July 27, 2015

3D @ San Antonio College

Often, nascent 3D (or 4K for that matter) hardware and software manufacturers simply push their wares at the wrong conferences. Dedicated community college conferences make for more fertile ground for 3D or 4K sales in education. It makes sense. Here's something I learned from a recent community college conference:

Aaron Ellis, the Senior Multimedia Specialist at San Antonio College, provided an in-depth session on “3D visualization for STEM disciplines.” In this session, he explained the efforts at San Antonio College to use 3D technology from the entertainment industry (film, television, games) to capture and deliver educational STEM content to students. “For some concepts and skills, lecture isn't always enough. And textbooks can't always explain and illustrate everything students need to understand,” explained Ellis, a former classroom and online instructor.

Ellis works closely with his STEM faculty to identify concepts that students consistently misconceive in their science classes. His group then evaluates that content for potential alternative methods of delivery to students. “Sometimes a well-built animation or video clip can meet the need,” he explains. “But other times interactive 3D is the only thing that can help students finally ‘get it’". Ellis also believes that the virtualization of artifacts and concepts is sometimes “the only way for online students to experience anything close to hands-on learning. “ Most of what Ellis tackles is at the direct request of their faculty, designed to enhance a specific instructional topic. However, sometimes opportunities arise that Ellis senses are too important to miss out on. For example, when dinosaur tracks were uncovered in limestone layers at a nearby state park, Ellis took their 3D scanning equipment out on the site in 100+ temperatures and collected data from over 50 footprints.

San Antonio College uses a variety of technologies to capture or create the rendered and stereo 3D content that they deliver to their STEM students. “The primary capture process we use is called photogrammetry”, explains Ellis. “Photogrammetry allows us to make digital 3D replicas of real objects by stitching together multiple photographs of that object from a variety of angles using specialized software.” He adds: “Recently, we began using a scanning electron microscope to image micro- and nano-scale objects and turn them into 3D models.” For more information, and an overview of their many projects, take time to survey Ellis’ blog
at http://stemviz.wordpress.com.

July 20, 2015

3D @ Wallace State

Often, nascent 3D (or 4K for that matter) hardware and software manufacturers simply push their wares at the wrong conferences. Dedicated STEM conferences—or conferences with strong STEM tracks—make for more fertile ground for 3D or 4K sales in education. It makes sense. Here's something I learned from a recent STEM conference:

Dr. Suhana Chikatla, an instructional learning designer with the Advanced Visualization Center in the Department of e-Learning at Wallace State Community College (AL), offered a session on their ongoing development of interactive 3D models. Wallace State is developing rendered-3D content in collaboration with other institutions in Alabama. Like many colleges, they are using students or in-house designers to develop their models. You can explore their work here: http://elearning.wallacestate.edu/3d-interactive-learning-activities/

July 13, 2015

Visualization Conference

Here’s a wonderful experience, if you are in the area.  So I have included your golden Wonka ticket to this event.

Rowan University (NJ) is hosting a worthwhile two-day free conference on July 22 and 23 this month. Aimed at K-20 educators and technologists, it is entitled Trends in Visualization Technology for Teaching, Learning, and Research. The conference includes a tour of Rowan University’s new 10-screen panoramic 2D/3D virtual environment along with some compelling discussions. The speakers are superstars and you will want to attend if you have the opportunity. See these registration details.

July 6, 2015

3D and Cost Avoidance

I attended a symposium session presented by Dr. David V. Lenihan (Ph.D., J.D., FRSM), the Chief Academic Officer of Arist Medical Education Corporation and past Dean of Preclinical Medicine with the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. His presentation was simple, short, and none-the-less brilliant. Describing “Tomorrow’s Medical School,” Dr. Lenihan quickly focused his talk on “monetizing 3d.” I like to call it cost avoidance with 3D.

