Microsoft HoloLens—the future of education has arrived at BCIT

Photo: Instructor Rob Kreuger works with a student and the HoloLens. 

Virtual Reality headsets are not just for gamers. They can be powerful tools for education— and a very cool one has just arrived at BCIT. Thanks to the School of Health Sciences, we now have a Microsoft HoloLens.

“This technology really is cutting edge,” says Critical Care Nursing instructor, Rob Kruger. “I’m geeking out for sure.”

James Rout Director of Library Services tries on the HoloLens for the first time

The HoloLens allows BCIT students to interact with high-definition holograms. While the headset can be applied to various programs across the Institute, Rob has specific ideas about how his students can benefit. It could be used in the BCIT SIM Lab where students will be able learn and attempt procedures – with no risk – on holograms.

“This is already being used by medical schools in the States,” he says. Case Western Reserve University is one post-secondary testing the limits of the device. (See video below.)

Rob is no stranger to innovation. A fan of adopting new technologies in his classroom, he was named to the prestigious Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Class of 2015, and accolade he won for being a visionary tech-savvy educator. He’s especially excited about this new tool.

“The HoloLens will provide our students with state-of-the-art virtual reality technology that is set to revolutionize education,” he says.

The unit lives in MediaWorks at the Burnaby Campus Library, and can be borrowed by both instructors and students from across BCIT.

Richard Morency, with the School of Energy, says “the potential for using the HoloLens as a training tool are endless.”

For example, Brent Dunn, an Associate Dean in Mechanical Engineering, thinks it could be used to warn equipment operators of dangers – a custom interface could be built to send real time data from a machine to the HoloLens.

James Rout, Director of Library Services, is also excited about what the HoloLens could make possible.

“The way we teach is changing,” says Rout. “BCIT is at the forefront of a pedagogical shift. I’m so excited about what technologies like the HoloLens will do for education.”

The use of high definition holograms is an important way BCIT continues to revolutionize the way we teach, learn and collaborate.

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