A colleague recently shared the benefits that he is seeing with 3D video. His school uses it to teach middle school science concepts. While 3D video has been around for a long time, it is an area that I’ve not examined closely. So, I decided to do a bit of exploring. This is still a new area for me, but I am excited about what I’m learning. The technology is quickly maturing, hardware costs are increasingly affordable, and there is a growing body of literature pointing to increased student engagement and improved student learning. Here are some of the more interesting resources that I’ve discovered so far. You will find examples of companies/products, research reports, and usage scenarios ranging from the middle school classroom to medical school. As always, please consider sharing some of your own resources in the comment area.
Eon Reality – This is one of many companies investing in 3D Learning. Be sure to check out their short YouTube video which illustrates several ways 3D video is already being used to engage and teach students everything from math to astronomy to anatomy. Note that their solution includes options to create and use existing 3D content, but also a chance to collaborate in 3D. Their creator tool allows you to build entire 3D lessons with embedded quizzes, text and video callouts, and much more.
Texas Instruments 3D Classroom Research – Is there any educational benefit to all the time, money and effort involved with 3D video? This page provides promising research findings about the affordances of 3D video for educational purposes, including a study showing significant performance increases between students learning from 2D content and others learning from 3D content.
A Case Study of Engaging Primary School Students with Active Worlds – This case study describes how the use of 3D technology helped “underachieving” students make impressive learning gains.
Xpand 3D Education White Paper – This provides research on some of the affordances of 3D content in education, including promising results about retention, increased engagement, and improved student learning. By the way, the site on which this white paper resides belongs to Xpand, a company that sells both 3D hardware and offers content from many of the leading 3D education content companies on the market.
Designmate Eureka.in – This is another company that provides rich 3D content for the classroom….and has been doing so for almost 8 years.
The 3D in Education White Paper – This short Q & A provides a helpful introduction to the potential of 3D computer-generated animations in education, including a great list of starting points for educators.
Cyber Anatomy – They are producing brilliant interactive science experiences, including interactive dissections of everything from frogs to human cadavers. Be sure to watch the short video on their site for a sense of what they can do.
What About Health Concerns – This short document was drafted by the American Optometric Association, addressing questions about the impact of emerging 3D classroom technology on eye health for young people.
What About the Younger Grades – 3D EduMagic answers this question by offering a variety of content packages focused upon younger learners.
JTM Concepts – This company boasts involvement in 3D work for over a decade and they offer 3D content designed specifically for different grades from early elementary through high school.
Reachout Interactives – This provider includes 3D content for math and science, but also areas like English.
And for future possibilities in education, I’m looking forward to applications of Oculus Rift. We already see some of the possibilities here.