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A generation ago, the excitement in the eyes of an 11-year-old Harry Potter perfectly captured the feeling of wonder moviegoers shared upon first seeing the Hogwarts School come to life from the pages of a beloved book series. These days, a new generation hardly needs to be a witch or wizard to enter a world of imagination and explore a magical institution of learning. An ordinary school needs only partner with Davenport’s VictoryXR to deliver the endless capabilities of a meta-campus — the institution’s digital twin in the immersive world of Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality (VR/AR). “Every college and university in the world will have a metaversity in the next five to seven years, and currently we’re leading that space,” as builders of metacampuses worldwide, said Steve Grubbs, the CEO and co-founder of VictoryXR. “Instead of Silicon Valley, we are Sili-Corn Valley right here in Davenport, Iowa — and that is extremely exciting for our local investors, community, and other tech companies here in Eastern Iowa.” On Tuesday, April 19, social media giant Meta (formerly Facebook) released a list of 10 American colleges partnering with it on metaversities this fall. Meta Immersive Learning is partially funding the digital twin build-outs by VictoryXR. Meta also is providing each metaversity student with a Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headset for use during their courses. Students and professors enter the metacampus via the headset, a personal computer or cellphone/wireless device, and use an internet connection for a fully synchronous learning experience. “For the last five years, we’ve had VR as a tool in the classroom,” Mr. Grubbs said. “But what we did for the revolutionary step forward is make VR the actual classroom where you’re meeting. “It is so much more than a passive, 2D television experience like Zoom. You are immersed into your subjects and become an active participant — like standing on the Great Wall of China interacting with your classmates and teacher.” Included in the program are large schools such as the universities of Kansas, Maryland, New Mexico State, South Dakota State and West Virginia. Smaller schools such as Southwestern Oregon Community College also are taking the first step into the metaverse to join historically Black colleges and universities such as Morehouse College in Atlanta and Fisk University in Nashville already using the technology. “More than any learning innovation I have been involved with, ‘Morehouse in the Metaverse’ has made the biggest difference for the students I teach,” said Muhsinah Morris, associate professor at Morehouse.