The technology supporting augmented and mixed reality educational environments is advancing with recent hardware including self-contained headsets that are able to simulate holographic additions to real spaces. These technical advances appear to offer greater capacity to actually realise the educational potential and promise of such technologies noted in the literature over the last decade. This article adds to this literature by reporting on the pilot phase of an educational design research project using the Microsoft HoloLens device in a secondary school setting in Australia. Consistent with previous research in this area, this project found ongoing technical and managerial limitations in implementing augmented and mixed reality, including a continuing concern by many participating teachers of a lack of control of the mixed reality environment. Notably, the pilot study also revealed different understandings of the potential for embodied learning between students, teachers and researchers that requires further research.