Emerging Trend 2: MetaLearn
Immersive digital environments featuring VR and augmented reality for learning are here.
Whether it’s using Web3, DAO, or Game-Fi, the Metaverse is likely to be at the center.
MetaLearn is a combination of Web3, NFTs, Metaverse, DAO, and many other tech buzzwords.
(we’re taking credit for coining this term - lawsuits can be issued to the usual (crypto) address).
At its most basic, MetaLearn is giving people ownership of the way we learn. From immersive digital environments to gamification with rewards that promote a new economy, MetaLearn is eliminating the internet middlemen and giving individuals the power to design and create education.
Today, most of the best education experiences are built with a student-centered design approach. Tomorrow, they’re more likely to be direct-to-learner, and learner-directed. They may even be learner-designed...
This will create an environment where students, teachers, and designers share ideas and take part in missions that they’re actually interested in.
Don’t believe us? Roblox want 100m students engaged in the Metaverse by 2030.
Open Worlds, Learner Directed
One element of this pending trend is Merott’s concept of Open World Courses.
What if online courses were like open-world games?
The course creator's job becomes not to design a curriculum, but to create a world of ideas, missions, and learning quests. In an Open World Course, participants are free to explore the world and follow their own interests and curiosities.
We reckon all the best MetaLearn experiences will include some Open World exploration.
Hold your trend horses
At Wavetable, we believe some version of the Metaverse will lead the way with this emerging trend. One company that are very bullish on the Metaverse is... err, Meta. But as this article points out, Mark Zuckerberg is conveniently conflating the Metaverse with Meta. With Facebook’s rebrand to Meta, Zuckerberg is trying to position his company as the Metaverse. He’s using his wealth and influence to create Metaverse conversations that are confusing people. This could lead to a lot of disillusionment and the whole thing becoming a flop.
Our advice when it comes to the Metaverse? There are a lot of mixed definitions and expectations. Keep asking clarifying questions.
Web3 intersecting with Edtech & Entertainment
Web3, crypto & blockchain are already impacting art, music, and fintech today. There’s no doubt these will affect EdTech, learning, and Edutainment.
As for the entertainment industry, there’s plenty of interesting experiments happening. Our friend Zoe Scaman shared one project we’re particularly into. It comes from an unexpected source: The Royal Shakespeare Company.
They put on a live, virtual, immersive version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, where the performance changed based on audience input. Actors wore motion capture suits and viewers could influence their movements and actions via an environment rendered in Unreal Engine.
Now, this isn’t strictly a web3 application, but it doesn’t take a big leap to see how ideas like voting rights, tokenization and other mechanics could be used to elevate this experience further - and into all kinds of educational realms.
...and a micro level
In Action: MetaLearn
The company behind Pokémon Go are opening up their tech via Lightship ARDK (Augmented Reality Developer Kit). This platform unites AR with real life, bridging digital and physical dimensions through real-time mapping, understanding using semantic segmentation, and multiplayer sharing. It has the potential to foster meaningful interactions, communication, and cooperation.
SuperHi is an online education platform helping creative people stand out. Students learn online with a global community and decide on what’s next. But SuperHi goes much further than a Slack community.
What if the students and teachers have more of a say AND can participate in the upside!? They’ve already launched an innovative Basic Income initiative, and soon will be rolling out more ways for their entire community to participate through ownership of SuperHi tokens. These kind of approaches - particularly DAOs - will be a huge driver for this trend as education becomes more direct-to-learner.
This creative studio is building next-generation AI authoring tools to create interactive characters who can live, learn and make decisions with us. The first is Lucy, an 8-year-old girl originally created in VR as part of Fable’s work extending Neil Gaiman’s book Wolves in the Walls (Liquid IP, anyone?!).
Next up are Olympic Athlete characters Beck and Charlie. Beck is an Olympic rower, and Fable co-founder Edward Saatchi reckons there could be some interesting educational applications: “She could be like an instructor and you would be able to observe her training regimen... in five years, we think every Gen Z person will have an AI virtual being as that close friend”.
Magic Keys is an Augmented Reality app for the Magic Leap One AR Headset that teaches you simple piano pieces and techniques within minutes in a playful manner. Similarly to Guitar Hero, the notes of any piece you would like to play approach to the according keys in real time, making it possible to play along pieces without any prior practice or experience.
Learning to play, inspired by a game, and using emerging tech? Yup, there’s some Edutainment 3.0 going on...
New Wine, Old Oak
Derek Thompson’s book “Hit Makers” explores how things get popular. A key theme is the combination of something new along with something familiar. For example, new wine aged in old oak is more likely to get popular than new wine without that familiar element.The future of edutainment is set to follow this pattern.
The future is blindingly bright
Perhaps the future of Edutainment will look a bit like Saturday morning TV. That’s what kids’ media expert David Kleeman predicts.
There’ll be live entertainment from DJs and social media stars, “had to be there” moments, multiple activities taking place, and all of it will be accessed and incentivized by tokens that can be used elsewhere in the metaverse.
Oh, and there’ll be avatars of course :)
Wavetable’s hot tip: Explore multiple access points
MetaLearn will soon be the focus of education. Whether it’s real-time voting on a new initiative, a guest workshop session with a social media star, or multiple access points to any topic you can imagine, “had to be there” moments are needed to engage learners.
And the next wave of teachers will be avatar-based, using Web3 elements such as tokens and on-chain credentials. They’ll create and join immersive virtual learning spaces and communities of practice, connecting with fellow practitioners from across the globe.
Whichever parts of MetaLearn appeal most, be sure you’re attuned to movements in the Metaverse so you can stay on top of this emerging trend.