Exclusive Interview with Meta: The Future of Immersive Technology and a Paradigm Shift in Education

AWE Asia
8 min readMar 14, 2024

AWE Asia is thrilled to share an exclusive interview with Leticia Jáuregui, Head of Global Education Partnerships and Immersive Learning at Meta, who shared her insights on the future of immersive education and the meta-universe. She discussed how we can utilize immersive technologies in the classroom, as well as the importance of providing educators with the right skills and tools.

Leticia Jáuregui

As head of Meta’s Global Education Partnerships and Immersive Learning division, Leticia Jáuregui works to build immersive technology ecosystems that support learning in the metaverse. She has been recognized by Forbes as one of the most influential women in Mexico. Before joining Meta, Leticia focused on disruptive innovation and economic development in emerging markets as a serial entrepreneur, investor, and independent board member.

The Future of Immersion and the Metaverse

Question: As the head of Meta’s Global Education Partnerships and Immersive Learning division, can you quickly introduce yourself and your role at Meta?

At Meta, our goal is to plant the seeds of innovation in the immersive learning ecosystem. We delve into immersive content in AR, VR, and MR, examining how they can change the education space from the ground up. We are committed to using immersive technologies to engage students, improve educational outcomes, increase student attention and motivation, and make such technologies a powerful tool for educators to improve the quality of their teaching.

We are delighted to be working with some exceptional partners. In building our vision for the future of education, we are digging deep into pedagogical content, training, and skills, and how these elements will shape the future educational scenario. Our goal is not just to adopt new technologies, but to deeply integrate them into the education system to ensure that they effectively and efficiently support and enhance the learning experience. Meta is committed to driving innovation and progress in education, opening up new possibilities for students and educators.

Education Partnerships and Immersive Learning is Meta’s comprehensive program of technological innovation, educational collaboration, and learning experience improvement. In this program, Meta partners with academic institutions, educational content providers, and technology developers to explore how XR technology can be effectively used in education, not only by providing technology platforms, such as its VR devices and software, but also by engaging in the development of specific apps and tools for education.

Question: What does the vision of the future look like to you? And what are the core steps or stages to get there?

Even though meta-universe technologies have a long road ahead of them, we are already seeing extremely positive results in several attempts and practices. First and foremost, we need to ensure that educators are provided with the right skills and tools to ensure that their queries are answered so that they can use headgear and software in the classroom environment without burden. To do this, we need to accurately analyze the application scenarios that are appropriate for immersive technologies.

Geographical constraints can be a challenge when teaching certain subjects, and VR technology can help students cross these barriers by allowing them to explore operations in simulated environments without having to physically move. For example, our partner, Prism, teaches math in VR, which has proven to be very helpful for students to understand algebra and geometry concepts.

Additionally, we need to think about how to ensure that immersive technologies are built to be equitable and easily accessible. Many of the investments Meta is making are about ensuring that students can work across the barriers of different districts. We first want to reduce the barriers to teaching and learning about accessing headset devices or other hardware. Secondly, we want to help educators improve the skills they need and even make improvements in language, accessibility, and content. I think that’s where a lot of the AI tools are exciting- because they’re going to dramatically improve accessibility.

Question: What kind of partnerships has Meta created to realize this vision?

For example, we develop with partners like Zoe (an Immersive Teacher Training Program) to provide code-free environments that educators can use in the classroom to conduct experiments, build virtual worlds, and play mini-games with their students. This provides educators with easy-to-use VR tools that allow them to integrate technologies into their teaching. We have also partnered with IMD Business School to use and teach with these XR technologies and inspire new ways of thinking, such as developing business skills.

Last year, we launched Create and VR, a program designed to train educators to use VR technology in classroom settings. Through these programs, we’ve learned about new use cases and how these VR lessons are impacting a wide range of subjects, types of students, and age groups. The results have been very exciting, to say the least.

Partnerships and AI in Immersion Education

Question: Looking ahead, do you foresee new partnerships with other organizations or promising goals for cooperation to further this process?

We understand the limitations of going alone, so we are continually looking to build new partnerships. For example, Meta’s partnership with Victory X to build the university’s digital twin campus focused on providing better distance learning opportunities for students in remote areas (or those who were unable to access the campus after the New Crown outbreak).

