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Of course there is a lot of hype going on about the metaverse at the moment. The media loves a technology and media hype, as do even more the financial markets.

I am frankly sceptical about the metaverse - or metaverses they might better be called. Firstly I remember all the hype around Second Life - OK I was part of it. Undoubtedly the technology has come on along way since then. But I still wonder how many of us wish to live immersed in a world of digital objects - however persistent they might be. I think Augmented Reality shows much more promise despite the mess google made trying to introduce their glasses to an unimpressed world.

The problem with the hype and especially the demand that innovation has to be disruptive overshadows the real ways in which the adoption of technology - often in ways not foreseen by developers - is changing our society. We are partners in a new project - Digitag - which is looking at the changing use of digital technology in agriculture and the competences needed by people to use such technologies. I was thinking about what had changed during the Covid 19 emergency. I live only 5 minutes away from the second biggest market in Valencia where many of the stall holders are either direct producers of agriculture themselves or are small scale food producers selling directly to the public. Due to its popularity the market is very crowded especially at weekends exacerbated by the cultural tradition that market stand holders discuss the food they are selling, how to prepare it and possible good recipes!

So waht was the innovation. The use of WhatsApp by stand holders to take orders which could be weighed and bagged up in advance so that shoppers could just pick them up in a couple of minutes, thsi avoiding the need to hang aorund in a closed space. And of course that innovation - or innovation in the use of a technology - has persisted after the easing of the emergency. I think the same applies in education - and I 'll come back to this in the next couple of days.

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