How cool will it be when “Holographic Telepresence” can be a part of the instructional process?
Article collaboratively written with Paul Taylor.
Advancements in technology continue to change educator’s teaching approaches. Many of the chalkboards that once adorned our school walls have been replaced with projection screens or interactive white boards. In some classrooms, tools like these are being used to bring remote students, teachers, or guests into the classroom as virtual guests. On the horizon is the next step forward in this evolution – the use of holographic telepresence to bring digital participants and remote location into the class in 3D!
For those not familiar with this technology, check out this demonstration by Cisco:
While this emerging technology is still in it's infancy and is cost prohibitive today, it is probably a pretty reasonable assumption that it will become increasingly affordable and commonplace in years to come, following the natural path of many powerful technologies. How can this advanced technology benefit the instructional process?
- Have experts illustrate processes live, in person, in 3D: Imagine a surgeon demonstrating a surgical procedure to medical students in person, without having to actually be there (or expose the operating room to all those germs). How about automotive engineers demonstrating engine features, or fluid dynamics engineers conducting an experiment in 3D? The possibilities for enhanced, interactive demonstrations via holographic telepresence are endless!
- Connect geographically remote classrooms: How cool would it be connect a room full of Spanish speaking students with a room full of English speaking students, so they can engage in real conversations and 3D show-and-tell as an immersive Foreign Language course experience, without having to fly across the ocean! Bringing students from across the globe together is increasingly common in today’s classrooms thanks to Internet technologies, and it is only natural to envision holographic telepresence adding a new dimension (pun intended!) to this powerful teaching and learning technique.
- Deliver lectures to multiple classrooms, anywhere, at the same time: Holographic technology could allow an in-demand lecturer to present to multiple lecture halls full of students at the same time. Highly sought-after experts and ‘edutainers’ could provide their expertise to a much wider audience, breaking down time and distance barriers.
- ‘Remote attendance’: Taking the above idea a step further, if and when the technology becomes affordable enough, small ‘personal’ holographic projectors could enable students at home to participate in a lecture with a teacher projected into their living room in 3D. One can envision some sort of interface so that a teacher could take questions and engage in dialogue with outlying students through chats or voice systems, since having dozens of student projected for the instructor to see would be impractical.
- Remote access – ‘be there’ in 3D: As holographic technologies continue to evolve, one could envision the day when teachers and students will be able to feel like they are actually in a remote location. Imagine studying the Coliseum by taking a virtual, live trip there (is anyone else thinking ‘Holodeck’?) Even if 3D technologies were used to capture and ‘package’ a remote trip to a far away geographic location, this would be powerful, and is a logical step forward from technologies available today.
- A whole new dimension to instructional content: The content developed for holographic teaching is only limited by our imaginations. Educational creators will have the ability to literally bring their works to life. Sites and sounds could be brought to a classroom to enhance a lecture (if only we could add the dimension of smell – ‘smellivision' anyone?).
- Go ‘back in time’ in 3D? Could simulations be done to create a 3D immersion in a recreated situation? Could you imagine being present during the signing of the Declaration of Independence? Children could be immersed underwater and experience the aquatic life-forms without being endangered. Field trips would take on a whole new meaning.
As holographic telepresence technology becomes more commonplace and finds its way into our education institutions, it could bring a previously unimagined level of engagement and excitement to the learning process and attract students and encourage further studies. The possibilities are truly exciting!
Author Bio: Paul and his wife Julie both spend quite a bit of time coming up with ideas, blogging, and researching all things related to childcare. They take care of all the necessary information related to “babysittingjobs.com”. He personally thinks his blog will help with finding information on all things related to a babysitter.
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
The Evolution of Augmented Reality Applications for Education and Instructional Use
8 Great Education and Instructional Technology Infographics
Tailoring the Classroom of the Future With the Fabric of the Past