As students head back into classrooms this fall, some schools are already using the metaverse for teaching and learning. Yet, according to Jaime Donally, engagement director at Identity Automation and a former EdTech K–12 influencer, the metaverse doesn’t exist — at least, not to its full potential.
“There are elements of the metaverse that are happening, but the metaverse itself is not open-ended like the metaverse will need to be,” Donally says. “Immersive experiences layering augmented reality information have been increasing, but it doesn’t mean that the metaverse exists today.”
As school districts begin to dabble in the metaverse — in its current iteration and into the future — they will need to keep digital identity in mind.
What Is Digital Identity?
In a typical online environment, digital identity is the information about a person that exists online. Computers use someone’s digital identity to represent that person.
“We talk about digital identity being the foundation, and really understanding that those are unique online identifiers,” Donally says. “That’s who we are. That’s how we represent ourselves in this virtual space.”
In the metaverse, students’ digital identities will follow them throughout their time in school and beyond, to careers or higher education. It will include important information about them, their learning habits, their skills and accommodations.