A Worthy Case Study
The use of 3D instruction, asserts Lenihan, can help create monetary advantages for higher ed institutions. To Lenihan, this combination simply makes sense on a number of levels. Remember that:
  • Cadavers are costly and difficult to maintain
  • There is, of course, limited cadaver availability
  • Cadaver training sessions cannot be repeated easily (one and done)
  • Current cadaver availability offers little to no support for independent learning (since it’s one and done, there’s absolutely no room for second chances, more time or exposure, or repeated practice)

Lenihan adds: “Anecdotally, there are several limitations to cadavers, including surgeries/removal of organs prior to cadaver donation, the permanence of dissection itself, and a general “take what you can get” reality when accepting cadavers for study.” And the challenges do not stop there. Cadaver tissue is not the same as living tissue, he argues, cautioning that “in the case of human anatomy, the cadaver can only do so much.” Finally, he mentioned that cadavers are not the only resource in short supply. A severe shortage of anatomy instructors currently exists.

That’s where 3D comes in. His argument revolves around combining 3D simulation with smarter use of cadavers. He labels 3D sims + cadaver labs as a modified anatomy program (MAP); just cadavers, books and videos are considered the traditional anatomy program. By joining 3D simulation with lab-based cadaver instructional experiences, immense savings can be realized and quantified.

Comparing costs of traditional anatomy to MAP anatomy with 3D

Traditional anatomy costs over time versus MAP costs over time

By combining 3D visualization/simulation experiences with the cadaver lab (he uses the well-known Cyber-Anatomy program), Dr. Lenihan speculates that improved results for medical school are also possible. These include:
  •  Better understanding with respect to body relationships
  • Allowing the student to review material over again if they make a mistake
  • More frequent practice assuming a variety of clinical cases

Dr. Lenihan quantifies the benefits of monetization (our notion of cost avoidance) for medical schools:
  • Real cost savings for year one of medical school
  • Continued, although reduced, cost savings for the remaining years of medical school
  • Expansion of cadaver use to fields where cadavers are currently not available and/or financially feasible
  • Allowing the 3D recording of sessions for students (record once, use many times)
  • Enabling master teachers to deliver content anywhere in the world, while allowing the student to learn from the best

The message is really about cost avoidance. Identifying cost avoidance opportunities for educational settings is a praiseworthy strategy.

June 29, 2015

Beyond the Wow

Top of mind for most leaders, when considering large technology expenditures, is the notion of return on investment (ROI).  For educators, return on investment appears too murky and difficult to measure, at least at first blush. Educational institutions rarely invest in capital, sell widgets, and then earn a profit.

Enter the close cousin of ROI: cost avoidance. In this line of thinking, costs can either be reduced or avoided. There are both hard costs and soft costs that can be reduced. Cost avoidance can make a technology investment well worth the money spent, often carving out savings from existing limited resources or expenditures.

Cost avoidance can appeal to educators. You are starting to speak their language.  Yes, you can use 3D to promote “engagement,” “wow factor,” or technical wizardry as your primary value message—but nothing quite sells as well as cost avoidance. In next week’s post, we will learn how cost avoidance works in educational 3D. Stay tuned.

June 22, 2015

ISTE in Depth


The ISTE 3D network has a very detailed list of the 3D-related sessions being offered at the upcoming ISTE 2015 conference in Philadelphia. Take a look: SESSIONS.

We hope to see all of you there!

June 15, 2015

3D's plus one (2)

Well, the survey results from last week’s post are in and the winner for the symbiote-most-likely-to succeed as 3D’s plus-one is… gesture control.  Does gesture control in fact hold promise as 3D’s plus-one, at least in the educational market? Apparently, it does. At last year's ISTE 2014 educational conference a demonstration booth offered by Leap Motion drew outsized crowds, along with the prerequisite oohs and ahhs, while demonstrating gesture control with known 3D modeling and visualization software. See the example below:


Hold on, now! Not so fast! I don’t agree with the tech heads and gadget geeks on this one. The Leap Motion Booth was indeed a sexy proposition as 3D’s potential plus-one, but my instinct says this was merely a gadget crush. In the education market, delivery outscores feature set:
Imagine being able to deliver stereo 3D via the Internet, enabling 3D companies to dispense with the complexity, copy protection, installation, and reinstallation schemes that so agitate customers. Putting 3D in the cloud will simplify the storage, delivery, and frequent refresh of 3D learning objects and simulations

Is internet delivery of 3D a chimera? I know of several companies working on this, and I can’t get sufficient information from them. It looks like we won’t know 3D’s plus-one until it really shows up.

