College students at schools from Georgia to Oregon will get their hands on a new piece of exciting technology this fall as Meta funds a program to provide Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headsets to students at seven universities and colleges. These institutions are developing ‘digital twins’ of their campuses to offer students an innovative alternative to attending their classes.
Each student will get a Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headset, which they can use to visit the ‘digital twin’ of their campus remotely. The courses and learning programs will be synchronous to the physical classes held at the college campus.
The universities and colleges include Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA; University of Kansas School of Nursing, Kansas City, KS; New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM; South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD; West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV; University of Maryland Global Campus, Adelphi, MD; Southwestern Oregon Community College, Coos Bay, OR.
The number of students under the purview of the program ranges from 2,200 at Morehouse to 25,000 at West Virginia University.
Virtual classrooms or ‘digital twins’ are not intended to replace the traditional educational and learning experience but rather as an upgrade to the prominent virtual learning mediums. Nevertheless, there is a steep learning curve for both the students and the educators to use the technology to its full potential.
VictoryXR, one of the world leaders in virtual reality educational product development, is building these virtual campuses on the EngageVR platform. Steve Grubbs, the company’s CEO, had stated that schools are beginning to look for more innovative and engaging alternatives to a Zoom class. The company will announce three more such metaversities by next month.
The partnership between VictoryXR and these institutions is funded in part by Meta Immersive Learning, which provides the Meta Quest 2 headsets for each campus and funds the tech for the digital twin buildouts. The project is a part of the previously announced initiative by Facebook to invest $150 million in virtual learning.
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