Virtual reality can be an effective educational tool, however the information available for the medium is only as good as the content available for the medium. As part of its efforts to shift its focus to the metaverse, Facebook has established a US$150 million fund to expand the availability of content for virtual reality learning. At its Connect 2021 event, the social network stated that it will spend that amount to achieve its VR learning goals over the following three years.
Facebook intends to do more than just offer immersive educational experiences in order to create a robust learning ecosystem in the metaverse. A portion of the funds will be used to train augmented reality and virtual reality producers so that they can create their own immersive experiences. Facebook is collaborating with Unity to teach people how to make educational VR content. The company is primarily teaching nonprofits and educational institutions using Unity’s “Create with VR for Educators” tool and Quest 2 devices. It’s also collaborating with a number of educational institutions, including historically Black colleges and universities, as well as non-profits, to develop immersive experiences for students.
Finally, Facebook claims to be working to improve people’s access to instructional VR content. After all, all that effort will be for naught if no one uses them to develop new skills.
Mark Rabkin, VP of Oculus, said in a statement:
VR isn’t all fun and games. If you’ve ever traveled the world with Wander, explored Japan with Tokyo Origami, or admired the heavens in Titans of Space PLUS, then you know that VR can be a powerful tool for education as well…A lot of work exists between where we’re at now and where we see the metaverse in the future. We’re excited, and we hope you’ll come with us on the journey.
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