June 8, 2015

3D’s plus-one

The growth trajectory of 3D may not accelerate to the degree desired without help from other, complementary technologies. 3D’s plus-one, if you will.  Only by joining 3D together in symbiosis with other enabling technologies will it be hoisted into commercial and educational prominence.

The German mycologist Heinrich Anton de Bary explained symbiosis as “the living together of unlike organisms.” In the field of life sciences, symbiosis is defined as a close and prolonged association between different organisms of different species that in some way benefit each other. In a sociological or psychiatric context, it refers more to a relationship of mutual benefit or dependence. And in modern business culture, we often refer to a memeplex, a combination of ideas that is more likely to survive and thrive together than apart.

In order to truly achieve its potential, I believe 3D will not stand on its own. The future rests with 3D’s plus-one.

In a recent survey of business leaders, I challenged folks to vote on several nominations for the most receptive combinations as a 3D symbiont in the education space. I provided these five voting options:

3D + Gesture Recognition. “The eyes and hands have it.” Envision combining stereo 3D with the ability to control objects, navigation, or actions via natural hand gestures.
3D + the Cloud. “The cloud has left the building.” Imagine being able to deliver stereo 3D via the Internet, enabling 3D companies to dispense with the complexity, copy protection, installation, and reinstallation schemes that so agitate customers. Putting 3D in the cloud will simplify the storage, delivery, and frequent refresh of 3D learning objects and simulations.
3D + Volumetrics. “Dispensing with the fourth wall.” Imagine 3D combined with volumetrics, dissolving the barrier of the fourth wall and presenting  a new type of “circle 3D” or near-holography.  (See the MiCoy Corporation for one group that has patented solutions in this area.)

3D + 4K. “Okay—it sounds like a math equation—I get it.” Nonetheless, will the combination of stereo 3D and the stark realism of a 4K resolution display produce the crowds and clamor we all hope for?
3D + Other. “3D done your way.” Perhaps there is another technology that makes sense as a symbiont with stereo 3D. What would you suggest?

Which combination won the day? Come back next week for the results. 

June 1, 2015

Fireworks at ISTE 2015

The groundwork is just now being laid for the June ISTE 2015 educational technology conference, with the fireworks taking place in Philadelphia this year. Last year, this conference was enjoyed by more than 16,800 attendees. (It is known as the largest ed-tech soiree in the U.S.) Last year’s conference evidenced a solid 3D in education presence (twenty one presentations plus fourteen 3D-related vendors), and this year’s program suggests the same positive trending. 

Inside sources reveal that the ISTE 2015 conference will offer twenty-three 3D related sessions: five in the arena of designing in 3D, including game design; five focusing on stereo 3D; four on visualization using rendered 3D; and nine sessions on 3D printing (3D printing gets the numbers edge this year, for the first time.) A sampling of the featured session titles includes:
  • Learn 3D Modeling in One Hour
  • Promising Technologies, Creativity & Teaching: Ten Solutions to Take Away
  • 3D Network Showcase: Designing, Visualizing, and Making in 3D
  • Virtual Reality in the Classroom: Simulations using the Oculus Rift
  • C-R-A-Z-Y New 3D Resources
  • Creating 3D virtual living spaces to promote sustainable development
  • Depth-defying Learning: Exploring the Top Ten 3D Developments
  • Teach 3D Game Design in One Week
  • 3D Print Your Classroom

ISTE’s recently formed special interest group or personal learning network (PLN)—the 3D Network—will also continue its educational advocacy for all things 3D. This group is expected to raise the decibel level of 3D in education by again hosting their popular membership open house, offering an annual meet-and-greet demonstration event, and sponsoring a first-time panel presentation at the conference. 


