Microsoft is continuing to explore what its new mixed reality platform can do for education.
The company revealed a partnership with VictoryVR at the Bett 2019 education event in London this week. Over the past few years, VictoryVR has been developing a standard-aligned VR curriculum for science subjects.
As part of the deal, Microsoft is offering 25 hours worth of free VictoryVR content to schools that purchase a Windows VR headset. VictoryVR’s offerings include a virtual science book for students in grades 5 – 12. Its science units contain a variety of educational experiences such as virtual field trips and interactive games and experiences. In total it offers 240 unique VR experiences spread across 48 different units. You can see what the package includes in the video above.
“Studies show that student engagement and retention increase as much as 35 percent when students learn with immersive and 3D technologies like VR headsets,” a Microsoft blog post reads. “The challenge lies in finding the right curriculum to get started with mixed reality – a barrier for many educators.”
Elsewhere, Microsoft also announced that it’s bringing its Immersive Reader experience to VR. The app helps improve reading skills for people of any age or ability. Users can customize pages to specific layouts, highlighting keywords and changing spacings. “This week at Bett, we’ll be showing how Immersive Reader can work in a VR headset, benefiting anyone who requires additional focus while reading, whether they’re five or 85,” the company wrote in its blog.
VR isn’t the only part of Microsoft’s education plans. The company’s HoloLens AR headset also offers huge potential. We’re hoping to see a new version of HoloLens debut next month.