An Apple A Day: Anarchy in Academia

3 min readJun 21, 2023

Will VR and the Metaverse change education for the better? Is it time for something different?

It was great to have Melissa McBride back with us for a second time to discuss her insights on these tools and technologies which seem to have taken a bit of a back seat recently because of the rise of Generative AI until Apple launched Vision Pro. We think it could be that VR, Metaverse (or Spatial Computing as they are calling it!) and AI might well be bedfellows after all. So let’s dive into 4 key ways they might get under the covers:

Immersive Learning Environments

VR can create realistic and immersive simulations that enable students to experience hands-on learning in various subjects. This experiential learning enhances engagement and deepens understanding by allowing students to explore historical events, dive into the depths of the ocean, or conduct scientific experiments in virtual labs.

Personalised Learning

VR technology can adapt to individual learning styles and preferences, offering personalised educational experiences. Virtual tutors and adaptive learning systems can analyse student performance and provide tailored instruction, ensuring each student receives the support they need. This personalised approach promotes better learning outcomes.

Accessibility and Inclusion

The Metaverse and VR can address accessibility challenges by providing inclusive educational experiences, all powered by AI tutors. Students with physical disabilities or limitations can engage in virtual environments that overcome physical barriers, allowing learners to participate and learn alongside their classmates. Additionally, VR can provide multi-sensory experiences that cater to diverse learning needs.

Lifelong Learning and Professional Development

The Metaverse can extend beyond traditional education and support lifelong learning. Professionals can participate in virtual workshops, attend conferences, or receive virtual training in a simulated work environment. VR can provide opportunities for skill development, career advancement, and continuous professional growth. Many businesses are now using VR such as PwC.

Indeed, PwC’s findings have been insane:

  • 40% of the v-learners saw an improvement in confidence compared to classroom learners and 35% improvement over e-learners to act on what they learned after training in VR.
  • V-learning is the most cost-effective way of learning when it’s done on a large scale. At 375 learners, VR training achieved cost parity with classroom learning. At 1,950 learners, VR training achieved cost parity with e-learn. At 3,000 learners, VR costs become 52% less than classroom.
  • V-learners completed training 4 times faster than classroom training.
  • V-learners felt 3.75 times more emotionally connected to the content than classroom learners and 2.3 times more connected than e-learners.
  • Three-quarters of learners surveyed said that during the VR course they had a wake-up-call moment and realised that they were not as inclusive as they thought they were.
  • V-learners were 4 times more focused during training than their e-learning peers and 1.5 times more focused than their classroom colleagues.*

It will be interesting to see if these predictions and thoughts play out and, as we know, education can take an ice age to move forward and change. We also have to face the fact that there needs to be significant investment at government level to create skilled educators who can use these tools, and apply them correctly to their context and learners. Watch this space, it is exciting and one with so much opportunity.


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