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Past Event

Education meets the metaverse: The promise and the worry

A Brookings-Yidan Prize event on the future of education in the 21st century

Past Event

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.

On June 28, the Center for Universal Education and the Yidan Prize Foundation co-hosted a virtual event to consider a path for bringing the 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 those creating 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? Is there a real eye to diversity in the representation and access to what is created?

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

Viewers submitted questions via email to or via Twitter at #BrookingsYidanPrize.


Panel discussion

Anant Agarwal

Chief Open Education Officer - 2U/edX

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science - MIT

2018 Yidan Prize for Education Development Laureate

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