When you ask Ralph van der Meer (senior consultant at Broad Horizon) about the Hololens, his eyes begin to shine. The Hololens makes it possible to present difficult concepts to students and pupils in a simple way: “In a biology lesson you can tell how a heart is anatomically constructed, but if you hang it in the air and we walk around it and I can make an animation of it and change colours, chances are that pupils will understand it faster”.
Ralph talks enthusiastically about the Hololens project he did together with the Rotterdam Techniek College. The school called Ralph with a problem: the students had trouble understanding space. This made it difficult for them to recognise elementary mathematical forms, for example. The school wanted an innovative, technologically ingenious solution to this problem. In order to help the students and teachers with this, Ralph designed a kind of game in which the students could use a digital block box to recreate a design of a well-known building. Ralph: “We were the first to import a 3D design of a house. Students designed houses on their own PC. Then those designs were exported to a hologram. That hologram appeared in the classroom with the help of the Hololens, after which the teacher asked the students, can you recreate that house with mathematical blocks from a virtual block box? That’s how many students finally got the penny”. The most important thing, according to Ralph, is that the school wanted to do things differently, with technology as a solution.
The school was looking for ways to make lessons more interactive and innovative, to solve an existing problem and to use this technology in the future in situations like the one we are in now. Because with the help of a Hololens, you can also make a hologram appear in every student’s living room. For example, you can show them the anatomy of a heart during biology lessons, after which they can take it apart in their own room. This opens up an enormous number of possibilities for interactive lessons and distance learning.
The next step is to use the Hololens for open days and distance learning. Many schools are noticing that open days are getting worse and worse. With the help of cardboard glasses into which potential students put their phones, in the future they will be able to take a virtual tour of a school from their couch. Ralph also sees the Hololens, and virtual reality by extension, as the future of distance learning. “What do you need for this? A school that dares to say: we are going to experiment, to pioneer. And who puts out a budget for it. Such a school shows that we are relevant, that we are working on new technologies”.
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