Immersive technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are transforming how people work, socialize, play, and learn. More and more, schools and educators are recognizing the power of these tools to reimagine learning and inspire students to be creators – not just consumers – in the metaverse.
The market for extended reality (XR) is expanding, as is the demand for talent to create these immersive digital experiences. According to Burning Glass, AR jobs are projected to grow 172% and VR jobs are projected to grow 170% globally in the next 10 years. As the XR job market broadens, schools find themselves in the position of needing to prepare the future workforce. Even though many schools have rapidly adopted XR technology, enabling their students to create and learn in new ways, equity gaps are growing, too. Most schools, especially those serving underrepresented and low-income communities, still experience barriers to accessing the promise of XR, with cost and readiness being the most prevalent factors. To address this, Unity Social Impact and Meta Immersive Learning have partnered to increase access to AR/VR hardware, high-quality educational content, and resources to prepare educators to teach.
We are excited to partner with Meta Immersive Learning on our shared goals to propel immersive learning and diversify the XR creator workforce. The Create with VR Grant and Higher Ed XR Innovation Grant – two core components of the partnership – will increase access to hardware and software, provide training and preparation for educators, and support educational institutions in creating immersive learning experiences.
“At Unity, we believe the world is a better place with more creators in it. This partnership brings that belief to life by ensuring education is accessible to all, regardless of zip code. Every student should have the opportunity to achieve their full potential,” says Jessica Lindl, vice president of social impact at Unity. “As we all know, there has been a major shift not only in the global labor market but also in how we work. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to connect young people with the skills needed for future jobs, as these help chart a clear path from learning to earning opportunities.”
John Cantarella, vice president of community and impact partnerships at Meta, says, “As part of our commitment to support the next generation of creators through the Meta Immersive Learning initiative, we’re excited to partner with Unity, a trusted and innovative name in the XR industry. Together, we can empower aspiring creators to learn and grow in the metaverse – removing barriers to immersive technologies and unlocking new opportunities.”
The Create with VR Grant will provide free Meta Quest 2 VR headsets to qualifying schools, and free educator training and resources for teaching VR creation. Starting April 22, 2022, a total of 5,000 Meta Quest 2 VR headsets will be available for distribution to secondary and post-secondary education institutions. Professional development training registration opens to all educators globally on April 22, 2022. School representatives, educators, IT administrators, and lab leaders are encouraged to register.
With the right combination of VR hardware, professional development, and teaching content, educators will be able to successfully build their curricula and prepare themselves to empower tomorrow’s creators. Learn more about this program.
The Higher Ed XR Innovation Grant is distributed by the Unity Charitable Fund at Tides Foundation. The grant will provide $1M in awards to higher education institutions that leverage real-time 3D and immersive technology to make advances in teaching and learning, XR creation, and workforce development. We encourage all types of higher education/post-secondary institutions to apply, especially those with programs that support students from historically underserved backgrounds. Call for submissions is open from April 25 – June 15, 2022. Learn more about this program.
Over the past year alone, we have provided free licenses, training, and resources to more than 450K students and educators across the globe, totaling over $1B in in-kind donations and grants. We are committed to increasing equitable access to education and workforce opportunities by supporting education institutions that expand access for all, so more people can harness the power of real-time 3D.
Learn more about educator resources and tools to propel real-time 3D in the classroom.
Find out more about Meta Immersive Learning and how to create, learn, and grow in the metaverse.