The Benefits of Mixed Reality in Education

March 2, 2020
Mixed reality is the future of education. In this very interesting article, discover its benefits in education. Read on to learn more!

What if students could learn history by visiting the Berlin Wall or the most important places in the Vietnam War with their teachers, without having to leave the classroom? With mixed reality, this is possible.

Mixed reality is a new technology, which is being implemented gradually and that will probably be accessible in the next decade. However, it’s already being experimentally implemented in more and more schools.

Mixed Reality provides an immersive and more effective learning experience for students of all ages. Learn all about it below!

Types of mixed reality in the classroom

There are two basic ways to use mixed reality (MR) in the classroom. Firstly, there’s the more traditional approach, which consists of a desktop computer. Students explore a virtual environment using a computer, keyboard, mouse, or another device.

The Benefits of Mixed Reality in Education

The second type is what’s now known as augmented virtuality (AV). It consists of a totally immersive experience that requires students to wear a HMD (head-mounted display or virtual reality headset) and a motion controller.

With these devices, students can interact with an environment produced by a mixture of real and virtual worlds, a world in which physical and digital objects coexist.

Thanks to it, the students can touch and manipulate concrete objects, allowing a greater understanding of them. In addition, they may interact with data sets or complex formulas.

One thing is clear. For most students, learning by doing is easier than learning by listening.

This second type of mixed reality provides a more engaging, fun, and effective learning experience than the first and, of course, all other traditional educational methods. And this is true for any content.

The benefits of mixed reality in education

Mixed reality offers educators great and innovative possibilities to explore with students thanks to its characteristics:

Commitment

The direct experience that mixed reality provides is an effective way to captivate students who want to work at it. It can promote commitment during content development. This is a commitment that arises naturally due to the interest RM provides.

Universality

Regardless of the possible social, economic, or geographical differences, mixed reality (MR) is capable of uniting people without borders. In addition, it’s able to promote human interaction, as it overcomes all imaginable limits of time and space.

Multifunctionality

As we mentioned above, teachers can teach any subject with mixed reality. It’s easier to see and hear something than listen to an explanation about it, especially when it comes to certain abstract concepts.

The Benefits of Mixed Reality in Education

Using MR devices, students and teachers can do unthinkable things in everyday reality: go back in time and interact with objects that, otherwise, would be unthinkable.

Among other things, you can see and touch animals or humans that no longer exist. For example, dinosaurs. Students acquire a new and more realistic perspective on them. In other words, they’re no longer just pictures in a book.

Farewell to geographical boundaries with mixed reality in education

It isn’t always easy to plan a perfect school trip. With MR, this will no longer be a problem, since classes will no longer have limits. You can walk in ancient Greece or discover the Egyptian pyramids whenever you want.

With the applications that exist nowadays, it’s prioritized above all visual and sensory immersions. Everything you can virtually touch, look at, and examine stays in students’ minds more effectively than if they discover them through other ways.

Finally, the next step would be to make this technology increasingly accessible to more educational institutions. This will probably take some time, even years, but its effectiveness is already being demonstrated.

  • Acer EMEA. Conferencia “Next Generation Learning”. Celebrada en Barcelona durante el Education Solution Centre Summit.
  • Hughes, C. E., Stapleton, C. B., Hughes, D. E., & Smith, E. M. (2005). Mixed reality in education, entertainment, and training. IEEE computer graphics and applications.