Isn’t 3D just a fad?
Does stereoscopic 3D really help students?
As I’ve become more involved in the field of educational stereoscopic 3D over the last few years, it has not been uncommon to hear these types of questions. More often than not, people are surprised that the use of stereoscopic 3D falls toward the top of my list of the most important educational technology innovations of the 21st century.
Yet the truth is —- educators are teaching in 3D and students are learning. Widespread applications of stereoscopic 3D technologies are taking place in educational environments around the world… in K-12 schools, higher education, medical and military training, and even museum education programs. High school teachers in Boulder Valley, Colorado are using 3D content and simulations to instruct students in complex science topics. Elementary students in Lakeland, FL have been bringing classroom manipulatives to life with a 3D document camera. A class of kindergartners in San Diego, CA has even created a 3D movie worthy of a film award. And these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to powerful examples of teaching “in depth.”
The emerging application of stereoscopic 3D in education is a global phenomenon. The applications mentioned above are not just used by a few “fad” teachers in the United States. In addition to 3D use across the country, the use of stereoscopic 3D is growing rapidly around the world. Educators and innovators in Europe, Asia and South America are quickly learning to harness these dynamic technologies. In fact, at the International Society for Technology in Education 2012 Conference in California, about 25% of the attendees represented International institutions at our collaborative meeting on 3D in Education. In that room, educator after educator shared stories about how the use of stereoscopic 3D was truly benefitting their students’ learning, creativity, behavior and engagement.
It is an exciting time to be a 3D Educator. Excitement and innovation abound. Communities and camaraderies are forming. And I invite you to stay tuned to In Depth Education to learn more about how to dive into stereoscopic 3D learning and creating in the classroom… The 3D in Education journey has only just begun.