Company to open 10 virtual campuses as part of its project Immersive Learningwhich aims to bring education into virtual reality environments. In partnership with Victoryxr, an Iowa-based virtual reality education startup, Meta will invest $150 million in this initiative.
Meta: universities in the Metaverse
One of the biggest applications of virtual reality and metaverse technology is in education and the ability to conduct courses in virtual reality. Meta, the social networking giant, is putting this idea into action by helping 10 universities launch their metaverse-based campuses.
One of them is University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC)which is an online university. The university’s 45,000+ students will now be able to meet in an online metaverse to gather and share experiences.
Daniel Mintz, chair of UMGC’s information technology department said::
We’ve never had a campus before, and now we have our first. There’s a duck pond.
As part of the plan, the university will offer five courses in the metaverse campus that will have no additional cost over non-immersive courses. However, the university is limited by the number of headsets (required for the courses) it can loan to students.
Other institutions that will be participating in this project include the University of Kansas School of Nursing, New Mexico State University, South Dakota State University, Florida A&M University, West Virginia University, Southwestern Oregon Community College, California State University, Dominguez Hills, and Alabama A&M University.
Involvement of Meta
Meta donates its Meta Quest headsets to these organizations so that students can be included in courses. One of the goals of the Meta initiative is to increase student access to these technologies by partnering with organizations and universities. Part of Meta’s $150 million investment is being used to provide headsets in partnership with Victoryxr, the company that designs metaverse campuses.
Meta has also helped universities pay for the design and construction of these spaces, which can cost $50,000 for a campus of five to seven buildings. Steve Grubbs, founder of Victoryxr, said:
Education is an exciting use case for the metaverse, and Meta Immersive Learning will help creators around the world build skills for the metaverse and create immersive experiences for learners.
Meta’s pivot to virtual reality has cost the company money, as its metaverse division, the Reality Labs unit, reported losses of $2.8 billion in Q2 2022. The company also conducted its first bond offering in August, selling $10 billion in debt to invest in metaverse products and other initiatives.