Virtual and Augmented Reality Platforms Re-invent STEM Education

Fields such as Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) have seen considerable growth in the quality of education thanks to Mixed Reality platforms.

New Zealand high school teacher Subash Chander, has begun teaching mathematics to his class with overwhelmingly positive acclaim from students. Increased use of Augmented Reality to learn traditionally “boring” subjects such as mathematics could lead to better engagement and more technically inclined post secondary students entering the workplace.

One of Chanders students commented on the new method

We are a generation that learns through examples and visualisation, not explanation and reading, and HoloLens is supportive of this. It helps us rediscover the touch of ingenuity we have lost through the boring, old methods and disconnected learning environments.

“HoloLens inspires critical thinking. It has tremendous potential because it gives us as students so much freedom to experiment, and the only limits are our creativity and imagination. This is not changing what we learn but simply how we learn it, and it may just be the solution to the problems of our education system.

As far as more real world applications? Using AR headset Hololens Employers are giving candidates more hands-on experience before they start work, especially in complex spatially oriented careers. Furthermore, high demand jobs in the fields of architecture aerospace and automotive are beginning to introduce augmented reality straight in to the design and construction phase of the job itself.

In order for students engaged in STEM fields to get ahead in a workplace increasingly subsumed by technological unemployment they need to learn how to interact with Augmented and Virtual Reality. By ‘learning how to learn’ through mixed reality platforms earlier on they can better prepare themselves for a career threatened by artificial intelligence.

Of course, with the growing risk of videogame and internet addiction as well as concerns over electromagnetic radiation public and high school teachers should be careful when introducing new technologies so that children predisposed to overuse do not take bad habits home with them.

Google has already developed a virtual laboratory simulation for post-secondary university level chemistry, and biology students. The platform boasts 30 interactive experiences that range from teaching young adults how to combine different elements in order to illicit a reaction to traveling across the cosmos and landing on exoplanet Astakos IV.

What makes Google VR labs stand out from a real world laboratory? The ability to simulate complicated, intricate experiments that have real world consequences without risking oneself or damaging equipment that would otherwise accompany real world training.

Picture Credit: Microsoft

 

 

Google’s VR Labs Provide STEM Students With Hands-On Experience

New Zealand teacher uses HoloLens to teach maths to his class

 

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