"We want 500 nursing students to do VR training."
Scaling up requires work on the front and back end
One of the challenges for the coming years in the XR field is to scale up education to larger groups of students. Maurice Magnée of the HAN is happy to pick up this gauntlet.
Despite several successful sales strategies (see the story 'Glasses on, a roadshow and a vision'), XR still plays a modest role in education. For now, it involves many small projects and pilots and also small groups of students. Scaling up to large groups is still hardly an issue. Yet that is exactly what Maurice Magnée of the HAN wants to do in the new academic year. "Our ambition is to have 500 Nursing students all do VR training as part of their first-year teaching module. A challenge, but I am confident it will succeed."
According to Magnée, there are several reasons why upscaling is not yet taking place. "With VR, there are quite a few elements in the way when it comes to scaling up. First of all, the physical side. For example, 500 glasses is quite a lot, also in terms of the price tag. And once you have those, you're not there yet. Because all applications have to be put on the right glasses. And those glasses also need to be managed, kept up-to-date and also properly covered legally. That's all quite complex."
"It would be nice when we have a VR app store for education in the future."
Appstore and operating system
Challenges around scaling up have to do with both the front end and the back end, according to Magnée. "On the front end, it's about making VR apps clearly findable and easily accessible to teachers and students. It would be nice if in the future we have a kind of VR app store for education. The backend is mainly about a well-organised operating system for all applications. For example, the technical management and logistics of the glasses is very labour-intensive. Especially when it comes to 500 glasses one hell of a job.".
Anatomy on Monday
"What I would like to move towards is a system where with the push of a button you programme, say, 10 or 20 glasses for the anatomy module on Mondays and a conversation techniques module on Thursdays. Now you have to log in for each app separately and every time. How nice it would be if, in the future, we could also have a kind of eduroam for XR that allows you to log in anywhere in the world with one password and independent of the type or brand of VR glasses and securely access all applications."