Digitalisation in education is not a new development; it has been ongoing for quite some time. However, the recent pandemic highlighted its usefulness,  as education needed to occur remotely. The transformation from purely in-person traditional instruction to immersive, interactive digital learning has taken a giant leap forward with the evolution of edtech in the metaverse. As technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented and virtual reality (AR & VR) become commonplace, they ensure the future of edtech. 

Giving learners access to education through enhanced online platforms and in-classroom technology has allowed a combination of edtech and the metaverse to grow and democratise schooling. When access to knowledge is available, and knowledge is presented in ways that make it more digestible, everyone can learn in the manner best suited to them. 

Edtech and the metaverse

During the pandemic, most schools switched to online teaching, simply offering classes through platforms such as Zoom. While this was helpful in the short run, Zoom fatigue set in. Trying to sit through complete courses of remote instruction through video-calling platforms became too much for many students, who then became disengaged from the lessons. 

Through immersive edtech platforms, educators can re-engage learners and provide an enhanced learning environment. Now that schools have reopened, bringing technology into the physical classroom has real-world benefits for students and teachers. From adding a deeper understanding of subjects by allowing, for example, students to take a VR journey through history or stimulating their interest with the gamification of mathematical problems to increased personalisation of learning goals and recording of progress, edtech platforms bring higher engagement and enriched comprehension.

The metaverse offers an improvement to previous edtech iterations as it unleashes virtual worlds and opportunities for exploration in a learning environment. With few limits in the virtual world, educators and students have the chance to explore themes in-depth, almost as if they are actually there. 

Bringing history to life, exploring geographical wonders, using mathematical formulas to create games or build universes, and encouraging the development of coding skills and technology usage, are fascinating aspects of the learning experience that the metaverse can bring.. By allowing students to see, create and experience immersion in lessons, the metaverse can bridge the gap between theory and practice. 

Business education and training

It is not just tertiary education that can benefit from learning platforms and the metaverse. Staff onboarding, professional development courses and training are all augmented through engagement in the metaverse. Companies, particularly those with work-from-home employees, can use a learning management system (LMS) to deliver programmes remotely. 

As edtech improves and integrates aspects of the metaverse, the potential for delivering even more focused and customised training becomes possible. AI-enhanced technology can step an employee through processes, while AR tours of facilities or VR meetings can bring a deeper level of understanding of the company. 

With blockchain and NFTs becoming an essential part of business life for secure financial transactions, contracts and marketing, providing education on these topics in a static, traditional manner may restrict understanding. Companies can update their processes and ensure staff compliance and knowledge through practical demonstrations using the metaverse to deliver tutorials and offer a virtual space for trial and error. 

Future of edtech and the metaverse in ASEAN

With the Asia-Pacific region tipped to have the fastest-growing educational technology sector and the global market likely to reach $25.7 billion USD by 2030, edtech startups in Southeast Asia are rapidly emerging. Companies such as Singapore-based Doyobi, Thailand’s duPhonics and SparkLearn Edtech from the Philippines are investing in the future of digital education. 

Doyobi gives children lessons on the metaverse, helping them become critical problem solvers and better understand current tech trends. It recently received pre-series A funding of $2.8 million USD led by Monk’s Hill Ventures as it looks to expand and enhance its teaching resources. 

Meanwhile, duPhonics’ Telenanny programme teaches children English as a second language. It offers one-to-one classes through the platform and VR lessons in the metaverse. The startup aims to provide a relaxed and fun environment for learners to absorb the language easily rather than through forced learning. 

SparkLearn Edtech from the Philippines is making waves in the adult education sphere as it shares industry experts’ knowledge on crypto, NFTs and all things blockchain-related. The startup recently participated in Southeast Asia’s first NFT, GAMEFI, AND METAVERSE 2022 event with CEO Melissa Mesias speaking.

Despite the return to in-person education post-pandemic, the future of edtech is still secure. Combining traditional teaching, edtech and the metaverse is the intelligent way forward for education. 

From introducing kindergarten children to technology to fostering a more comprehensive understanding of concepts such as AI, blockchain and VR, connecting edtech in the metaverse is only expected to increase and improve access to a more rounded education.