A new way of teaching will immerse students in history by allowing them to experience historical events in the Metaverse.
Morehouse College in Atlanta will launch a first-of-its-kind black history course taught entirely in the metaverse. Corresponding NBC Newsthe course will open in the spring and will be led by a professor Ovell Hamilton. Students enrolled in the course enter the 3D virtual space to experience the lives of enslaved African Americans. The course, which is part of the Virtual Reality Project, is titled “History of the African Diaspora since 1800”.
The course content is inspired by Journey for Civil Rights, a separate Black History course led by Hamilton of VictoryXR, the technology company Morehouse works with. The course will recreate key moments and artifacts beginning with the Haitian revolution leading to the civil rights movement.
“It’s an experience that you wouldn’t have if you were sitting in a classroom or in a lecture,” Hamilton said, referring to the virtual experience of the slave ship La Amistad.
“If you go there and see the bottom of a slave ship, you will see the slaves crammed together… You will have a new appreciation and you will have a better knowledge of how the events took place.”
Students experience the brutal reality of enslaved Africans bound to one another while others stand on the side of the ship, choosing between life and death. “It definitely evokes feelings of sadness,” Morehouse said sophomore Jerad Evan Younga black college student majoring in Cinema, Television, and Emerging Media Studies.
Young had the opportunity to take a virtual tour of the Underground Railroad and a slave ship in Hamilton’s World History class.
“Also, there’s a sense of pride because not everyone survived the slave trade,” Young added.
“You know, you really had to be a strong person. So that let me know that my ancestors were strong enough to endure this grueling journey across the sea.”
Morehouse College reportedly made history last spring after launching its first official course in the metaverse. Hamilton, along with 10 other professors, was supposed to teach students using the virtual technology.
Participants can experience historic moments like participation Martin Luther King Jr 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, 1957 entered an all-white high school in Arkansas and toured on a slave ship.