BLOOMSBURG, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — In the age of technology, teachers need to be constantly evolving during COVID many had to figure out how to teach from a computer.

Faculty at Bloomsburg University are using an augmented reality tool called the hololens to help teach their students in the classroom.

Many of us are familiar with virtual reality but augmented reality is a little different.

“Virtual reality projects an entirely new screen that you have to use a controller for. Augmented reality simply just adds interaction on top. So pulling up a menu is just dragging from your wrist. Pressing any of the buttons is just using your fingers instead of any controller,” said Nicholas Spallone, Bloomsburg Finance and Business Major.

Using technology to find innovative ways to teach is something Scott Mehall does often.

“Doing some stuff with virtual reality for a while we always wanted to get into the augmented reality side. So we identified the hololens as sort of a tool for that,” stated Scott Mehall Bloomsburg University Assistant Professor of Technology & Analytics.

By using the hololens, the user can almost touch items that have been created on a computer.

“If you’re able to put on the hololens and create models that can be made in a 3d space, it makes it more interactive for people and also more easily digestible,” explained Spallone.

They believe that other programs like nursing could greatly benefit from tools like this.

“Well instead of just having a skeleton model in a corner of the room, you would have the muscular system, the vascular system, and everything you would want. You get more information. It’s a lot more immersive than just having a model,” said Emily Grabow Bloomsburg Information Technology & Analytics Major.

Tools like the hololens are in the future, and students getting hands-on experience now is invaluable.

“Get them using augmented reality, get them comfortable with it. To potentially go out and use it in the workforce and the job. Or use it in some kind of leadership role down the line as well,” explained Mehall.

“I feel like everyone should try this at least once. It’s a really interesting experience,” said Grabow.

They are still working with other departments to find ways the hololens can be used for teaching and learning.