PROSPECT, Conn. (WTNH) – Students at Long River Middle School in prospect got to experience high tech learning from a futurist, who brought along some gadgets never before seen in Connecticut schools.
The future of learning is virtual reality, augmented reality and holograms, that’s according to philosophy professor and futurist Dr. WIlliam Barry.
“It’s hard to study the heart and look on a piece of paper,” Barry said. “But to have it and be inside of it and be able to explore it, it gives you a whole different perspective on the human body and it’s also a whole new perspective on learning.”
Barry teaches at Notre Dame de Namur University in Silicon Valley, California. That’s how he was able to get his hands on cutting-edge technology from Microsoft called Hololens. It’s not available to the public yet, but Microsoft has created a video that shows you the possibilities of having holograms pop up in your daily life.
“So they might be able to design a building if they’re interested in architecture,” explained Long River Middle School teacher Rachel Ryan. “If they want to see how a bridge works, they can go fly up under the bridge, around the bridge. It just opens up so many avenues for kids.”
Some simpler technology does something similar. An iPad can give a 3-d view of a beating heart. Oculus Rift can transport students to strange places, and it’s all a great way to encourage kids to study math and science. Professor Barry is studying questions about how to make all this great information available everywhere.
“How can we use technology in a way that actually elevates humanity and bring social justice and bring education to people who don’t have the same opportunities that kids in prospect do?” Barry asked.
One caveat, if you really like the Microsoft Hololens, you won’t be able to buy it until the year 2020.