Friday, March 22, 2019, saw Dr Fridolin Wild and Joanna Jesionkowska invited by Richard John Pugsley from the EF Academy Oxford to talk about how Smart Glasses like the Microsoft HoloLens or the Magic Leap One will change the classroom of the future.
Dr Wild presented the broad possibilities of using Augmented Reality (AR) in education. He told us ‘AR-STEAM aims to help foster student engagement in STEAM subjects by using Augmented Reality applications. When integrated well, AR has potential to support classes with stunningly engaging holographic content, rendering lesson contents more apprehendable, while providing an unprecedented sense of immediacy. New and highly interactive AR lesson support can help students build passion towards STEAM subjects. At the Performance Augmentation Lab, we have developed over the past three years novel production and performance tools for AR lesson content, which help trainers and teachers in creating their own AR learning experiences. With the AR-STEAM project, we seek to replicate the success we have in industry and help Oxford’s secondary schools to upgrade their ICT for STEAM subjects (including the arts!) to include Augmented Reality, building a pathway for local students to benefit from such technological advance.From our research, we know that students find Augmented Reality learning very stimulating, engaging, and easy to use. We find that AR can unfold its magic especially in STEAM subjects, where abstract and difficult content can be presented in a more direct way.’
Dr Wild demonstrated the examples from Performance Augmentation Lab of Oxford Brookes University – Education and Training and he brought along smart glasses for a practical try-out. There are several applications already available for HoloLens, which can be used as study aid and a teaching tool. A good example of such educational application is Microsoft’s Galaxy Explorer, which transforms the classroom into a scale-model of the Universe, allowing the students to learn about our own and other galaxies, and explore new worlds:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py3wHVcjXv4
After the talk, students were invited to try the HoloLens themselves. They learned how to use gestures to manage the AR system. As for many, the best way to learn is to play and have fun, students also tried to play a game a help a little squirrel to collect some nuts.
The visit is a first part of the Augmented Reality for STEAM education (AR-STEAM) project, where the lab engages with local secondary schools on how to best use Augmented Reality in education of science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths (STEAM)
The use of AR in education can transform the school environment to a more technology-friendly one, with a bigger variety of opportunities of learning for students. Ms Jesionkowska told us that ‘the use of AR can increase the level of participation, understanding and learning, three key elements of all educational systems’ targets.’
Augmented Reality for STEAM education (AR-STEAM) seeks to organise a series of events that would create a common space for teachers, educators and technology providers to meet, exchange knowledge and experience and foster the research on STEAM education. The project lowers the barriers towards the application of these innovative technologies by providing a technological support and training for teachers, educators and even students.
If you are interested to find out more, we invite you to email us for setting a date for the lightning talk at your school as a first step. In the talk, we will start a drumroll for the training workshop. To arrange a date and time for the talk, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.