Educators Utilizing Ed3, Blockchain, and Metaverse Technologies

Ed3 is a movement that integrates education with Internet technologies that target decentralization, learner sovereignty, and verifiable credentials, and known collectively as Web3 and the Metaverse.

During the recent annual hybrid OLC Innovate, the session, The State of Online Learning in Web3: How Educators Understand and Implement Ed3, Blockchain, and Metaverse Technologies, presented by Dr. Ryan Straight, Honors/Associate Professor of Practice Applied Computing and Cyber Operations, and Director at the Mixed Augmented Virtual Extended Reality Lab (MA{VR}X Lab) which focuses on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary technologies at the College of Applied Science and Technology, University of Arizona, explained research results and implications of Ed3 on online learning.

Dr. Straight began by talking about the technologies that make up Ed3. “There is not a real consensus as to how to define these things. They are more conceptual at this point, mostly because we are still trying to figure these things out,” said Dr. Straight.

Metaverse: “It means a lot of different things for different people,” said Dr. Straight. According to Parisi (2021) there are seven rules of the Metaverse:

  1. There is only one Metaverse
  2. The Metaverse is for everyone
  3. Nobody controls the Metaverse
  4. The Metaverse is open
  5. The Metaverse is hardware-independent
  6. The Metaverse is a network
  7. he Metaverse is the Internet

Web3: It’s an Internet that runs on public blockchains, it’s decentralized, it’s the individuals themselves who own and control pieces of the Internet. Web3 is about inclusivity and putting users first. The Metaverse is a new world where creation is put in your hands. NFTs are how we’re going to do it

Blockchain: “We can’t talk about Web3 without talking about Blockchain,” said Dr. Straight. Similar to a ledger that records digital forms and shares information across a computer network that includes digital signatures and certificates

NFTs: (Non-Fungible Tokens): Include the following five topics:

  • Tokenomics
  • Metaverse
  • Regulation and risk
  • Video games
  • Asset valuation

DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations): A DAO, typically run on Discord, is usually flat, and fully democratized. Voting is required by members for any changes to be implemented. All activity is transparent and fully public. 

Ed3: Education based on Web3: It could be a movement, a mindset, or a community.

Dr. Straight shared the preliminary results of his lab’s study (which will be published soon) based on the hypothesis that “participants’ self-reported knowledge, predictions, and attitudes toward Web3 and metaversal technologies in relation to education will be dependent on a variety of demographics such as age, sociology-economic status, location, gender, and profession. Those in education or education-adjacent fields will be more negative in their attitudes than those in other professions, especially software development and financials. Likewise, the attitudes on various technical, ethical, practical, and security-related topics will vary by demographic group.” The survey’s aim was to explore the opinions, attitudes, and concerns of those interested in the intersection of Web3 and education.

Dr. Straight said that moving into the future, there will be a critical need for re-orienting blockchain technology in education from pro-profit to human-Center Ed adoption. “This is to ensure a balance among technological advances, knowledge transformation, and safeguarding of privacy and individual rights of marginalised teachers and learners.”

In addition, consideration on DAOs in education should include the following:

  • Credentials
  • Social Life
  • Path toward professional success
  • Education
  • Admissions
  • Cost
  • Length of time spent at the institution 

Dr. Straight shared his Ed3 toolkit, a collection of resources and fully accessible Web3 native content to dig more into this topic and engage in the Ed3 space. His full presentation can be accessed on demand here.

For more presentations from the OLC Innovate event, see:

Students, Faculty Experiencing Burnout in Colleges, Universities