April 14, 2014

Efficiency in Sweden (2)

One of the most interesting findings coming out of the Vällingbyskolan and Högalidsskolan 3D case studies involves learning efficiency. In the Swedish studies, teachers report that 3D seems to help students learn information faster. Here is our second post on this theme, which briefly highlights the experience of Vällingbyskolan. (See previous post for details on the Högalidsskolan 3D case study.)
Vällingbyskolan in Sweden 

Fredrik Boström
Fredrik Boström, the principal leading the Vällingbyskolan school case study, agreed with his counterpart, Mattias, who was quoted in our previous post. Fredrik added: “We have seen that students can learn more in less time and therefore that their understanding of complex context is getting better.”

In the recent eBook, “The Future of 3D Education: What every educator should know about 3D in the classroom,” I was quoted as saying:  “It’s the first clue we’ve ever had in 3D research about learning efficiency. It’s a pointer. To me it’s a pointer that further research needs to be done.”  Learning efficiency, as one of the apparent benefits of 3D in education, is a phenomenon we will need to keep our eyes on.

April 7, 2014

Efficiency in Sweden (1)

One of the most interesting findings coming out of the Vällingbyskolan and Högalidsskolan 3D case studies involves learning efficiency. In the Swedish studies, teachers report that 3D seems to help students learn information faster
Högalidsskolan in Sweden
This educational phenomenon is called learning efficiency and its implications are profound.  Learning efficiency simply means that students can reach a deep understanding of their learning goals in a shorter amount of time. When teachers and learners are more efficient, it frees up more time in the curriculum to cover or learn more—or to go deeper than the students were able to go before.

Mattias Boström
Mattias Boström, the principal that lead the Högalidsskolan case study, noted that teachers often observed significant efficiency in learning during their 3D coursework.  He  explained: “We have students with a deeper and more complex knowledge about the heart in fifth grade, than any of our previous ninth grade students have had.” He recognizes that these learning efficiency results are “based on observations and teacher experience,” so he carefully added: “We don't have any data yet [on learning efficiency], but we are trying to get the researchers to look into this.” “What we have learned so far is that we can teach much more complicated and complex topics than we were able to before. We see that it takes less time to get to deeper knowledge for the students, time we can use to get more topics.” 

This economy in learning really matters.  Come back for  next week's post to learn more.

March 31, 2014

April Showers, 3D Flowers

Here are some April 3D happenings worth your notice:

3D Sketchup BaseCamp. SketchUp 3D Basecamp 2014 will take place April 14th–16th in Vail, Colorado. Sponsors promise lots of meeting space, reliable internet, affordable lodging and terrific food for this “designing in rendered-3D” event. According to the sponsors, registration is easy and there’s nothing standing between you and the best mid-April of your life.

5th Annual VREP Showcase. The annual Virtual Reality Educational Pathfinder student competition continues to grow and mature. Students demonstrate the rendered, stereoscopic, and printed 3D projects they have developed throughout the year. It’s a great event to locate student interns. This year’s event is being held April 9th in Des Moines, Iowa, and it’s still not too late to get involved. The students would like to have feedback from you on what they can do to improve. You can go to the www.vrep.org web page and register to attend the VREP event.  See the VREP Showcase Agenda for more details.

Eon Experience Workshop. Eon Reality is offering two days of presentations, hands-on Virtual Reality technology demonstration, and a first-hand look at EON’s flagship Entrepreneur School on April 10-11, in Manchester, United Kingdom. According to Eon Reality, “the Manchester Interactive Digital Center serves as EON’s European Headquarters and its state of the art Virtual Reality technology, development lab, and artistic resources help meet the growing demands for Interactive Digital Media in Europe and beyond.” This event allows you to explore Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies and exchange ideas with global VR experts, unpacking how interactive and immersive 3D technologies can help increase sales, better communicate product functionality, improve user training, or lower costs. Details can be found at the registration site.

