Implementing the Hybrid Classroom
Updated: Dec 29, 2021
A while back I was asked ‘How do you think the Metaverse will change education?’. It's a good question. Let me start by saying it won’t be overnight! In many ways, I feel like we slipped right back into form simply because we were all 'Zoomed out'. Online learning often felt like a chore and everyone was sick of it. Did we miss a trick though? If you thought online learning was going to slip away after COVID.. think again. The Global E-Learning Market is estimated to reach $457.8 Billion by 2026! That’s a lot of money, especially if you’re talking to teachers. It’s time we started taking more interest. Not only utilising it but getting our students to shape it.
My vision for EDU3.0 includes the implementation of virtual environments in the form of ‘hybrid classrooms’. A virtual class running parallel to the bricks and mortar space. A place where the online enhances the traditional. They don’t replace each other, they complement one another. A virtual world would allow remote learners to join their peers, see guest teachers joining us. We will have linked online learning platforms. Themed virtual spaces that allow experts from global locations to join classes with the click of a button. All great in theory right?
Let me give you an example. Last term we studied bees. We have a hive that's great for honey, but the students can’t really get close. During lockdown when we couldn’t go to school we taught in a virtual classroom using FRAME from Virbela.
In the virtual world, we joined a real beekeeper. We showed her our 3D prints by dropping them into the world. She offered the students advice on design and practical solutions. She talked about the bees and answered their questions just like a real field trip. At a time we couldn’t leave our houses. I couldn’t put a price on that session. When the students could finally get back to school it was all they could talk about. The bees had never been so popular, or protected! Next year the school I’m based at will have 20 hybrid classrooms up and running, offering students a space to learn and create in.
I have big plans, but big plans usually require big money. I only need peoples time. I would love to find more experts willing to share their knowledge with students. Farmers, reef management, scientists, marine experts, space experts, heck any expert! Who has something valuable to share. There has never been a more prime time to shift education to the next level. I can’t do it on my own, but we can! If you’d like to know more please get in touch. There’s so much to share. You can visit the worlds here if you'd like to see what I'm doing. https://framevr.io/edumetaverse