Microsoft - why Mixed Reality can be the key to transforming education

As technology continues to transform much of the world around us, some of the most exciting and innovative developments are being made in the education sector.

Companies are dedicating huge resources into cracking the lucrative education sector as school and universities look to enrich the learning experience with increasingly developed technology solutions and offerings.

Speaking to ITProPortal at the BETT 2018 show in London this week, Dan Ayoub, Microsoft GM of education for mixed reality, was keen to talk up the company’s increasingly powerful work in the education space, especially using its mixed reality tools such as Microsoft Hololens.

"Mixed reality devices have the capacity to completely transform education and give teachers these amazing tools to really help their students thrive and prepare themselves for the future," he said.

Microsoft recently revealed partnerships with a number of third parties to help make its mixed reality devices cheaper and more accessible, with a number of these products, from the likes of Lenovo and Dell on display at BETT 2018.

Ayoub agrees that getting devices such as Hololens out to schools and universities is key to expanding the potential of mixed reality, noting that it can completely transform the ways that children learn about the world around them.

"It's a fascinating space”, he says, “for us, it’s about, how do we arm teachers with the ways to educate and grow their students...it's just staggering, you could have students literally do anything!"

ITProPortal was also treated to two Hololens demos that showed off the potential use cases of mixed reality devices in the classroom. 

The first, targeted at medical students, gave an in-depth, interactive look at the workings of the human skull, with huge amounts of detail available on a range of areas. The second took us on a virtual field trip to South America to visit an ancient Incan site and learn about the history behind it - a concept that in real-life would be out of reach to all but the richest schools.

Moving forward, Microsoft is keen to push its mixed reality line-up across even more universities and schools across the world, continuing to empower students and teachers alike with new immersive experiences.

With government interest and investment in the education sector set to increase within the next few years, Microsoft is well-placed to lead the way and supply these next-generation education experiences.

“It’s a combination of everybody,” he notes, “that’s the industry, government, us, content providers, and the educators, all coming together, to make sure this is an effective tool and we use it properly.”

“It’s really incredibly exciting that there’s this movement happening in the educational space, at the same time as this new and powerful technology comes along...and what’s super cool is that we're really just at the beginning,” Ayoub says, “people are going to continue to find new and amazing ways to do more and more fantastic things….these devices are going to change education forever.”