Innovation lab working with Newlands Intermediate on HoloLens exhibition tech

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Theta’s innovation lab is kicking off a new collaboration exploring the frontiers of virtual and augmented reality with a group of students from Newlands Intermediate School.

We started work on a VR game with HoloLens at the Future Realities hackathon in Wellington earlier this year. Educator Marianne Malmstrom was part of the team, and after winning the hackathon we were keen to continue working together to explore the possibilities of the technology to create virtual displays in real world environments.

kick-off at PROJECTR

The collaboration is now under way, and we’ll be working closely with Marianne and a group of six students from her school, Newlands Intermediate, to develop the HoloLens augmented reality exhibition application. Marianne explains:

“Our aim is to inspire a shift in education from teaching content to developing a culture of independent and agile learners. To do this, developers from Theta will team up with students from Newlands Intermediate as co-designers. This unique collaboration will give our ‘MiniDevs’ valuable hands-on experience in the process of design and prototyping. Likewise, Theta developers stand to gain new insights by innovating directly with students.”

The students will also contribute their own ideas on how the app can make use of the HoloLens chatbot we have developed - while working at PROJECTR recently - and augmented reality displays.

Through the collaboration, we will also explore ways to interact with exhibits and leave feedback. And the students will have the chance to try out their ideas in Unity. 

Says Marianne:

As the Digital Technologies Curriculum rolls out next year, educators will be scrambling to figure out what that looks like in their classrooms. While our project will easily tick-off multiple outcomes outlined in that new curriculum, we intend to go far deeper than merely ‘teaching content’. We are taking our inspiration from the Key Competencies as outlined in The New Zealand Curriculum. By creating a student led process that shifts focus from ‘learning content’ to ‘learning how to learn’, we put ‘the student in the center’ by helping them develop the skills they need to adapt to an ever-changing world.

We had our first session with the MiniDevs of Newlands Intermediate this week, and we’re ready to learn from, and alongside, the students. Here's a glimpse of the cool stuff to come:

Already, gamification is emerging as a recurring theme - "a game inside school"; "HoloLens could gamify school". 

Watch this space!