VR/AR: Mixed-reality lessons for schools

Check out how the Peer concept aims to make abstract concepts tangible for kids:

Fast Company writes,

A lesson in aerodynamics, for instance, would start when students strap on a VR headset, like Google Cardboard or Daydream. Their teacher could then demonstrate how aerodynamics works in mixed reality before the kids remove their headsets and get to work designing windmill arms, working with their hands to create something they think will generate the most wind speed. Then, on goes the headset again. As students begin testing their windmills with a fan, embedded sensors in the windmill spindle record rotational speed, and the headset shows the students the speed of their mills.

Moment’s John Payne says,

“VR is often simply reduced to a storytelling medium, but we believed it could be used in a more integrated way with the real-world environment, more as a ‘tool’ than as an ‘experience.'”

It’s undoubtedly cool, and I’d love to see how students and teachers can put it to use. And beyond that, I’d love to see the tools that’d make it possible for thousands of other lessons (needed to fit a wide range of curricula) to be made in an economically sustainable way.

I’d characterize my outlook at guardedly optimistic. I’m reminded me of when CD-ROM based magazines arrived, and then when tablet-based magazines repeated the whole fantasy of “Now everyone will build/pay for rich, interactive 3D content!” They even debuted with a 3D windmill, for God’s sake. Of course the world moved differently, voting with its feet more for Snapchat stories (crude assemblies of unedited clips, shat out even by well funded orgs like the NYT) than for highly polished, immersive creations.

And yet hope dies last, and all of us toolmakers have the privilege of trying to rebalance the scales. If it weren’t hard, it probably wouldn’t be fun. 🙂

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