learning, universities and schools in Brazil and around the world are beginning to explore the Metaverse resource. Sold as the next “revolution” for the internet, the virtual reality space was created in the 80’s and in it it is possible to buy land, hold meetings, attend concerts, football matches and classes with an avatar that is control for you. , out here.
While not exactly a novelty, Metaverse returned to the radar after Mark Zuckerberg, owner of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, changed the name of the Meta holding company and said that this would be his next bet. This mix of the Matrix universe with characters from the electronic game The Sims is now coming to Brazilian education. One of the first classrooms of its kind was launched last week FIA Business School, who began administering courses at Metavers. The teacher uses virtual reality glasses to teach, while students who do not yet have the device can join the online space by video calling.
“It’s an amazing experience for them. We’re not talking about a ‘high’ world, we’re talking about a different universe. The student can participate at home, lying in bed, when transported to the classroom. There, he walks, he talks, we applaud and he interacts with his classmates, while I write on the board, I make a presentation and I ask questions ”, explains Alessandra Montini, director of the Labdata core of the FIA, responsible for the creation of the space.
He says he took a ten-day dive with his classmates to create this virtual classroom. It only took three to four hours to take command. Despite the visual and interactive attractions, Alessandra points out that this is one of the main challenges for Metaverse teachers. “It’s wonderful for the student, because he sits and looks. For the teacher, he has to know the subject of memory, follow the expressions of the avatars to know if the student is understanding or not, control the available technological resources. “In the metavers it’s like a marathon. You have to stop for 15 minutes and rest afterwards,” he says.
Companies and universities in China, the USA, Mexico and parts of Europe have invested in training and courses taught exclusively in virtual reality. Among the benefits are the ability to host students and employees from around the world.
Last month, USP also entered the game and became the first Brazilian public university in Metaverso, through an international cooperation agreement with Caca Radio (RACE), which provided the first NFT (non-fungible token) to the institution. The aim is to promote research on applications and technical, economic and legal aspects of the virtual reality universe.
This NFT means that USP has gained a “piece of rare earth” in its own Metavers developed by the United States of Mars (USM), the online “nation” created by RACA. In practice, the Brazilian institution can use this “virtual land” to build spaces for interaction. But before that, it is necessary to find the skilled labor to produce the modules and the money needed to pay for them. “At the moment, our goal is to attract people and ideas to build a space and things inside,” says Marcos Simplício, an associate professor of computer engineering at the USP Polytechnic School.
“It is an expanding market, and not just for those coming from the technology area,” says Juliana Tenório, manager of Educational Solutions at the Brazilian Institute of Capital Markets (Ibmec). He says job search in this niche has grown exponentially in the marketplace and on LinkedIn, for example. In collaboration with the magazine Exam, Ibmec has launched this year a Master in Digital Manager and Metaverso, which lasts one year, costs just over $ 18 thousand, is done completely online and is equivalent to a postgraduate degree recognized by the Ministry of Education. According to Juliana, the career of “product manager” “is on the rise” and “on the crest of the wave.” “It’s a disruptive product.”