Madrid (E), October 2023 - Spanish students are more enthusiastic about the introduction of the metaverse in education than teachers. Almost 40% consider it fun and entertaining, compared to 18% of teachers. This is among the most significant revelations from the research "The Metaverse in Education: Challenges and Uses" conducted by BBVA and Fad Juventud within the framework of Educación Conectada.
Is the educational community prepared to embrace the metaverse? The study indicates that 75% of teachers and 60% of students state that they have not had any educational experience using this type of technology.
Despite this lack of experience, the research reveals that almost 45% of the teachers interviewed and nearly 40% of the students are curious to learn more about the metaverse, how it works, and how it differs from other technological strategies.
The study also analyzes the impact and application of the metaverse in the field of education in Spain, compiling the perceptions of teachers, students, and experts on the subject.
The study scrutinized the challenges and opportunities related to the metaverse in education, among the constraints being the potential creation of a digital divide due to high costs, infrastructure obstacles, and lack of connections.
Likewise, although it is a promising concept, there are some concerns about the adoption of this type of technology. The first is the possible confusion between motivation and entertainment on the part of the students, and the second is the lack of privacy and security that may result from the use of the metaverse.
In addition, the degree of acceptance and perceived value among the teaching community was analyzed, identifying whether they feel that the metaverse brings significant benefits to their educational practice.
Forty-five percent of the teachers who responded felt that learning to deploy metaverse technology is not easy, compared to 50 percent who did not believe it to be complicated. Teachers do not want to use a new technology without having experienced it, first on a personal level and then on an educational level.
For one out of four young people queried, their interaction with the metaverse is clear, understandable, quite easy to use, and has a very acceptable and satisfactory level of quality.
Fernando Trujillo, professor at the University of Granada, was the principal investigator of the study, which he presented at an online event at which a case study of the successful application of metaverse to strengthen the educational community and learning at IES Cartima (Estación de Cártama, Málaga) was presented. Lidia del Pozo, Director of Community Investment Programmes at BBVA, and Beatriz Martín Padura, Director General of the Fad Juventud Foundation, opened the event, which was addressed by video by Nadia Calviño, Second Vice-President of the Spanish Government.
Nadia Calviño stressed that, "Digitalization is a unique opportunity to generate competitive advantages for our companies, and we must put all this technology at the service of citizens. Likewise, our educational system has to face these new challenges in order to universalize an education of excellence in which the training of digital skills and the use of new technologies is central to ensure the preparation of our young people and future generations for the new reality."
For Lidia del Pozo, "Technological resources like the metaverse are key to the advancement of education and educational models, but even more important are the digital skills needed to use them correctly." Meanwhile, Beatriz Martín Padura pointed out that, "We are in an incipient phase of introducing this technology in the classroom, and precisely for this reason, we are also at a time of great opportunities for education."
The research highlights the importance of exploring new ways of teaching that take advantage of the potential of the metaverse and other emerging technologies. The results obtained will serve as a basis for future strategies and projects to promote innovation in education, fostering a more interactive and enriching learning environment for Spanish students.
Educación Conectada, a training program for the whole community, is an initiative of BBVA and Fad Juventud that includes a set of actions aimed at facilitating the digital transformation of the education system, offering actions to reduce the digital use gap (especially training in digital skills).
This project to support and accompany the entire educational community - school management teams, teachers, families, and students - aims to provide useful and innovative responses to the needs of the educational system.
In 2023, training actions are expected to reach 18,500 people in the educational community through specific training actions in culture and digital transformation. Since 2020, the program has trained more than 36,000 people from the educational community in this area.