Microsoft and Pearson to bring Augmented Reality in Education
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Arguably, one of the most important areas where Augmented Reality can make a difference, is in the Education sector. Hence, Microsoft and Pearson are exploring new ways to introduce Microsoft’s AR solution, HoloLens Technology, to advance online training and tutoring.

Pearson, the education material company, is developing and in the process of piloting a mixture of virtual and augmented reality content to be used at colleges, universities, and secondary schools in the United States and around the world.

With Virtual reality, the user is immersed in a simulated world. Augmented reality overlays the digital information on top of the real world. While, Mixed reality merges the virtual and physical worlds to create a new reality whereby the two can coexist and interact. Mixed reality embraces and understand the user’s environment and enables holograms to look and sound like they are part of that real world. It means it is possible to develop learning content for HoloLens that will provide students with real world experiences, allowing them to build proficiency, develop confidence, explore and learn.

“We are thrilled to partner with Pearson to expand the curriculum available to students to learn through the power of holograms on Microsoft HoloLens,” said Lorraine Bardeen, general manager for Microsoft Windows and HoloLens Experiences. “Complex systems are more easily understood in 3D and learning through holographic computing in mixed reality provides students a higher level of understanding and experience that they can then bring into their real-world interactions. HoloLens gives students access to things they may never be able to see in real life historical artifacts, natural history, hands on training, and a connection to the broader world.”

The pilot project initiated by Pearson will use Microsoft’s holographic video capture capability, filming actors to simulate patients with various health concerns. When student nurses will use these simulations using HoloLens, they will have a real world experience in patient diagnostics, building the confidence and experience needed in their career.

Pearson is in the early stages of evaluating the impact of holographic learning at the late grammar school stage. In a collaboration with students, faculty and staff from Bryn Mowr College, Pennsylvania, Pearson is exploring various educational applications for the HoloLens mixed reality devices. Pearson is testing Skype for HoloLens for connecting students with tutors in Pearson’s 24/7 online tutoring service, Smarthinking.

Even though it’s in early stages, the pilot training programs represents an out of the box approach, where mixed reality solutions can provide students with support from tutors when they are struggling with a particular concept or topic.