In July 2019 I attended the TED Global Conference in Edinburgh. One of the most exciting talks at the conference included a live demonstration of volumetric video – a technological development that will surely change the nature of cinematic storytelling, sports viewing, and much else besides. The technology also has huge potential in education: one can imagine using it for field trips and virtual lectures. That educational potential, however, is unlikely to be realised in the short-to-medium term: most universities don’t have the skills, equipment or financial resources to build these immersive environments. But what universities can do – and increasingly are doing – is to investigate the educational potential of established augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology.
In early September 2019 the ALT mailing list was bombarded with “me too” responses to a post explaining how pockets of interest in AR/VR were spread across a particular institution and that it would be good to be able to somehow share that practice. UoP represents one of those “me too” responses. We know of people across the University who are exploring the potential of AR/VR for learning and for skills development. It would be great if we could bring those pockets of expertise together, in order to share tips and tricks and experience. In the first instance, a group of us from TEL and Sports Science have met to discuss this – and we hope to develop a definite proposal for how this might work over the next few weeks. Watch out for news of this. In the meantime, if you have an interest in the educational aspects of AR/VR (or volumetric video) – please drop us a line.