Ed3 Weekly: Living In Two Worlds

Hello educator and web3 frens,

There are times in the web3 space that I feel like I am living in two worlds. One world is full of imaginative innovation in which new platforms are being built and distributed. The other world is skeptical and antagonistic full of doubtful projections of web3 applications.

Skeptical voices are healthy additions to the dialogue around innovation. An overabundance of optimism can cloud our blindspots. In order to create new things we need to account for the limitations and build around or over them.

When it comes to web3 there are four common skepticisms about its adoption:

  • Web3 is undefinable
  • The user interfaces are horrible
  • It’s not really decentralized
  • Uses way too much energy

I won’t go through each of these and try to dispute or argue them. Each has some truth to them. The purpose of this newsletter is to share out resources about what is happening in the space, relate it to education, and let you decide for yourself.

This week’s issue digs into the discrepancy between web3 as the next iteration of the internet and as a space built on delusion. I share some reflections from the doubters, and then some examples of how web3 is existing out in the world today.

Summary of this week’s resources:

🎧 Podcast interview from Bankless with the world’s most well-known web3 skeptic

🌐 An article from Venture Beat asks if Meta’s failures prove the metaverse is dead

🥽 EdTech Magazine profiles how students at Morehouse College are learning in the metaverse

🖼 New York Times covers how NFT artists are finding support from museums

Web3 is Going Just Great!

Image from https://web3isgoinggreat.com/

If you don’t know the name Molly White do you even web3? She is the pre-eminent web skeptic. Her website Web3 is Going Just Great is completely dedicated to questioning the value of web3 and highlighting every negative web3 news story that comes out. Hers is a voice to be aware of and understand. I have stated before that the willingness to immerse yourself in the ideas of the skeptics is an important trait for those in this space.

This podcast interview on Bankless is a great way to build your understanding of her thinking. I really enjoy listening to these conversations as it gets me to think deeply about my own views. It also gets you to ask some great questions for yourself, like “do I really understand web3?”.

Is the Metaverse Dead?

Image created by Louis Rosenberg using MidJourney

This article from Venture Beat poses the question Is the metaverse dead? Rather than present a skeptical view about the state of the metaverse, it argues that the metaverse is actually inevitable. It also makes some salient points like the metaverse is not NFTs and web3 evangelists are to blame for the confusion around the metaverse, blockchains, and cryptocurrencies.

So is the metaverse inevitable? That’s what the author proposes. Read the article to challenge your assumptions, rethink some norms, or possibly gain some support for your critiques.

Morehouse College Leading the Way into the Metaverse

Image from EdTech Magazine

I’ve covered the work being done at Morehouse College before. Their commitment to building metaverse platforms for learning at their institution of higher ed is admirable. This article in EdTech Magazine provides an update on how their project is advancing.

There’s a lot to love about the work that Muhsinah Morris and her colleagues are doing. This quote really stands out to me about the impact that immersive environments can have on learners: “As an HBCU, a lot of our pedagogy is based on culturally responsive spaces and making sure our students can identify with content that typically doesn’t feel like it’s for them.”

Check out the article to learn how they are leveraging these spaces to make the content feel more relevant for all students.

Museums Embracing NFTs

Refik Anadol Studio; via The Museum of Modern Art, New York

My entry point into web3 was through NFTs. I saw huge potential for this technology to financially support creators. I am a musician myself so I had a personal interest in understanding how this technology functions.

Now that the NFT hype has faded, it is nice to see that museums are maintaining interest in NFTs as transcendent pieces of art. The work of Refik Anadol is in that category of truly otherworldly art. The New York Times covers his art and how museums are working to support digital artists.

If the above link remains behind a paywall, you can also try this link that I can share with friends as part of my own subscription.

Thank you for stopping by for another issue of my web3🤝education newsletter. If you’re on LinkedIn you can check out a version of this newsletter on my LinkedIn page and give me a follow. You can also subscribe to the Ed3 Weekly Substack or give me a follow on Twitter.