March 24, 2014

Learning from Sweden

In recent 3D pilot projects in Sweden, teachers have been pushing the 3D envelope with sheer intensity. I wanted to drill down and unpack how teachers were actually teaching with 3D in these new trials, and what we could learn from them. The results of my investigation were enlightening.
Fredrik Bostrom

The Vällingbyskolan 3D Trials
According to F. Boström, the school principal leading the case study, teachers involved in the Vällingbyskolan 3D trials thoughtfully used 3D visualization in classrooms to:
  • quickly catch student interest
  • show biological phenomena from differing angles and perspectives than normally viewed
  • design new and original lessons, outside of the constraints and predictability of typical lesson delivery
  • reduce reliance on text for instruction

More importantly, these creative Vällingbyskolan educators also pushed existing boundaries by employing stereo 3D to:
  • evoke new questions from students in the areas of natural science, social science, and bioethics
  • put their own words to the images shown instead of depending on recorded text and narration
  • Vällingbyskolan
  • nimbly flip back and forth—between stereo 3D visualizations, film clips, writing on the board, and class discussions—while allowing students to figure out by themselves how biological systems work and express that in their own words


As you explain 3D to educators, what language are you using? Wow factor, engagement, and excitement are common marketing slogans (all taken from commercial websites), but none of these terms communicate the real advantages of using 3D in the classroom. I prefer the functional descriptions provided by Fredrik Boström.

March 17, 2014

Beyond the 3D Bubble

Having lived in Boulder, Princeton, and Beaverton, I know what it means when people say "you're in the bubble.” The real world lies just beyond. The same goes for people working in the arena of 3D: they tend to live in a secure bubble of like-minded enthusiasts. I am reminded of a cartoon that appears in the presentations of Shun‐nan Yang (PhD), a respected researcher with the Vision Performance Institute, College of Optometry (Pacific University):


The sad truth about this cartoon is that ordinary life is built upon binocular or 3D vision, hence the cringing nature of this insider’s joke.

A recent discussion hosted on LinkedIn’s bemoaned the notion that “It's still hip to hate 3D.” Apparently, the battle 3D currently faces is against "talking heads trying to influence the general public to adopt their [anti-3D] viewpoint.” “The masses love electrolytes, are considering gluten-free diets, and hate 3D,” they complain. Yet, we rarely make headway in this argument. “The public image needs to shift [to a] more positive [view],” they argue. “We just need to lobby for it like any other pop culture agenda, and not just to tech blogs and LinkedIn groups, but to the people who aren't buying tickets.” 

This article is about one way that we, as 3D enthusiasts, can start taking a positive message out beyond the boundaries of our obvious “3D bubble.” While attending the COVD Annual Meeting, (the College of Optometrists in Vision Development is the certifying body for doctors in the optometric specialty called Behavioral/ Developmental/ Rehabilitative Optometry), I met two authors that deal with 3D outside the bubble: in seeing, learning, and living. Each has published a unique book that would make a great gift for your child’s teacher, a parent, or a local school principal. Each book subtly conveys the importance of a child’s vision (which is 3D, of course!) in seeing, learning, and living. It’s a soft and inviting way to move beyond the 3D bubble and foster a message that will stick.

Red Flags for Primary Teachers, by Katie Johnson.
I first met Katie at the COVD Annual Meeting, when I noticed her impressive and unique poster session. Katie Johnson demonstrated through a variety of visuals how classroom teachers can identify vision problems that will affect learning as early as in the primary grades.


See it. Say it. Do it!: The Parent’s and Teacher’s Action Guide to Creating Successful Students and Confident Kids by Lynn Hellerstein.
A few moments later, I met Dr. Hellerstein and fanned through her book, which also comes well recommended.

Again, either of these resources would make for great end-of-the-school-year gifts for local educators. Or just give them a ticket to a 3D movie. 



