Morehouse College, the first and only college dedicated to educating men of color, has been making history for over 150 years.
And now the Atlanta HBCU, which boasts esteemed alumni, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Spike Lee and Samuel L. Jackson, is making history yet again. According to Atlanta’s WSB-TV, the school is set to be the first institution of higher learning to offer classes in the metaverse.
For someone like me, who went to college in an age where classes only took place in lecture halls, and email was a novelty, the idea of a world where students can connect and share experiences virtually sounds like something out of an episode of The Jetsons (sorry if you’re too young to understand that reference). But according to Muhsinah Morris, Ph.D., virtual reality program manager for Morehouse College, connecting students to the metaverse isn’t just cool. It’s necessary to be competitive.
“The metaverse is what I call the world’s greatest playground. But besides that, what it really is, is the next iteration of the web,” Morris said. “We can give that to our students. And it’s such a gift because we had to read encyclopedias, right? And that information was stagnant. This is happening in real-time in three dimensions. I can go to Glasgow, and I can go to universities there and be in their midst and experience how they live. That’s what this technology does.”
Morehouse student Tahj Henry Jackson is looking forward to engaging in this cutting-edge learning experience. “It’s a whole new experience, and you’re meeting and experiencing things first-hand, such as the Underground Railroad,” Jackson said.
According to Morris, learning in the metaverse will help the students understand their place in the world while connecting with others from all over the world. “They can create. They can produce. They can market. They can create social events. They can create a place of belonging in the community,” Morris said. “The future looks a lot like young people being able to come together from countries all over the world in one singular space.”