No doubt, many 3D-related exhibitors will also make their presence known on the ISTE 2015 expo floor this year—newcomers and the familiar folks alike. Companies wishing to have a presence at the 3D Network meet-and-greet demonstration event—in person or with literature—should contact this author sooner rather than later. 

May 25, 2015

Whoosh (4)

In preceding posts, I mentioned that Whoosh3D had its eye on reaching the education market. In this installment, I weigh in on its potential for the education marketplace. 

Is it a Fit for Education?
The answer is a strong yes. After much thinking, playing, and more thinking, here are seven reasons why Whoosh3D makes sense in an education setting and may hold a bright future:

It works on mobile devicesBYOD is a popular meme in education today. Every student, every school district, every university has their ‘preferred’ mobile device. Whoosh3D starts with the user’s preferred device, and provides functionality from there. Simon Gemayel, the founder of 3DMe, explains their strategy in this way: “My group has always believed that 3D should have been introduced to the consumer mass market through glasses-free mobile devices rather than TVs and expensive displays requiring special glasses.”

It’s a threefer. Everybody loves a “threefer”:  that is, getting three things for the price of one. Educators will be delighted in the fact that, for one price, they can solve three problems: they get an anti-glare filter, screen protection for their mobile displays, and autostereoscopic 3D.

The price is right. Did I say I get all the above tools for around the $29.99 to $59.99 price point, depending upon device size? Price-sensitive education customers will definitely appreciate that.

Negative parallax. The negative parallax on Whoosh3D is good—and adjustable. That’s important. One can tone it down or ramp it up. Typically, educators want negative parallax toned up, for educational advantage. Whoosh3D gives them the flexibility to easily do so.

It’s a slam dunk for user-generated content. It is my estimation that the strongest advantage of the Whoosh3D autostereoscopic display lies with the app’s ability to produce user-generated stereo content. A built-in feature of the Whoosh3D app, this feature enables students to record their own world in 3D and then view, share, rinse, and repeat in autostereoscopic 3D. As an educator, I would use this feature immediately and creatively.

Gemayel of Whoosh3D adds that "we have invested heavily in features which can be used by students (viewing educational content and working with 3D printers now making their way into schools), gamers, architects, medical practitioners, and more.” And did I say the price is right?

May 18, 2015

Whoosh (3)

Continuing from my last two posts, I've been following Whoosh3D for many months, cautiously listening, watching, and learning about their offering, trying to make sense of its potential. Now, with an actual product in my hands, I have been giving Whoosh3D a complete work over. Today, I am going to weigh in on the effectiveness of this tool: does it perform as stated?

Testing Conclusions
In short, this solution is a three-pronged offer: an autostereoscopic 3D app; a 3D-enabled screen protector/anti-glare overlay for smartphones, tablets, and iPads; and a screen installer. (The screen protector can serve as a permanent attachment to a mobile device.)


Yes, the functionality and features are good. The autostereoscopic 3D is good. The 3D display looks good. I especially like the negative parallax.  The app is easy to use and surprisingly adjustable for each user. And it works on my own device. Plus it protects my screen. And reduces glare.

Yes, the functionality and features are good. The autostereoscopic 3D is good. The 3D display looks good. I am especially delighted by the negative parallax.  The app is easy to use and surprisingly adjustable for the needs of the individual user. And it works on my own device. Plus it protects my screen. And reduces glare. It's like the 3D is free, costs nothing. 

