Vice Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation Soulaymane Kachani wrote an article that was published on EdSurge this week titled “How Extended Reality Tools Can Bring New Life to Higher Education.

“For video game players, the 2010s were a decade of extended reality. 2012 saw the development of Oculus, a virtual reality headset company that Facebook later acquired for more than $2 billion. In 2013, Google started selling consumers Glass, a computer built into a pair of glasses. 2016 brought us Pokemon Go, the addictive game that saw players running around their neighborhoods hunting virtual creatures projected onto the physical landscape through their smartphones.

2020 was predicted to be the first year of the “ambient computing” decade, when these technologies would infiltrate the lives of everyone else, not just those in the gaming world. Just as smartphones have become indispensable to us, extended reality and the Internet of Things were set to become our daily norm.

But shortly into 2020, COVID-19 hit, and we all went … two dimensional. As the grand experiment in remote teaching and learning began, universities rushed to adapt. Zoom, Teams, Skype, and FaceTime all became daily fixtures, and many of us quickly became fatigued by seeing our colleagues, students and far-away loved ones almost exclusively in 2D. Most video conferencing solutions were not designed to be online classrooms. While we have been able to use these tools in that way, most educators would readily point to what is missing from the current video platforms that could improve online teaching: tools to better facilitate student interactions, including enhanced polling and quizzing features, group work tools, and more.”

Read the full article here: