Hi, I'm Cortney Harding. I'm the founder of Friends with Holograms. Today, I'm here to talk with you about learning in the metaverse. You just saw a clip that shows some of the applications and potential for virtual learning, but there's a lot more to cover, so let's get started. Think about the last time you learned to do something. Maybe you watched a video on YouTube, read a how-to guide or book, or took a class. While there are many effective methods for learning, the more interactive, engaging, and immersive the experience can be, the better for the learner when it comes to retaining knowledge and acquiring skills. As you know from previous conversations in this course, the metaverse is all about immersion. Picture this: You're a student sitting in a classroom. On the desk in front of you, you have a textbook full of numbers, some paper, and a pencil. You guessed it: time for a math lesson. Now, millions of students around the world have learned mathematical concepts this way for generations. But imagine the power of learning when you can actually see them come to life in front of you. That's just what Prisms is doing for middle and high-school students. They offer VR courses in algebra, geometry, calculus, and even physics, where students apply concepts and problem-solving skills to real-world scenarios. Dallas Hybrid Prep, a hybrid school that opened in Texas in 2021, has students access their STEMuli metaverse, which merges virtual learning experiences with hands-on work. Roblox has resources available to help teachers use the popular gaming tool as an educational platform. In the summer of 2022, Eduverse debuted as the world's first K-12 educational metaverse. You can pretty quickly start to imagine other educational applications for the fully-realized metaverse, from historical field trips to Egypt at the time the pyramids were being built, to peeking over Shakespeare's shoulder while he sits at his writing desk. When it comes to higher education, the metaverse plays a dual role, educating students in a variety of subjects using XR, and providing the knowledge and technical skills needed to build the metaverse. At the Clapp Lab at Colorado State University, the Body Double program allows medical students to use VR to dissect cadavers, while the PAtient Safety aS Inter-Professional Training (or PASS-IT) program at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine in Singapore uses VR to teach hands-on techniques used in the operating room. Learning in the metaverse isn't just for STEM subjects — that's science, technology, engineering, and math. Higher education professionals continue to push the boundaries of learning in the metaverse with programs that focus on storytelling, theater, journalism, music, and more. In Singapore, private education provider Aventis Graduate School announced their plans to become Asia's first graduate school to enter the open metaverse. As I mentioned earlier, in addition to using XR in higher-ed classrooms, colleges and universities are also teaching the next generation of developers and creatives. Yale University established the Blended Reality Laboratory as part of their Center for Collaborative Arts and Media; MIT's xPRO offers an introductory professional development certificate program in XR technologies; and European Consortium of Innovative Universities, or ECIU, runs XR Campus, a virtual environment that allows for learner skill development and collaboration across Europe. Around the globe, institutions have developed and are planning degree programs in fields of study related to the metaverse. Of course, not all learning happens in an educational classroom. Thankfully, there are countless opportunities and applications for informational learning in the metaverse. Right now, through the power of XR, you can visit the International Space Station with Space Explorers; witness Civil Rights come to life through the Traveling While Black experience; and explore the "wildest places on earth" and the people protecting wildlife in the Ecosphere series. And that's just the tip of the virtual iceberg when it comes to metaverse informational learning experiences. There's another group of learners we haven't talked about yet, and you may be one of them: workers. That's right: The metaverse is quickly becoming the place to go for job skills training. Imagine your job requires a great deal of skill and an emphasis on safety, such as working around dangerous chemicals, extreme temperatures, or with heavy or fragile equipment. Virtual training and simulated work environments give you the opportunity to practice skills and procedures without putting yourself or others at risk. It eliminates the need to take equipment offline for training and it reduces cost. After all, it's a lot more expensive to replace the damaged object in the physical world than one you "broke" in the metaverse. Job training in the metaverse isn't just for hands-on skills. It can also effectively be used for things we call soft skills, things like leadership training and problem-solving, teamwork, and active listening. For example, people who work in human services need to understand and manage human behavior. Recently, child services departments in the states of Georgia and Indiana implemented the Accenture Virtual Experience Solutions or AVEnueS, a tool that lets caseworkers practice their people skills and make decisions in a safe, supported, and consequence-free environment. In Indiana, caseworker turnover decreased by nearly 20 percent after implementing a VR solution. If you've worked in customer guest services, you know that dealing with people can be a challenge. It can be very helpful to put yourself in the customer's shoes, and that's a soft skill that can be taught. Hilton, one of the world's largest hospitality companies, uses VR training to teach empathy, showing their staff members how to handle challenging interactions with guests from the front desk to the dining room. Whether we're talking about education, informational learning, or job training. Learning in the metaverse can provide major cost savings. While it does certainly cost money to develop and deploy virtual training solutions, savings are realized with decreased training time, decreased job turnover, and increased knowledge and skill retention. Another benefit of learning in the metaverse? Because distance is irrelevant in virtual spaces, learners can log in from anywhere. Whether we're staying at home out of public health necessity, or the program we're interested in is located a continent away, the metaverse brings learning to us wherever we are. When you think about it, learning virtually just makes sense. After all, we do so much on electronic devices — watch videos, conduct business, play games, communicate and collaborate with others — that doing so for education, informational learning, and job training is a logical step. What are you looking forward to learning in the metaverse? If it's health-related, stay right where you are, because next up, we're talking all about health in the metaverse.