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  • Philip Osadebay - Tech Journalist

Unleash the magic of mixed reality glasses: the Microsoft HoloLens

Have you imagined being a struggling reader, feeling overwhelmed by the mere thought of reading, regardless of the subject? The sense of failure starts to consume you, and even school becomes a place you dread. However, one day, your science teacher introduces a game-changer, the Microsoft HoloLens headset. With mixed reality glasses, you reluctantly pick up the science article your teacher wants you to read. Little did you know, this experience would change your perspective entirely.

As you begin reading, after just a few sentences, you stumble upon the term "light energy," and you get confused. An animation comes to life before your eyes, projected through the glasses, illustrating the concept while a voiceover offers an explanation.

A little while later, the word "photosynthesis" catches your attention, and once again, an animation materialises, accompanied by an audio explanation. Suddenly, science class becomes an entirely different experience. You're not only achieving success in reading, but you're also genuinely interested in going deeper into the wonders of science.

Understanding the Struggles of Young Readers

For some students, reading is a formidable challenge, and the reasons behind their struggles are diverse.

Firstly, anxiety often consumes these struggling readers, having both reading-related anxiety and general anxiety.

Secondly, low-proficiency readers frequently grapple with motivation. These students tend to have a negative perception of their reading abilities, which comes as a result of no motivation.

Thirdly, struggling readers tend to achieve at lower levels. Due to their heightened anxiety and lack of motivation, they find themselves lagging behind their peers.

Introducing Mixed Reality Science Reading

At East Carolina University, they embarked on a mission to create something extraordinary, a science reading experience for fifth-grade students making use of the groundbreaking Microsoft HoloLens technology.

The HoloLens is a mixed reality that seamlessly merges the real and virtual worlds, resulting in an entirely novel experience. Young readers wore these futuristic glasses and explores scientific texts in the physical realm.

However, what sets this apart is the supplemental content delivered exclusively within the virtual world accessible through the glasses. Recognising the intimidation factor associated with abstract concepts for young learners, the focus was on providing additional information to challenging scientific ideas. When students encounter a difficult word or phrase, their gaze triggers the glasses to present audio-visual aids, augmenting their reading experience.

By harnessing the power of mixed reality glasses, the aim is to empower struggling readers and transform their academic journeys. No longer confined by traditional instructional methods, these students can overcome barriers and catch up with their peers.

The potential to cultivate curiosity and foster a genuine passion for science lies within this innovative approach to education. As we continue to explore the possibilities that mixed reality offers, the future of learning becomes brighter and more inclusive for all students.



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