March 10, 2014

3D @ COVD (3)

I must say that much of the interesting action of the 2013 COVD Annual Meeting occurred away from the speakers' hall, in the exhibit hall. Here were a plethora of exhibits, products, and research posters suited to every taste. The resources most relevant to our blog readers included:
  • Mature 3D-based automated Vision Therapy systems (see picture below)
  • A new iPad-based diagnostic and therapy from G labs. (See this video featuring Dr. Jen Simonson explaining the new product. Also see their Facebook site)
  • An interesting research poster suggesting that 3D technology can be a powerful tool in the early detection of visual disorders such as amblyopia and anisometropia in children (using the Playstation 3D, in this case)
  • A compelling research poster suggesting that vision therapy should be considered for those younger patients exhibiting visual symptoms, a diagnosis of ADD, and anxiety associated with poor school performance. Vision therapy, may well reduce unnecessary medication for these children, as well as a misdiagnosis of ADD

March 3, 2014

3D @ COVD (2)

Here are some more interesting 3D revelations that emerged from the recent COVD conference, described in last week's post:

Recent Findings and Future Priorities for S3D Research
Shun‐nan Yang (PhD), a prolific researcher with the Vision Performance Institute, College of Optometry (Pacific University), provided a compelling presentation on recent research.  Dr. Yang's most interesting findings include:
  • “Eye (visual/ocular) symptoms are weaker and limited; yet motion symptoms with 3D are significant and linger.” (Yang et al., 2012)
  • “The critical viewing duration for incurring symptoms is about 36 minutes in movie viewing.”  (Yang et al., 2011)

He then cited some of the potential advantages offered through 3D immersion by briefly reviewing his research on these topics:
  • “Opinion change and marketing success with S3D content” (Yang et al., 2013)
  • “Motivational/emotional enhancement after S3D viewing.” (Yang et al., 2013)

Simulated 3D in Classrooms
My own presentation on the use of 3D in education was split into three parts. First, I briefly reviewed how educational 3D (eS3D) is different from standard consumer or 'entertainment' 3D:
  • It’s slower
  • It prefers more negative parallax
  • It is experienced in shorter sustained viewing ‘segments
  • It offers longer sustained and uninterrupted scene viewing (more immersive ‘gulping’)

I highlighted academic results, future trends, and how teachers approach children and parents when they encounter known vision symptoms. I also offered some “hands-on, minds-on” viewing of actual 3-D educational content and hardware used in schools, including the new NEO3DO auto-stereoscopic tablet.

Clinical Aspects of S3D
Dr. Leonard J. Press (O.D., FCOVD, FAAO), well known for his work in New Jersey and his thoughts in the VisionHelp Blog, closed the full day seminar with a look at the more clinical practice aspects of stereoscopic 3D, reminding the medical audience in attendance about the three D's of stereo 3D:


February 24, 2014

3D @ COVD (1)

This report comes first hand from the recent annual meeting of the  College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), held in Orlando.
COVD is the certifying body for doctors in Behavioral/ Developmental/ Rehabilitative Optometry. This group is interested in all things 3D, because these experts envision a role for 3D in Sx (symptoms), Dx (diagnosis), and Tx (treatment) of vision disorders. At the COVD Annual Meeting, I participated as a featured speaker in a full-day educational program entitled “Simulated 3D Vision: Research, Education and In Your Office,” with over 600 medical and educational professionals in attendance.

Dr. Dominick M. Maino (OD, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD) led off the full-day session. Dr. Maino is a Professor of Pediatrics/Binocular Vision at the Illinois College of Optometry/Illinois Eye Institute, a Distinguished Practitioner, with the National Academies of Practice, and a Leonardo da Vinci Award of Excellence in Medicine recipient.  Dr. Maino highlighted the cultural importance of 3D in contemporary society, since sometimes medical experts and researchers are not fully attentive to current cultural memes.  Maino warned that “simulated 3D is not dead,” as some would think, “but that use of simulated 3D will continue in all its forms… but you still need binocular vision to fully immerse yourself into the experience.”  He identified the struggles many adults have with viewing 3D as the “3D Vision Syndrome” and made the case for medical and educational professionals to tap into the power and influence of the 3D meme to promote vision health and better public policy decisions.

