28 Jun 2022
Virtual, EDT (GMT-4)
Education meets the metaverse: The promise and the worry

When education trails technology, the technology rather than educators defines what counts as educational opportunity. This is largely what happened when ‘educational’ apps designed for use on smartphones and tablets meant for adults were introduced to children.

Today, as the metaverse infrastructure is still under construction, researchers, educators, policymakers, and digital designers have a chance to lead the way rather than get caught in the undertow. To leverage the potential of the metaverse as a 3D, global, interconnected, immersive, and real-time online learning space, we need new ways to connect the physical world with augmented and virtual reality experiences.

Together with the Brookings Center for Universal Education, we hosted a virtual event on 28 June to consider a path for bringing best educational practices into the metaverse, stemming in part from a recent policy brief. A moderated discussion of expert panelists sought to answer questions such as:

  • How can creators of educational products for the metaverse work with educators and scientists to ensure that children experience real human social interaction as they navigate virtual spaces?
  • How can we empower and support children as they safely explore these spaces?
  • How can we ensure these education products are accessible and diverse in representation?

This webcast is part of a Brookings-Yidan Prize event series on the future of education in the 21st century. Together, we are exploring emerging and timely topics in education likely to have deep implications for decades to come.

This event is cross-posted from the Brookings website.

Photos & videos
10:00–10:05am — Welcome
  • Jennifer L. O’Donoghue, Deputy Director, Center for Universal Education, Brookings; Fellow, Global Economy and Development, Brookings
10:05–11am — Moderated discussion
  • Moderator: Laurie Segall, Co-founder and Executive Producer, Dot Dot Dot Media; Former Senior Technology Correspondent, CNN
  • Anant Agarwal, Chief Open Education Officer, 2U/edX; Professor of Electrical Engineering and computer science, MIT; 2018 Yidan Prize for Education Development Laureate
  • Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Senior Fellow, Center for Universal Education, Brookings; Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Faculty Fellow, Department of Psychology, Temple University
  • Rebecca Kantar, Head of Education, Roblox
  • Simran Mulchandani, Founder, Project Rangeet
  • Kevin Clark, Children’s Media Producer and Consultant