For the first time in Norway, students at a primary school have experienced one of the Microsoft HoloLens’ greatest applications — education. The science lesson, presented by Pointmedia, took kids at Åssiden Elementary School to outer space to learn about our Earth and Solar System.
“It was a little strange,” student Casper Hansen said. “I could see asteroids. I could see planets moving inside the classroom. It was really cool.”
Only some of the children were able to use the HoloLens, while the rest of the class watched the augmented reality lesson on an interactive whiteboard, VRFocus reported.
“It’s very exciting for me as a teacher to experiment with this new technology,” instructor Stig Halvorsen said. “And see how it fits with existing curricular goals.”
The AR lesson revealed a new level of perspective, student Maren Harstad said.
“I think it was interesting to see how small Norway is,” Harstad said. “Especially compared to Africa, which was much larger than I thought.”
“It was much easier to understand the Solar System when I could see it with my own eyes,” added another student Aina Garg. “It gave me a totally different experience on how to learn.”
Jo Jørgen Stordal, a mixed reality producer for Pointmedia, said the Microsoft HoloLens has advantages over all-encompassing VR headsets.
“Unlike virtual reality goggles, these are open. You can see through them,” Stordal said. “You can see both the real world and the objects that are projected inside the goggles. You can walk around the objects and experience them.”
The elementary school teacher pointed out how the HoloLens’ visual learning piqued the curiosity of his students.
“They saw the rings of Saturn and started wondering: What do these rings contain?,” Halvorsen said.
AR and VR have profound implications for the future of education. For instance, Google Cardboard is already providing virtual field trips to thousands of elementary school students, while Stanford University is creating experiences to show the effects of ocean acidification.
You can watch the children experience the HoloLens below.