Microsoft's mixed reality platform has not been the most popular in the realm of virtual reality, but that hasn't stopped the company from exploring its possibilities. This week Microsoft revealed that they are partnering with VictoryVR - specialists in the use of VR for 'tutoring, supplemental education and classroom instruction'. Together they want to transform the classroom with a virtual reality curriculum.
Microsoft will kick off the project by offering 25 hours of free VictoryVR content to schools, which the purchase of a Windows VR or MR headset. The content includes multiple educational experiences, including virtual science books, virtual field trips to the Great Wall of China, 360 VR comics depicting the life of famous scientists such as Isaac Newton and more, as you can see from the video below:
In their blog, Microsoft also stated that: "Studies show that student engagement and retention increase as much as 35 percent when students learn with immersive and 3D technologies like VR headsets. The challenge lies in finding the right curriculum to get started with mixed reality – a barrier for many educators."
The project also aims to improve literacy, increasing reading speed and comprehension. According to Microsoft, their Immersive Reader app can work well in VR. It allows users to change page layouts or word and letter spacing when reading and to highlight keywords. The company claims its use in virtual reality can benefit "anyone who requires additional focus while reading, whether they’re five or 85."
What do you think of Microsoft and VictoryVR's project? Would virtual reality in the classroom be beneficial to students? Share your thoughts in the comments.