We will learn more about 3D @ COVD in next week's post. Stay tuned...

February 17, 2014

Editor's Choice

At the start of every new year, I thoughtfully highlight a single post from the previous year here at Future-Talk 3D. I want to feature a post that didn't quite make it into our 2013 top ten, but offers an important educationally focused 3D message, nevertheless;. a post that carries the kind of message that I would hope readers would want to take time to carefully re-read and mull over. The post I recommend for Editor’s Choice this year is 3D in Tech Ed.


February 10, 2014

What is 3D Good For?

Display Central has certainly become the “go-to” website for information about the emerging 3D world. One of their chief contributors, the esteemed Arthur Berman, recently wrote an article that is so important, I was compelled to provide a link to it here on Future-Talk 3D. This article summarizes a recent and large-scale meta-analysis, conducted by the U.S. Air Force, on what works well in 3D versus 2D. Enjoy the read!

February 3, 2014

A zView from zSpace

I recently caught “a zView from zSpace,” an auspicious glimpse of a bright future for 3D in education. ZSpace is a Silicon Valley company offering what I call “a near-holographic hardware platform,” one which really draws the crowds. I recently attended the zCON East developer’s conference, which was held at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge and attended by scientists, entrepreneurs, pharmaceutical interests, higher education, K12 teachers, optometry consultants, medical device companies, and venture capitalists alike. This conference offered a distinctive educational flavor, with most presentations strongly focusing on educational applications of the zSpace platform. And there was one uniquely pleasant discovery.

In the NERD Center demo hall, I saw one of the most remarkable ideas I have seen in a long time. You see, the zSpace platform is chiefly a platform for an individual or maybe small group of 2-3 to work with holographic-like interactive 3D visualization.  In that regard, it’s untouchable.

But now draw your attention back to the real world: the fact is, many university and K-12 classrooms require full-class viewing. And that’s what zSpace provided with zView—and in quite a creative way. While an individual or small team can don stereo glasses and work in true stereo on the zSpace display, the entire scene—including the individual using the zSpace stereo display—is immediately rendered in augmented reality on a large screen television or projector. For the full class to see. I have never seen anything quite like it, fluid and real time. Here is a video I captured of zView in action at the zCon event, showing what the audience can see in augmented reality, while the instructor or student presenter manipulates their presentation in stereo 3D.

The cohesive marriage between stereoscopic 3D and augmented reality, as evidenced by zView, is one of the most remarkable ideas I have seen in a long, long time. If you get a chance to visit a zSpace booth at the TCEA conference this week, ask to see this product. It has real potential to reach the broader education market. It’s nothing less than a zView from zSpace. 

January 27, 2014

Crowded in zSpace

One of the busiest booths I have seen at several recent conferences has been the zSpace exhibit. ZSpace is a Silicon Valley company offering what I call “a near-holographic hardware platform,” one which really draws the crowds. Why some booths flourish, while others do not can be explained by my little poem: “Something trusted, something new, someone invited, something cool.”  Trusted brands, new products, unique new capabilities, and ‘cool’ technologies seem to corral traffic reliably.  zSpace is drawing crowds because they are offering something never seen before—and it is certainly ‘cool.’ As far as “someone invited.”  I personally invited many power educators and top 3D industry folks to walk with me over to the zSpace booth. Now, these educators and industry leaders are seasoned folks--technology leaders, speakers, or integrators who really know their ed tech. They can see fluff right away, and are always a tough sell. I spoke to each person later, and each one was overly impressed with the zSpace offering. Knowing that these educators always start from a posture of deep skepticism, I was actually quite surprised at their reaction. It tells you something. (By the way, zSpace will be exhibiting at the upcoming TCEA conference, if you want to see them for yourself.)

