Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Here's an assignment for pundits writing about the future of the metaverse in education: write the opinion without referencing virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) at all. After all, these technologies have been with us for decades, from the text-based MUD games to ActiveWorlds to Second Life to today's Unreal, Unity and Mozilla engines. What does the metaverse bring that's new when compared to these systems? This is nothing against Martin Weller's coverage here, which as it is does well to point to the flaws of past and current implementations of VR, and hints at the strategy the Zuckerbergs of the world might take to monetize it. And he's right when he says the only way to monetize is to connect it to the wider world, something VR doesn't do very well at all at the moment. My own answer references persistent digital objects, from crypto-based digital IDs used by people to sign in to tokens and assets and records (such as xAPI based learning records) that persist from one environment to the next.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Nov 24, 2022 10:39 a.m.