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Using Mixed Reality to Enhance the Educational Process

Using Mixed Reality to Enhance the Educational Process

Tracy Watson

27/05/2021

9 min read

what is mixed reality

While technology has become a big part of the educational process, it’s currently limited to things like collaboration tools and electronic texts. In other words, it is only supplementing the didactic methods that have been around for decades. New technology, like mixed reality (MR), provides excellent opportunities to change all of this and revolutionize the entire educational process. In this article, we take a deep dive into mixed reality in education to see all of the advantages it offers and why we should start implementing it in schools and universities. Let’s take a look at some of the ways students can benefit from MR. 

Immersing Students in the Subject Matter

It is one thing to read about a historical event, but it would be a completely different experience actually to interact with it. For example, let’s say that a student is learning about the gladiator fights in ancient Rome. They can put on a mixed reality headset, like Microsoft HoloLens, and step inside the Colosseum, observe it from any angle and fly over it in a hot air balloon. They can walk into Ceasars’s box and give one of the gladiators a thumbs up or down. This is an excellent way of learning since it allows the students to experience something firsthand. 

Even though the above example is in the historical field, mixed reality can be applied to science and medicine, geography, architecture, and pretty much any other subject. MR education will require changes to current education methods and learning environments as students start expecting methods that elicit an emotional response. 

augmented and virtual reality in education

Visual Simulations to Improve Training 

Students in medical school are always learning about how the human body functions, but they need to get more of an interactive experience to better understand the material. Mixed reality allows them to take a dynamic journey through the body while the technology simulates living tissue. This offers an unparalleled level of insights into specific organs, muscles, and systems while providing a stress-free learning environment where they do not have to worry about making a mistake. It is important to note that MR allows for both an individual and a group experience as well. For example, suppose an instructor would like to teach the class about a particular aspect of human anatomy and physiology. In that case, everybody can put on a headset and explore the content as a group while communicating with each other. 

All of this is a lot better than using a cadaver since it allows students the opportunity to see everything in living colors and textures. They are not limited to still images and have to use their imagination to understand how the organs function or how blood flows throughout the body. This significantly improves their training because when they go out into the real world, the cadaver does not portray human tissue, muscles, and organs precisely the way they are in real life. MR allows you to take the training process up a notch to get as close to a life-like experience as possible. This is a big impact of mixed reality in education. 

Employee Training games

Using MR in Art 

Mixed Reality Viewer is a perfect tool when you need to visualize space and dimension, experience something up close, or when you want to inject some fun into your art. For example, when students draw or paint pictures, they are still limited to two-dimensional space. However, with mixed reality, they can experience art in heterogeneous spatial contexts. This opens up new creative and participatory ways of learning. 

This means that motivation, attention but also spatial imagination, and perception are estimated to be fostered. When we look at students in elementary and middle schools, MR can be used to bring their drawings to life, adding a new level of entertainment to the process. As we go a couple of levels higher into high schools and universities, MR can be used to better educate the students about particular aspects of paintings, sculptures, and other works of art. 

Students can already get started with mixed reality in the art using programs like Paint 3D, which is a program offered by Microsoft that allows you to create an image and view it in the real world. This would be a good application to use just to get started in using MR for art to see what it can do, see how the students interact with it, and the difference it makes. If you like what you see, you can then upgrade to more advanced tools. 

So far, we have looked at many examples of mixed reality in education and all of the benefits it offers both students and teachers, but we also need to consider some of the drawbacks as well. So let’s take a look at these next. 

problems with VR creativity

What Are Some Disadvantages of Mixed Reality in Education? 

While mixed reality can disrupt all of the time-honored educational processes, this can prove to be problematic for many educational institutions since it will be difficult to make the transition. Teachers will need to alter or perhaps even abandon some of the teaching methods they are currently using. We also need to consider the cost of procuring MR equipment such as headset and other hardware and creating all of the content. Therefore, school boards and higher education institutions will need to be aware of all the benefits MR can offer to justify the costs. 

Start Incorporating Mixed Reality Into the Educational Process

We have looked at some examples of mixed reality in education, entertainment, and training, and it appears to be that this is where the educational process is headed for both secondary and post-secondary institutions. However, to enjoy all of the benefits MR has to offer and get the highest ROI, you will need to partner with experienced mixed reality development services

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