Their GUI interface has a lot to do with their attractiveness, as it offers a unique metaphor for navigation. Gone are the primitive control screens I see with most other 3D solutions. The zSpace user interface is fun, new, invigorating, metaphorical, and captivating. They call it the zSpace experience. I get it. Using zSpace,  I was able to pick up objects with a stylus and deposit them in a spinning portal which then took me to another scene or 3D environment, like magic. It’s different. And in this day of look-alikes and same-as, different is good.

But really…why is zSpace really drawing such attention?  Don’t laugh, but my sense is that, in the zSpace offerings, educators catch a glimmer of the future of education. The education business, still in the throes of the recession, needs that restorative hope.

January 20, 2014

Webinar Reminder


Just a reminder! The SIG3D Webinar is tomorrow!


A uniquely informative webinar on the topic of 
3D and vision health in the classroom,
sponsored by ISTE SIG3D

“The Eyes Have It” features three expert speakers, a unique backchannel topic, and a vibrant question and answer session.  If you want to learn more about 3D in education, 3D in Vision, and how vision health intersects with a child’s ability to learn, you won’t want to miss this powerful educational experience. Join us at the contemporary crossroads of health and educational technology.

When:            Tuesday, January 21
Time:              8:oo p.m. ET /  7:00 p.m. CT /  6:00 p.m. MT /  5:00 p.m. PT
Length:          1 hour (30 minutes of presentation followed by Q&A)
Register:        Register for this event at this SIG3D webinar registration link

Webinar Presenters

Dr. Jeri Schneebeck, O.D., F,C.O.V.D.,
Dr. Schneebeck received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado in Boulder and her professional degree from Pacific University College of Optometry.  Dr. Schneebeck is a fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, the organization certifying optometrists specializing in the area of vision therapy.  She recently achieved the title of Diplomate, American Board of Optometry. She has received the Distinguished Service Award from the Colorado Optometric Association for her service to the profession of optometry.  She was coauthor of the published article:   “Doctor, Ergonomic Thyself”, Journal of Behavioral Optometry, Volume 15, 2004, Number 4, coauthored with Rebecca Hutchins, O.D.  Dr. Schneebeck provides consulting and screening services for area schools and frequently speaks to parent, teacher, and professional groups on vision-related subjects.  Dr. Schneebeck operates the Highline Vision Center , in Aurora (CO), specializing in the use of modern 3D technology in the diagnosis and treatment of visual disorders.

Dr. Jacinta Yeung, O.D., M.Ed in Visual Function in Learning


Dr. Yeung started her undergraduate studies at the University of Alberta in her hometown of Edmonton, Canada. She received her Bachelors of Visual Sciences and Doctor of Optometry Degree from Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR. In conjunction with her optometry degree, Dr. Yeung achieved a Masters in Education in Visual Function in Learning (M.Ed/VFL) from the College of Education at Pacific University. This degree was designed to extend an optometrist's knowledge in how vision is related to reading and learning, and allow optometrists to consult with teachers regarding students with learning related vision problems. Dr. Yeung was awarded the Tole Greenstein Award for clinical excellence in binocular vision and pediatrics. She also received the BSK Chapter Award for Exceptional Research in 2013. 



Len Scrogan, Digital Learning Architect, University of Colorado-Denver
A former teacher, principal, and technology director for the Boulder Valley Schools, Len was named Outstanding Technology Administrator in the state of Colorado in 2009. Len is currently a Digital Learning Architect and author of Digital Shapeshifter, a book on creative visual teaching and learning. Len is a professor at  the University of Colorado-Denver and also a blogger, TEDx speaker, and recognized ed-tech author and speaker. He is a co-author of the American Optometric Association’s seminal report on 3D in the classroom, See Well, Learn Well. Len serves as the online community manager for LinkedIn’s Stereo 3D Media and Technology online community of 8,000 members. Recently, he served as a national judge for the Technology & Learning 2013 software awards and is currently a software reviewer for Technology & Learning magazine. Len is also a board member for the new ISTE SIG3D interest group and a member of the COSN Emerging Technologies Committee.