We’re also working with partners, like Lobster, to develop the pedagogical power associated with labs. This means that instead of investing millions of dollars in building high-quality physical labs, schools or universities can build them with VR technology, allowing students to experiment and get their hands dirty. Similarly, we are exploring the use of AR technology to enhance learning, for example, by retaining some of the fixed content in textbooks, eliminating the need to reprint them, and using virtual technology to update information that iterates over time. Educators themselves can be involved in the process of updating the content of teaching materials.

As the technology matures, we expect to see more and more opportunities emerge. At the same time, the cross-application of AI allows us to think more deeply about personalized learning, automated learning programs, and more. For example, teaching history, bringing different historical figures to life and traveling through time to learn about different historical moments. The possibilities of our imagination can be endless.

Question: Can you talk in more detail about how AI is transforming the immersive education space in general and in content creation?

We’re seeing several partners transforming the way 3D assets are generated. For example, Zoe is considering ways to expand library capacity to enable educators to create digital assets and bring them into the learning environment simply by typing in text prompts.

How can AI truly transform instructional design? When targeting guided learning and student pathways, how can we use AI to make them more interactive and personalized? Additionally, we are exploring the integration of other features, such as language translation, that allow immersive technologies to be geared towards students in different regions. Obviously, VR technology allows students from all over the world the opportunity to interact together across geographic limitations. So in terms of language learning, students from different regions can learn immersively in similar virtual situations.

The rational use of AI to support these learning opportunities is, in my opinion, a very valuable practice. Through AI, we will not only be able to create richer and more colorful educational resources, but also enable educational exchanges across cultures and geographies, which will undoubtedly revolutionize the field of global education.

Pain Points and Challenges in Immersion Education

Question: What are some of the challenges in utilizing this technology? What are some of the risks or barriers to creating content or other aspects of AI that may affect a smooth student experience?

First and foremost, we are currently focused on asking the right questions, although perhaps the answers to those questions are still being explored. We have partnered with distinguished researchers to comprehensively study the impact of this technology in the classroom, both positive and negative.

As for challenges and risks, one concern is how we can build this technology responsibly and securely, taking into account privacy concerns. We are doing a lot of experimentation in this area. Partners are also pushing for the technology to be secure. Similarly, in the AI space, we have a lot of work to do to ensure that it’s implemented safely. We are also focused on developing the expertise of educators on how to regulate the safe use of these technologies.

Ultimately, it is not the technology itself that matters, but how we use it in education. The key to this is to meet the needs of educators and take their concerns into account. For example, what are the points of conflict in the classroom? And what are the challenges students face? Is it about engagement, staying focused, or learning outcomes? We need to design smartly so that technology feeds back to teachers to better train students. We also need to consider students’ interests and make them part of the learning journey.

In addition, there are many considerations regarding the hardware. Is it necessary to acquire the hardware itself? While prices have come down, it is still a significant investment for some users. We need to take into account the fact that generalist teachers can integrate it into their classrooms. Therefore, we strive to close the accessibility and equity gap and drive development across different institutions and learners.

Question: What do you think is the most important insight that attendees at AWE Asia or you gained from the conference?

For me, AWE Asia has brought many profound insights. One of the key ones is that we need to think about a paradigm shift. This paradigm shift is especially important whether it’s in education, business operations, or when building any process with immersive technology.

We are undergoing a paradigm shift. When it comes to the overlay of immersive technologies and AI, we can’t help but ask what they can bring to the future. At AWE Asia 2023, I listened to some very forward-thinking presentations from companies like Meta that are exploring VR training and immersive learning in depth. In the past, we were faced with situations where we had to make some sacrifices— less time, lower cost or higher quality — and we couldn’t consider all of these factors at once. But now, with these new tools, we don’t necessarily need to make sacrifices anymore, instead, we have to change the way we think about processes.

We also need to change the way we think about learning. Teaching is no longer just about answering questions, because we will all be able to use new tools to find answers quickly. We should encourage new questions and frame the results of immersive education as a new way of learning.

AWE Asia 2024 will take place on August 26–28, 2024! Learn more.

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AWE Asia

Since 2015, AWE Asia has brought together the region’s foremost stakeholders in Extended Reality technology.