Baker College Lands $25M Grant to Bring Augmented, Virtual Reality to Curricula

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Baker College has partnered with EON Reality to offer augmented and virtual reality learning resources in classes. // Image courtesy of EON Reality

Owosso-based Baker College, a private not-for-profit college that has multiple campuses in metro Detroit, has received a $25 million grant from EON Reality in California to launch augmented and virtual reality learning resources across all Baker campuses.

EON has offices around the globe and offers augmented and virtual reality academic and industry training solutions. The award will span five years and include EON Reality technology and software products and services.

Baker will launch the first phase of the Innovation Center and platform in the fall. The EON Reality platform, known as EON-XR, is accessible through a free app available on all mobile devices, laptops, and PCs and will offer students immersive learning environments.

With XR, student courses can include virtual visits to locations around the world and the ability to virtually manipulate 3-D objects. Students will be able to digitally take apart, examine, and rebuild almost anything from a computer motherboard to a car engine to a human heart.

XR lessons will also offer opportunities to project on-screen items into real-world environments, use X-ray vision to see inside objects, and engage with a live labeling function.

All XR curriculum developed over the next five years by Baker College in partnership with EON will be available to anyone with the free EON-XR app.

The first phase of Baker’s EON-XR rollout will initially impact about 6,000 course seats, with XR immersive learning available to students across Baker’s health sciences and information technology degree programs, as well as several general education classes. Eventually, extended and augmented reality experiences will be used in every Baker College degree program, and growth plans include expanding into the use of virtual reality, with students using VR goggles to enhance learning.

“Baker College has remained successful over the last century by continually adapting to the evolving educational landscape and changing needs and expectations of our students,” says Jill Langen, provost at Baker College.  “Incorporating augmented reality into our curriculum and making it accessible to every single student with a cell phone or laptop is the next step in our evolution.

“The trends in higher education all point to less passive learning models and more individualized, technology-driven experiences. Through our grant and partnership with EON Reality, we’re making sure Baker College is at the forefront of what’s ahead.”

Baker College was selected as a partner of choice by EON Reality for the company’s $25 million, five-year grant after an assessment of the college’s curriculum design, faculty readiness, and online learning expertise. The grant will provide Baker with free access to all of EON Reality’s technology and services related to a five-year rollout of the EON-XR platform.

“While many of our efforts have been focused on expanding EON-XR around the world, it’s always nice to be able to provide the same top-notch solutions to a new American partner in an area we haven’t reached before,” says Dan Lejerskar, founder of EON Reality. “By working with Baker College, we know that we’ll be able to positively influence lives all across Michigan, as their reach is unparalleled in that regard. This is truly EON Reality’s opportunity to help teach and train the future of Michigan’s workforce.”

Baker College was founded in 1911 and has multiple campus locations and two affiliate sites across the state, as well as online offerings for more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs. For more information, visit https://www.baker.edu/.

EON Reality has more than 20 locations worldwide in its global development network and has created an augmented and virtual reality library for education and industry with more than 8,000 applications and more than 40 million users worldwide.

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