Mixed Reality Technologies
Transforming the Classroom: Mixed Reality
Emerging technologies and the world of education have always gone hand in hand, but never before in human history have as many game changing new technological advances been available to students of every level – including those in preschool – all over the world.
Thanks to the modern technological revolution that we are all living in right now in the amazing solutions modern advances have made possible, educators are able to take full advantage of Mixed Reality solutions in the classrom, in a way that just wasn’t ever possible before.
In this post we want to share with you our information on the changes within technologies in the classroom;
How technology has revolution the classroom
Mixed Reality (sometimes abbreviated as MR) is a combination of traditional teaching aids and educational tools that exist in the physical realm as well as more modern solutions that exist entirely in virtual and digital worlds.
Essentially, educators and students are able to physically manipulate things in their physical environment but also are able to further explore these objects – and what they mean, what they are composed of, and what they are related to (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg) – in a digital environment as well.
New tools like the Microsoft Hololens, the original Google Glass project, and today’s smart phone and tablet enabled Augmented Reality applications are just a few of the most commonly used examples of MR solutions found in classrooms today.
The Dangers of MR Adaption Right Now
Unfortunately, the proliferation of MR solutions in classrooms today are leaving some educational organizations behind in the “dark ages” – particularly if they aren’t as well-funded or aren’t quite as technologically savvy are interested in taking advantage of future educational tools as other organizations might be.
This can cause a significant strain on the educational opportunities particular students get compared to those in schools in the same town, even. Study after study is showing that MR solutions gives students a broad new way to learn, approaches them in a “digital language” that students today are well-versed in, and excites them a lot more than traditional teaching aids ever did.
A number of clinical studies have also shown that students today are a lot more engaged and retain a lot more information when they are actually able to learn the practical uses of the material they are being taught.
Pure book learning and pure theory just isn’t cutting it any longer.
Instead, teachers that educating a more hands-on kind of manner – which becomes a lot more flexible when educating in a virtual or digital environment – are seeing dramatically improved results throughout their entire student body.
As if that wasn’t reason enough to start engaging with this technology, the pure novelty of diving into these VR/AR worlds is more than enough to capture the attention of today’s young students. These kids are playing with many of these same technologies on their smartphones and videogame consoles at home, and bringing this sense of excitement and engagement into the classroom – rather than shutting it down with traditional teaching aids – is always going to awaken young minds more effectively.
Deep Dive Into Deep Topics Possible Now
One of the most amazing things about Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Realities solutions is that they can allow for a deeper dive into some pretty deep topics in a way that just wasn’t possible previously.
For example, let’s take human biology (a popular and commonly taught course at high schools all over the United States). With traditional teaching aids, students would be learning all about human biology through textbooks, through videos, and maybe through a handful of rudimentary models that they may or may not get any real one-on-one time with.
With MR solutions, these same students are able to dive directly into virtual spaces that not only help them better understand the core concepts being taught regarding biology, but they also get to “go inside” the body, explore different organs, see how everything operates in connection with everything else, and generally explore the body in a way that wouldn’t have been possible traditionally.
There’s nothing else like this on the market today and that’s what makes MR in specific so exciting for educators.
Collaborative Tools are Built Right In
Another huge benefit of MR solutions is that they are specifically designed with collaborative tools built right in.
Today’s educators are learning that students grasp advanced topics a lot more efficiently when they are presented with an opportunity to collaborate with their teachers and with fellow students, and not just those that are confined to their specific classroom.
MR tools open up truly global opportunities for collaboration – including collaborative efforts with college students, professors, experts, and more in a way that couldn’t have been possible previously. Some of these tools open are;
- Guest lectures
- video chats
- 3D model explanations from real-world experts – live or recorded – that really expands on the possibilities teachers have two offer these days
It certainly doesn’t hurt that MR solutions can also be used to teach and train adults effectively, including those that are going to be learning skills that are very complex and challenging.
First responders in specific are taking advantage of MR solutions these days to dramatically increase the amount of time they spend training on lifesaving medical skills that they might not have been able to train as effectively before.
Aerospace engineers, medical doctors, and even the US military has begun to take advantage of the same tools to broaden their educational efforts, too.