Psychology of Avatars: Metaverse for Education Newsletter Issue #11
Dear Educators & Friends,
It's probably not surprising, but I am obsessed with the metaverse. There is amazing potential for it in education.
But... virtual environments should only be used when they support learning outcomes. As with any technology, we must align our learning goals to the what, why, when, and how of the metaverse.
A new guide was released this month by Meridian Treehouse about the use of the metaverse in education and I really like how they codified the use cases. Use the metaverse when real life is:
1) dangerous (like climbing a mountain)
2) impossible (like diving into the human body)
3) counter-productive (like eliminating a plant species to see what happens to an ecosystem)
4) expensive (like a trip to the moon)
With the metaverse also comes avatars. Avatars are an extension of our identities. Sometimes, avatars emulate who we are in real life. Other times, avatars portray a fantasized version of ourselves.
This issue is all about the psychology of avatars. The concept of avatars is not new but the adoption has multiplied across industries.
As our kids navigate this new world, it's imperative that we understand the implications on their psyche.
"Reports have shown that players can feel empowered by a skilled and charismatic avatar, admire the virtues of a non-playable character, feel gratitude towards an ally, and show respect for an honorable enemy. But they can also feel responsible for the safety of a character the game has left under their protection, or become infatuated with another and try to develop a relationship with them." (Aranzaes @gamesindustry.biz)
Our kids are already having these experiences. It's up to us to provide guidance on how to navigate uncertain circumstances with wisdom. The more we understand, the more they will too.
Vriti & the k20 Educators team
Learn about the Metaverse for Education
What is an avatar?
🎥 Basics of avatar psychology (start at 7:52)
🎥 Finding a sense of self with avatars (fascinating!)
The history of avatars
The Proteus Effect: how digital avatars influence our behavior
Caring about avatars even if they're not real
Embodiment in virtual worlds
🔈 Expressing yourself as an avatar
You’ll soon be able to put your metaverse avatar to work
The popularity of NFT avatars
Constructing digital identities in the metaverse
Virtual body language may give untrustworthy avatars away
Virtual avatar improved attention and memory
🔈 Avatars for student identity
Pre-service teachers actively engage with avatar-based program
Teaching avatars may improve access to high-quality education
The downsides of being lectured by an avatar
📹 Avatars combatting gender disparity
Safety measures for avatars in the classroom
Benefits of avatars for e-learning
Working toward diversity among avatars
Do Something in the Metaverse
Offline Avatars: How to create and use student avatars in your classroom
Top 10 tips on how to effectively use avatars in eLearning
10 web tools and apps for creating avatars
📹 How to create a custom avatar for the metaverse
Make Human: an open-source tool for making 3D humans
Blender: free open-source software to create 3D CG content
Blockchain avatars (refer to our previous issue on NFTs to create one!)
Web3 for Educators Coffee Chat (Every Saturday at 11a ET)
🚨 Join us on April 14th for the final showcase of our Virtual World Building Think Tank!
Our fellows will talk about their research in education and share their open source resources for virtual worlds! You will also earn a POAP to commemorate our time together.
This week’s Metaverse for Education newsletter was about the psychology of avatars. More to come on artificial intelligence, regenerative economics & more. We’re excited to bring education into the Metaverse & help you leverage the opportunities in the new world.
Join our community of innovative educators in the Eduverse.