January 13, 2014

Best of Future-Talk 3D

It’s been a thriving year for the Future-Talk 3D blog, so it is fitting to reflect on the most popular topical posts of 2013.  The top ten posts are presented below, in order of most web impressions received last year:
















Actually, it’s quite thought provoking to speculate as to why these particular topics were “top of mind” in 2013 for the diverse international audience that regularly follows this blog. Certainly, these topics might be worthy of re-reading. Please let us know your hypothesis or thinking by posting a short comment.

January 6, 2014

ISTE SIG3D Webinar


A uniquely informative webinar on the topic of 
3D and vision health in the classroom,
sponsored by ISTE SIG3D

“The Eyes Have It” features three expert speakers, a unique backchannel topic, and a vibrant question and answer session.  If you want to learn more about 3D in education, 3D in Vision, and how vision health intersects with a child’s ability to learn, you won’t want to miss this powerful educational experience. Join us at the contemporary crossroads of health and educational technology.

When:            Tuesday, January 21
Time:              8:oo p.m. ET /  7:00 p.m. CT /  6:00 p.m. MT /  5:00 p.m. PT
Length:          1 hour (30 minutes of presentation followed by Q&A)
Register:        Register for this event at this SIG3D webinar registration link

Webinar Presenters

Dr. Jeri Schneebeck, O.D., F,C.O.V.D.,
Dr. Schneebeck received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado in Boulder and her professional degree from Pacific University College of Optometry.  Dr. Schneebeck is a fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, the organization certifying optometrists specializing in the area of vision therapy.  She recently achieved the title of Diplomate, American Board of Optometry. She has received the Distinguished Service Award from the Colorado Optometric Association for her service to the profession of optometry.  She was coauthor of the published article:   “Doctor, Ergonomic Thyself”, Journal of Behavioral Optometry, Volume 15, 2004, Number 4, coauthored with Rebecca Hutchins, O.D.  Dr. Schneebeck provides consulting and screening services for area schools and frequently speaks to parent, teacher, and professional groups on vision-related subjects.  Dr. Schneebeck operates the Highline Vision Center , in Aurora (CO), specializing in the use of modern 3D technology in the diagnosis and treatment of visual disorders.

Dr. Jacinta Yeung, O.D., M.Ed in Visual Function in Learning
Dr. Yeung started her undergraduate studies at the University of Alberta in her hometown of Edmonton, Canada. She received her Bachelors of Visual Sciences and Doctor of Optometry Degree from Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR. In conjunction with her optometry degree, Dr. Yeung achieved a Masters in Education in Visual Function in Learning (M.Ed/VFL) from the College of Education at Pacific University. This degree was designed to extend an optometrist's knowledge in how vision is related to reading and learning, and allow optometrists to consult with teachers regarding students with learning related vision problems. Dr. Yeung was awarded the Tole Greenstein Award for clinical excellence in binocular vision and pediatrics. She also received the BSK Chapter Award for Exceptional Research in 2013. 




Len Scrogan, Digital Learning Architect, University of Colorado-Denver
A former teacher, principal, and technology director for the Boulder Valley Schools, Len was named Outstanding Technology Administrator in the state of Colorado in 2009. Len is currently a Digital Learning Architect and author of Digital Shapeshifter, a book on creative visual teaching and learning. Len is a professor at  the University of Colorado-Denver and also a blogger, TEDx speaker, and recognized ed-tech author and speaker. He is a co-author of the American Optometric Association’s seminal report on 3D in the classroom, See Well, Learn Well. Len serves as the online community manager for LinkedIn’s Stereo 3D Media and Technology online community of 8,000 members. Recently, he served as a national judge for the Technology & Learning 2013 software awards and is currently a software reviewer for Technology & Learning magazine. Len is also a board member for the new ISTE SIG3D interest group and a member of the COSN Emerging Technologies Committee.