In next week’s post, I will explore the potential of Whoosh3D for the K-20 classroom. Stay tuned…

May 11, 2015

Whoosh (2)

Continuing from my thoughts from last week’s post, Whoosh3D has slowly been earning steady yet quiet props in building up for a planned U.S. rollout:
  • In early March, Whoosh3D was featured in a NewsWatch television show
  • In mid-March, they were nominated at the Most Innovative Technology Company in Asia by PhilDev at the Shangrila EDSA in Manila
  • In late March, they were a lead story, named an “Innovation Product”, and received the Mac Observer Editors’Choice Award at MacWorld
  • In November, they were selected at the IAAPA 2014 trade show as winners of the Brass Ring Award for Best New Product in the category of Technology Applied to Amusements. (They exhibited in a unique 3D photo booth, capturing, printing, and sharing customer photos in 3D with social networks, including their own app.)

Simon Gemayel, the founder of 3DMe, explains their journey in this way: “We have been involved in 3D software technology since 2000, offering a proprietary 3D software and lenticular technology that was initially launched as a desktop application for converting any image into 3D instantly using conventional single lens camera with standard PC. hardware.” He continues: “Our software allows on the spot 3D photo printing, glasses-free, using off the shelf printers.” But this was not enough for Gemayel’s innovative group. “We envision that mobility and 3D technology will ultimately converge.  People from all ages, from different cultures across the globe now all share a common denominator, that of photo and video sharing, and personalizing content.” Of course, the recent explosion of social networking apps for smart phones and tablets supports his notions.

An App for That
Building on their proprietary technology, 3DMe has now created a 3D mobile app, “Whoosh3D”.  This 3D app can convert photos, videos, and movies; it can also be used to share, personalize, and print in 3D, in real-time, using conventional smart phones and tablets.  And, of course, it does this with and glasses-free 3D. According to Gemayel, the Whoosh3D app is initially being launched as a 3D player and 2D-3D video converter.  He adds: “We are currently developing other features, such as augmented reality, 2D-3D photo conversion, social networking/chat, filters, and apps to read medical and engineering files in various 3D formats.”  Although initially launched as an entertainment app, the Whoosh 3D is being aimed at a full ecosystem of market segments:  education, video gaming, manufacturing, printing, medicine, and more (see chart above).



May 4, 2015

Whoosh. There it is!

I enjoy reporting on new products that have their eye on reaching the education market. One such product is the new Whoosh 3D. Whoosh3D is a three-pronged solution: a 3D app; a 3D-enabled screen protector/anti-glare overlay for smartphones, tablets, and iPads; and a screen installer. (The screen protector can serve as a permanent attachment to a mobile device.) While retaining all of the device’s 2D functionality, at the touch of a button, it ushers the device and the student into a 3D-enabled world, without the need for glasses. Here is a brief overview of this product’s functionality:


As you can gather from the above video, Whoosh3D wisely offers important adjustable and personalized viewing features, providing viewers more intuitive control over the stereoscopic depth effect from their device to suit personal preferences.   Simon Gemayel, the founder of 3DMe, explains: “We took great pains to research and incorporate these features because most people have different stereoscopic comfort zones, and therefore perceive the 3D effect in different ways.”

In the next three posts, we are going to do a deep dive into the performance and potential of this compelling product. Stay tuned. 

April 27, 2015

What the College Students Say

In the last two posts we have been telling the story of the 3D teaching and learning initiative at Nevada State college. What has been missing thus far, however, is the student voice. What is it like to learn in 3D in the college setting? Here's what the college students say about how the 2D component of the lesson compared with the stereo 3D part of the lesson:
There is absolutely no comparison; to compare these is like comparing apples and oranges.

The technology behind this—the ability to see within, to see inside the structures is unparalleled.

I basically agree… we were able to go inside a smoker’s black lung a few weeks ago. This doesn’t compare with the PowerPoint [graphics] at all.It’s very good to have the ability to rotate an object, to get that 3D anatomical feel; if you have a ‘flat’ [2D] slide, you wonder what it really looks like.

Someone like me, who learns from touch, I identify better with the concept. [It’s like] I can almost touch it.

