Elementary and Middle School Students Should Be Learning About Future
Careers on the Metaverse and AI
William Jackson, Certified VR Educator,
Member of World Metaverse Council
and Retired STEAM+M Educator
The process of educating and learning need to be changed
in teaching students about the Metaverse, and AI. Teaching
students how to build digital galleries, create immersive
environments, and helping students learn about Podcasting,
Blogging, Vblogging, gaining experience and knowledge
to prepare for the future.
From 2019 to my retirement in 2022 students at the
middle school I taught at in Jacksonville had been learning
about future careers that the Metaverse and AI will be
offering. Using videos, open discussions, learning how
the Arts are viable career options, role playing and
using Oculus (digital headsets) to teach students. The
other need is to create curriculums that show how to
use Roblox and Minecraft as instructional
tools not just games.
Taking students on educational and professional
journeys that will possibly magnify students’ visions
for their future career choices. It is important for student
success and a clear vision of themselves, their missions
in life and how they will be the digital leaders that will
impact the nation. Visiting other students from Dupont
Middle, Charger Middle, and Lakeshore Middle were
treated to sessions of what careers await them as the
Metaverse influences education and business. Using
the Oculus to show where their employment may
be and how they will be interacting with others in
Students that are playing Roblox and Minecraft they
are already experiencing some portions of the
Metaverse. That role playing in games can teach
valuable skills for critical thinking, collaboration and
understanding how virtual worlds can work in the real
world. This will prepare them for the future as Digital
Artists, Designers, Programmers, Developers, Immersive
Using the Oculus that we provided, brings deeper into
immersive worlds and potential businesses, career
opportunities and how the Arts are important in digital
and virtual worlds. Exposure and mentoring, students
look at their choices for the future, they are encouraged
to take responsibilities for “their” learning that will influence
their actions, choices, engagements.
Today a student’s choices can either make them
under-employed, un-employable or left behind if they
are not willing to learn digital skills.
The changes are showing that high schools are offering
coding, programming, robotics, digital arts, gamification,
web development are valuable skills for the future. Even
more so as the Metaverse and AI grows in influence and
integration in the real world. This exposure should not
be limited to just high schools, but middle schools and
in some areas elementary schools need to be included
at levels that provide project inclusion, project
engagement and project based learning.
Science Technology Engineering Arts Math Metaverse
and now AI or Artificial Intelligence are tools that can
open doors to high paying careers and even offer
entrepreneurial and business opportunities. The world
has moved from agricultural, industrial careers to Digital,
AI (artificial intelligence), Immersive, including AR, MR, VR
and XR environments. More vocational education is needed
because as the plans are to colonize the Moon and Mars
vocational skills will be needed to do the works necessary
while incorporating IOT – Internet of Things when
man/woman are working next to robots, AI and in
There is a lack of STEAM+M Educators and Virtual
Reality Certified Educators across the United States.
This hinders real world learning, multiple programs are
available across my city of Jacksonville and others across
the nation, but there is a need for more. These programs
must be increasingly available to girls, women,
under-represented communities to get youth, teens,
and young adults involved.
Increasingly communities are learning that the least
employable do influence the neighborhoods because
they cannot properly support the soci-economic need
of purchasing products and services, paying taxes and
contributing to not for profit organizations. Each person
has the ability with the proper tools both educational
and financial to sustain themselves and their neighborhoods.
Understanding the Metaverse contains digital lands made
by artists, coders, programmers and digital developers.
Digital lands can be created by anyone using software that
is free, accessible, and capable of creating worlds where
there is no limit to what a person as an avatar can be done.
An avatar refers to a character that represents an online user.
People create their avatars that represent them in digital
worlds, the user can create anything in their imagination
and engage with others in Metaverse spaces, places and
worlds similar to real life experiences, but with increase
mobility, creativity and digital innovation. So influential is
the Metaverse, there are churches, stores, schools and
global businesses present.
Using the platforms Spatial, Engage, Decentral Land and
others, youth and teens are shown what is possible with
knowledge to build a career.
The Arts, Design and Modeling, Animation to build digital
worlds for people to communicate and collaborate,
travel the world and experience digitally things students
may never be experienced to in person. Students, with
the help of their teachers that are trained can travel
the world, visiting far off nations safely, learn about
space aboard the International Space Station, deep
dive in the Pacific Ocean and into The Pond.
Climbing the highest mountains, explore the
deepest caves and other wonderous things and
not be in danger of hurt or harm. Educational groups
in Duval County Public Schools like The Ones and
Los Unos, Black and Latino Male Collectives are
already on the Metaverse to promote Black and
Hispanic Males in Education.
Using and sharing resources, mentoring and
encouraging males to enter into educational
careers with support.
There are so many opportunities for students in
Jacksonville to have positive educational and
building skills for professional experiences, to
be influenced and inspired and gain future skills
where they can make money in a growing area of
digital industries. The time is now to learn and
be empowered for middle school and elementary
students across Jacksonville that will be competing
for high salary careers in Technology that is
influenced by STEAM+M, AI the Metaverse and
other digital platforms and tools.
This is not coming, but is here.
Jacksonville is slowly growing into a technology hub
of influence and opportunities. Students across the
academic spectrum must be provided digital learning
opportunities in STEAM+M, AI, Metaverse to take
advantage of the benefits of learning new and
immerging technology skills that will be found on
the Metaverse, Web 3, IOT, AI, VR, XR, MR and the
Internet. Groups like BIT or Black in Technology
of Jacksonville have a vested interest in making
sure Black, Hispanic and others of color and
culture have access to trainings, workshops. mentors
and resources to help prepare youth, teens and
young adults outside of the classroom.
Valuable and important learning happens outside
the classroom as well is what I taught the students
at TLAM. As the teacher I’m helping to lay the
foundation for the love, empowerment, and
enjoyment of learning. Students have to
continue the journey to prepare themselves
for their future.
If parents are not awake to how technology is
changing the employment and career spectrum
of Jacksonville and other cities, the youth,
teens and young adults growing up in their city,
like Jacksonville will not be able to afford living
in the cities they are born in or move to.
Technology can be the great equalize and extender
by allowing access, empowerment, vision, creativity
and innovation that will allow students to reach
the stars literally.
Being under-employed, unemployable, ill
prepared for employment in technology careers
will be a reality if not taken seriously the changes
in our world and the integration of more and more tech.
Elementary school should be the beginning of teaching
our youth how to deal with, learn with, learn from, integrate
and manipulate technology. We cannot afford to wait until
high school to put tech to use in education. We will fail
thousands if not millions of youth, teens, young adults
and eventually people who have no idea how to efficiently
use technology nor will they be able to communicate
proficiently to survive.