This last comment, uttered by a female student, is noteworthy. Dean Kuniyuki hears the same refrain from other students on campus: “The visualization through the 3D system allows you to feel as if you could touch something, enhancing their learning- it’s so rich”, echoes Dean Kuniyuki.

The student responses above evidence no hints of timidity. This is what visualizing and teaching in 3D is all about. I am glad I made this site visit. I had the chance to witness a deep and unparalleled learning experience. And since I know the classroom well, I know what that means.  Incidentally, an LA-based leader in the 3D entertainment industry joined me on this site visit with me and offered the same reaction. I hope the manufacturing industry never gives up on the unparalleled advantages of learning with 3D.

April 20, 2015

Unparalleled 3D Learning (2)

Nevada State College began a 3D project by purchasing and implementing a stereo 3D learning solution for their undergraduate science and nursing classes. (See last week's post.) Here is what I saw in Professor Patel’s classroom during my site visit:
 
Your basic 2D nephron illustration
The Lesson. The lesson involved a review of the nephron, the basic structural and functional unit of the kidney. What was unique was his side-by-side lesson approach: 2D, then stereo 3D. First, he explained how kidneys filter blood using the tiny nephrons to create filtrate. Using both his lecture and PowerPoint visuals, he showed how filtrate ended up becoming the final product, called urine. But then Professor Patel switched to a captivating stereo display, and took the students on a virtual field trip inside the kidney. He navigated inside the glomerulus, which is a tuft of blood vessels in the initial portion of the nephron where filtration specifically occurs. 
A 3D nephron
The Content. This stereo content was rich, remarkable, and simply unparalleled in quality. The textures, the colors, the closeness—all were simply striking. Part of the powerful effect of this lesson was created by the nature of simulation itself. The [Sensavis] 3D Classroom delivers what we have always expected and always wanted from 3D: the ability to go beyond superficial visualization. It offers the remarkable capacity to drill down, then go further down; to go inside, and then travel further inside. In short, to truly experience the long-desired “fantastic voyage” that 3D has always seemed to promise us.” I had seen the Sensavis software before, of course, but I had never seen its impact on a class full of students. It was all I had hoped for.
Andy Kuniyuki, Ph.D.,
Dean, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Nevada State College

A Brewing Impatience. As stated previously, Nevada State College is using Sensavis’s flagship educational product, “The 3D Classroom.” This software offers an array of effective simulations. “But we want more”, insists Dean Kuniyuki. “We know that Sensavis is working on five more simulations. Still, we are rather impatient.” Dean Kuniyuki wants to aggressively push the envelope of content. “We want to be able to show a normal nephron, and then take a look at an unhealthy kidney (with five different diseases) that affect the functioning of the kidney in different ways-normal versus diseased state, if you will.” With his bias toward action, Dean Kuniyuki recently brought an experienced animator from Montreal on staff. So much for trickle down content.

April 13, 2015

Unparalleled 3D Learning (1)

After posting Nevada State College Flies High , I decided to pay a site visit to the venerable college. That’s because it’s always good to test one’s assumptions against hard reality. Wanting to see 3D in action, hoping to determine if these undergraduate classrooms were indeed using stereo 3D in unparalleled ways, I ventured forth. The site visit was well worth my time.

Nevada State College, which is located just outside of Las Vegas, began a high visibility 3D project this fall by purchasing and implementing a stereo 3D learning approach in all of their undergraduate science and nursing classes. This represents a significant step, because most stereo 3D projects at the college level take place in a single classroom of an interested professor—and not broadly across a curriculum.

Professor Vikash Patel
As I stealthily crept into the back of the classroom, the day’s lesson already underway, I took note of the physical lay of the land. The classroom was a typical college setting, with tabletops, whiteboards, a screen, projector, and significant digital lectern space. On the wall, above the whiteboard, a large 3D display monitor was mounted. The high-energy instructor, professor Vikash Patel, was busy cajoling, informing, and questioning a room full of mixed-gender nursing students. All in all, the scene remained quite unremarkable, at least from my higher-ed perspective.
 
Stereo 3D and 2D side-by-side at Nevada State College
What I witnessed next, however, was indeed quite remarkable and informative on many levels. Come back next week for the details and my concluding post on some very exemplary 3D teaching and learning.


April 6, 2015

Fireworks at ISTE 2015

The groundwork is just now being laid for the June-July ISTE 2015 educational technology conference, with the fireworks taking place in Philadelphia this year. Last year, this conference was enjoyed by more than 16,800 attendees. Last year’s conference evidenced a solid 3D in education presence (twenty one presentations plus fourteen 3D-related vendors), and this year’s program suggests the same positive trending. 
Inside sources reveal that the ISTE 2015 conference will offer twenty-three 3D related sessions: five in the arena of designing in 3D, including game design; five focusing on stereo 3D; four on visualization using rendered 3D; and nine sessions on 3D printing (3D printing gets the numbers edge this year, for the first time.) A sampling of the featured session titles includes:
  • Learn 3D Modeling in One Hour
  • Promising Technologies, Creativity & Teaching: Ten Solutions to Take Away
  • 3D Network Showcase: Designing, Visualizing, and Making in 3D
  • Virtual Reality in the Classroom: Simulations using the Oculus Rift
  • C-R-A-Z-Y New 3D Resources
  • Creating 3D virtual living spaces to promote sustainable development
  • Depth-defying Learning: Exploring the Top Ten 3D Developments
  • Teach 3D Game Design in One Week
  • 3D Print Your Classroom

 ISTE’s recently formed special interest group or personal learning network (PLN)—the 3D Network—will also continue its educational advocacy for all things 3D. Now pushing 2,500 members, this group is expected to raise the decibel level of 3D in education by again hosting their popular membership open house, offering an annual meet-and-greet demonstration event, and sponsoring a first-time panel presentation at the conference. The 3D Network is again expected to grow in numbers dramatically. (They are already one of the fastest growing PLNs in ISTE.)

No doubt, many 3D-related exhibitors will also make their presence known on the ISTE 2015 expo floor this year—newcomers and the familiar folks alike. Companies wishing to have a presence at the 3D Network meet-and-greet demonstration event—in person or with literature—should contact this blogger sooner rather than later.

March 30, 2015

People are Strange




When you're strange, 
Faces come out of the rain; 
When you're strange, 
No one remembers your name;
When you're strange, 
When you're strange, 
When you're strange.
The Doors, “People are Strange”

People are strange. There’s a peculiar disconnect I sometimes find coming from both educational 3D detractors and 3D supporters—and it’s mystifying. Here ‘s one example:

Are 3D sales folks and even 3D educators merely tire kickers? Is that part of the problem? At a 3D conference held at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge, an MIT keynote speaker asked how many folks in the audience owned a 3D TV or device themselves.  I quickly raised my hand.  But less than ten percent of the audience, mostly represented by 3D manufacturers and 3D-using educators, joined me. That represents a huge disconnect. Folks want to make money off this technology—or deploy it in their educational setting—but still don’t appear committed, at a personal level, themselves.


People are strange.

March 23, 2015

3D P Resources

Many folks are interested in the physical production aspects of 3D these days, namely 3D printing. If you are interested in learning more about 3D printing specifically for the classroom setting, here are my recommendations for the best books on the market, a good place to get started:





March 16, 2015

Analog 3D Magic

Teachers always have days when the network is down or the lab is closed due to upgrades or testing. That’s when you need to pull something analog out of your digital magician’s hat to survive. (Yes, every great teacher is also a miracle-working magician!)


Here’s a 3D idea for a quick, motivating, and hands-on replacement activity for those moments when your network or computers go south. Drawing in 3D seems to be an activity that works somewhat like anamorphic 3D, so it’s interesting on several levels.