July 25, 2016

Growing 3D Organically (1)

(For the backstory, see last week's blog post)



Dr. Andy Kuniyuki
3D visualization (stereo, using passive display technology) continues to be integrated into every anatomy and physiology offering on campus at Nevada State. Systematized, if you will. And college leaders and faculty have not held pat. They have also integrated 3D visualization into their new student orientation activities. Dr. Andy Kuniyuki, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences explains exactly how they do it:Every new student orientation is conducted in rooms where they show, side-by-side, 2d (PowerPoint) and stereo 3D visualization.” Dean Kuniyuki chuckles as he reminisces, asking the question: “which do you prefer?”  He knows the answer beforehand, but he is trying to excite students for the first time, exposing them to this valuable learning tool even before students attend their first classes. “They are thrilled that we have that possibility [3D visualization].”


Nevada State is also moving forward on their visualization agenda. First, 3D visualization is making a big move into the School of Nursing. Use of 3D visualization in anatomy and physiology classes initially caused the word to get out and spread. Hearing from the students themselves, college administrators were hearing that older students wanted these richly visual learning experiences, as well. Nursing school leaders knew that there was huge evidence that pathophysiology is a defining course for nursing students. The current emphasis for instruction is a nursing/whole person perspective. Yet, a firm grasp of pathophysiology is known to be a real predictor of how students will perform as nurses in the field. What the school was missing was a teaching perspective that zoomed down to the tissue, cellular, and molecular levels. 3D visualization could help with this specific instructional challenge by filling a missing link in their instruction. A plan was developed to have instructors from both the liberal arts/sciences and the school of nursing co-teach these nursing courses in the NSC visualization labs. The first co-taught offerings begin this coming spring.

In our next post, we will take a close look at a second wave of 3D visualization strategy at Nevada State College.

July 18, 2016

Flash in the Pan

I’ve noticed something interesting about educational institutions over the years. Usually, once they have researched, procured, and installed
showcase 3D or VR environment, that’s the last you will hear about it.  That’s explains why I often pursue a long-term reporting strategy. Simply stated, I like to follow up. I am curious to see what has happened, to see if a project has evolved or quietly vanished into educational anonymity. Take the 3D visualization initiative at Nevada State College, for example. After I penned my first piece, Nevada State College Flies High, I wrote a follow-up piece, Unparalleled Learning.  That explains why I returned to the outskirts of Las Vegas to visit Nevada State for a third time. 

In the past two years, Nevada State College has experienced a building and enrollment boom. But with their venerable 3D instructional infrastructure in place, and new construction becoming the new major emphasis, did 3D visualization and display technology take a back seat? Stay tuned for next week’s post on what I saw on my third trip. It's all about the long view...

July 11, 2016

3D Content Update

Stereo 3D Content Providers - July 2016 Edition


Once or twice a year I provide a last of world-wide 3D content providers. It’s a top question I am asked at conferences across the U.S. Here is the latest list:

July 4, 2016

Mystery Theater

The Suspicious Case of the Mysteriously Vanishing 3D


Educational 3D has been mysteriously vanishing, without a trace. Has 3D become nothing more than an apparition, a fleeting wisp in the evolving fabric of education? Put on your gumshoe hat, read on, and be prepared to solve the troubling case of the mysteriously vanishing 3D.


The Mysteriously Vanishing 3D
Exhibit 1. 3D signs have been slowly disappearing from exhibit halls. Is there a deliberate thief at work, stealing away these popular signs?
Exhibit 2. Even though nine out of ten money-making blockbuster movies are still produced in 3D, the term 3D is never seen in educational technology articles in most school journals. Stolen in the night it seems.

Is something ominous happening here, something beyond the obvious? Is 3D in education dying a slow and predictable death? It’s time to play the Sherlock. Let’s explore the true story behind the erratic behavior we see in the evidence presented above.

The Strangely Reappearing 3D

Is 3D really disappearing from conferences and the literature? I once posed this question  on LinkedIn, and the response I received suggested that there are many 3D “haters.” That's a lot of suspects. But no, the solution is at hand. The mystery is about to be solved. At every conference I attend, and in all the journals I read, 3D is still there. It just changed its name. I wonder why? Maybe trying to avoid old and unwanted friendships, a tarnished reputation, a furious ex? No, 3D never left town. It never went off the grid.  It simply changed its name to VR. Most VR is 3D, you know. It's still there. Have you seen it?




June 27, 2016

Echo Chamber

At the ISTE 2016 conference, being held this week, virtual reality is no doubt turning out to be the new popular kid on the block. (See last week’s post.) But there’s a problem afoot: We are seeing an “echo chamber” effect at play in educational settings. Too many of these sessions sound like the same content: the field trip or the gadget. Both represent education ‘light.’ That’s not a good thing.

“Hardware has run ahead of content,” bemoans Rene Pinell of Kaleidoscope VR . She’s right. You can see it here at the ISTE conference. In the Wall Street Journal, Chrisotpher Mims lambasts the fact that “most content is demos.” He’s right, too. Can you whisper “hype cycle?” With the exception of zSpace and my own workshops (the last two on the list posted last week), there is nothing much new here. Unlike VR at the recent SXSWedu festival, which featured many creative twists for VR (e.g., online learning, virtual reality mashups, vision health, emotional intelligence, and the future of storytelling), VR at ISTE is, like many new technologies, pursuing the lowest common denominator. Ouch.

June 20, 2016

ISTE 2016 Preview

The annual ISTE conference is convening this year in Denver, Colorado. The ISTE conference is the largest ed-tech conference in the U.S, and will offer more than 1,000 educational sessions to more than 23,000+ teachers, professors, and administrators. Examining the ISTE 2016 conference landscape goes a long way in informing us about what is trending in education. Let’s zoom in on some of these developments from the perspective of 3D and virtual reality.

In the Conference Sessions
The upcoming ISTE conference will offer forty-six 3D-VR-AR-related events in their slate of sessions: five showcase 3D design in education; ten feature AR solutions; fourteen highlight 3D printing; and seventeen sessions specifically focus on VR in education. In the VR arena, the session titles convey particular meaning:
  • Google Cardboard, Virtual Field Trips, and Visual Learning: The Power of Maps
  • Google Cultural Institute and Google Cardboard (VR) for the Classroom K-12
  • Gizmos and Gadgets for Use in (but mostly out of) the Classroom
  • The Basics of the New 3"R's" in Education: AR, VR, QR
  • Classrooms, Made of, Virtual Reality Field Trips
  • Virtual Field Trips: Bringing the World to Your Classroom
  • Virtual Reality Bridges the Gap for ESL Learners
  • Virtual reality tour with Google Cardboard to amazing places!
  • 3D and Virtual Reality in the Classroom
  • Augmenting and Virtualizing Reality through Computer Science
  • Breaking out of the Norm with Virtual Reality
  • Tripping Out! Virtual Field Trips for All
  • Student Led Virtual Field Trips around the World
  • Discovering Immersive 3D and Virtual Reality in a STEAM classroom with zSpace
  • Creating a Customized Street View Experience for Your Classroom
  • Your First ISTE 3D VR Bootcamp
  • See 2 Achieve: Virtual Reality, 3D, Vision, and Learning

In the Exhibit Hall
3D and virtual reality stalwarts like zSpace, Unity, Google, Samsung, AV Rover, Sterling Pixels, and Sensavis are returning to the expo floor. New to the ISTE exhibit hall finds Mursion and Omniglobe with their first-ever presence.

3D Network Events

ISTE’s 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 and VR in education by again hosting three special events: their popular membership open house; the annual meet-and-greet event; and a panel presentation (entitled Designing, Visualizing, and Making in 3D) at the conference. (Companies wishing to have a presence—in person or with literature—at the 3D Network meet-and-greet event, scheduled for Tuesday morning should contact this author sooner rather than later.)

June 13, 2016

Accelerator (3)

In the two previous posts, we have focused on the notion of 3D as a learning accelerator. So, how does this all work? It’s no surprise. It's the power of visualization in learning. Sofia Kruth, the innovative school teacher identified in the last two posts, makes the following conclusions about the power of 3D visualization in the classroom:

In my view it is simply outstanding, I have never before seen or experienced this level of complexity when children this young talk and explain the process of making oxygen. If given a chance they can perform on a much higher level then given levels in the curriculum.”

Even the U.S. National Science Foundation National Institutes of Health note in their seminal report, calling for more visualization tool development: “Visualization plays a role in saving lives, accelerating discovery, and promoting education through improved understanding.”

June 6, 2016

Accelerator (2)

Last week’s post is an example of accelerated curriculum in action. It begs the question: can 3D visualization help even younger children learn more advanced topics, more thoroughly?

The answer is “Yes.” Here’s another compelling story, told by teacher Sofia Kruth at Sandhultskolan, evidencing how a teacher approached curriculum acceleration using the 3D Classroom to teach photosynthesis at a much lower grade level than is the norm— in first grade.

We started our school year (year 1) by planting seeds to see the growth. We went outdoors to look at trees and plants and how they change throughout seasons. Our curriculum for the younger years entails changes in seasons, along with simple lifecycles of plants and animals. One day in autumn a pupil in one of the upper classes found parts of a deer in the woods. We took care of it, processed the parts, and looked at them in class – we found a hip, upper hind leg, and bits of the backbone. The younger pupils wanted to be part of those discoveries, too. I allowed my younger pupils to examine the skeleton parts and after that we went to watch the human skeleton in 3D. My pupils were fascinated with the human skeleton and drew conclusions about the thorax movements as the person breathes. With these positive remarks, and the attention and curiosity that my young pupils showed, it made me think about other areas for using 3D visualization. 
In the Swedish curriculum the photosynthesis is mentioned for year 4-6, nothing in the earlier years. With my positive experience with the 3D-Classroom in studying the skeleton, I thought: “Why not? I will challenge my pupils and let them deepen their understanding of plants, carbon dioxide, oxygen and their correlation—and if it doesn’t work I will know that they are not ready.” 
Said and done. We took the time to set up the 3D-Classroom and clicked trough the menus together. My pupils were fascinated with the look of the leaf, the stomata and how the stomata open and close depending on access to light. We followed the cell and saw the “factory” inside, how everything moved while light and stopped when dark; we saw the “explosion” inside the leaf as carbon dioxide molecules met the water molecules and through solar energy created new substances in a chemical reaction; we saw the carbohydrates the plant used and the oxygen that is released into the air for us to breathe.

The 3D captured my pupils’ curiosity, but also helped them see and think beyond their normal capacity. One student spontaneously remarked “What luck there is daytime on the other side of the globe when we have night, otherwise there wouldn’t be any more oxygen.”  This pupil made correct assumptions and connections that included the earth’s axis and earth movements around its own axis and the sun with the chemical reaction inside a leaf. Rather complex thoughts and revelations from this young pupil (7 years old). The entire class drew complex schemata of how the photosynthesis works, schemata that entail the stomata, water molecules, carbon dioxide molecules, and the importance of light.

May 30, 2016

3D as Accelerator

For educators exploring mobile, large display, virtual reality or augmented reality platforms using 3D, it is important to know the value added benefits of these products. To date, most reports about the effectiveness of using stereo 3D in the classroom revolve around increased retention of learning, ‘wow’ factor, motivation to learn, and higher pre-test/post-test scores. What if there is another benefit we are missing entirely, something much more appealing to educators?

One advantage of teaching with 3D, based on recent learning experiences in advantage of teaching with 3D, based on learning experiences in Swedish schools, appears to be the acceleration of curriculum. The growth dividend associated with the acceleration of curriculum seems very attractive.  Here’s how it’s evidenced in some Swedish schools.



Using the 3D Classroom, a richly 3D simulation series produced by Sensavis, teachers in Sweden are seeing some surprising results, even at very young ages. At the intermediate school level, Principal Mattias Bostrom reported the following example of curriculum acceleration in action:

An 8th grade biology teacher using The 3D Classroom stopped having tests in anatomy at the end of a course. Instead he had the 8th grade students teaching what they had learned to 4th and 5th grade students, but using the same 3D visualization tools. This way he could better understand the depth of the 8th grade students’ knowledge. During the experiment, the instructor noticed that the 4th and 5th grade students asked tougher questions than he had imagined they would ask. The biology teacher, curious about what the younger students had learned, conducted another spot experiment.  He took the last year’s final test for 8th grade anatomy and gave it to the 5th graders. He was surprised and delighted when the 5th graders scored better on this test than last year’s 8th graders. Humorously, at the same time he was a bit worried what to teach the 4th and 5th graders when they became 8th graders. 

Stay tuned next week for a post involving curriculum acceleration by even younger students.

May 23, 2016

zSpace: Broadening the Impact of Technology

Last week, we hinted that the zSpace STEM Lab, a unique visualization and virtual reality technology, demonstrates how a single technology can exemplify many of the possibilities found in the Horizon Report. (zSpace is a Silicon Valley company offering what I call “a near-holographic hardware platform”). Using the same headings found in the international Horizon report, here is how zSpace does it:

Authentic Learning. Educators frequently lament that so many learning experiences are purely academic, removed from any reasonable applicability to life. So when learning takes on the appearance of a real workplace challenge, we call it an ‘authentic’ learning experience. “6th grade is using zSpace Franklin’s Lab,” says Joyce Barry, Chairperson of Science, Research and Technology at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District, “to introduce our students to basic operation and design of electrical boards. Then they go back into the tech shops and design their own electricity boards, returning again to their design stations to create their electricity boards.” She adds: “This is something that we would never been able to afford or be able to let them do for safety reasons.”

Collaborative learning approaches. The growing phenomenon of collaborative learning in classrooms is now conspicuous. In most zSpace STEM Labs, I have noticed that students are paired together to work on and solve unique and authentic learning challenges.

STEAM learning. STEAM refers to science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. It speaks to the workforce needs of modern society. As a result, STEAM initiatives are really gaining traction in U.S. and international schools. Now, imagine a tool that combines each of the elements of STEAM in one learning experience. To me, that’s another way to go outside the single lane trap.

Shifting students from consumers to creators. More and more, teachers are shifting their thinking away from students as consumers of technology. Instead, educators value students being able to produce with technology. In recent exhibit hall walkthroughs at educational conferences, I notice that almost every product is focused on pouring information into the minds of empty-vessel students, using the technology du jour. It truly strikes me as anachronistic. Actually, it’s the pathway to extinction, because more and more educators are making the shift to “students as creators” with technology. The design, construction, hypothesis-testing, and hand-on emphasis of the zSpace STEM Lab appears to support this transition well.

Deeper Learning and MakerSpaces. The shift to deeper learning signals that it’s time to move beyond the typical low-lying fruit of recall, memorization, and motivation. Motivation is a nice contributing outcome, but we need deeper and more results-oriented learning.  Students need to design, to build, to explore, to do, to enact, and to perform their learning. This is something that’s easily done with great visualization and design tools like zSpace, which is a ‘maker’ technology by design.

Rethinking the Roles of Teachers. According to the Horizon Report, “teachers simply cannot take on the same roles they have traditionally held as lecturers and information dispensers.” The Report adds: “This …underscores the need for teachers to rethink their pedagogies and curriculum in ways that enable students to customize their own paths.” See this video for an example of a successful Los Altos School District pilot project that is changing the role of the teacher.

3D Printing. This video for an example of zSpace embedded within a 3D printing and design ecosystem.

Complex Thinking. According to the Horizon Report, the term “complex thinking” refers to the ability to understand complexity, a skill that is needed to comprehend how systems work ...” The Report tells us: “Another key skill of complex thinking is the ability for students to make complex ideas understandable, using data visualization, media, and other communications techniques.” Visual technologies like zSpace help make this possible for educators.

I’d like to end this series with some key questions. What technologies are you using? Do you find your current efforts consistent with the vision of the future evidenced by the K12 Horizon report? Can the technologies you pursue have a broader impact than you originally imagined? Do you have to stay in one lane with your technology? Are single-lane technologies worth the investment? What’s in your pocket?


 Download the complete article here

May 16, 2016

zSpace: Going Outside the Lanes

The New Media Consortium (NMC), together with the Consortium for School Networking (COSN), recently released their annual K12 Horizon Report, an international report which is useful for educators contemplating how much they have accomplished or where to go next with their technology initiatives. According to the NMC, “The NMC Horizon Report series charts the five-year horizon for the impact of emerging technologies in school communities across the globe.” And this report has been around a long time. “With more than 13 years of research and publications, it can be regarded as the world’s longest running exploration of emerging technology trends and uptake in education.” The full report can be accessed here.

Although the K12 Horizon report largely speaks for itself, in this post I will offer a bit of translation, along with a new twist for thinking about this venerable report. With full disclosure, I served as one of the 50+ panelists who developed this report over many months. Serving as an expert panelist for the Horizon K12 report, I can add beneficial nuance to the findings, from an inside perspective.

Important developments in technology for K12 schools world-wide

The first pages of the Horizon Report observe some of the most important developments making an auspicious appearance in K12 schools, with promising implications for the near, short and far term. (I highlighted some of these developments in bold typeface so I can address them later. See panel 1.)


Observable trends in technology for K12 schools world-wide
Another section of the Horizon Report focuses on keenly observable trends in K12 schools, again with promising implications for the near, short and far term ‘landing’ of those trends. (Again, some are highlighted in bold typeface for later discussion. See panel 2.)


Technology Challenges Facing Schools

In its final pages, the 2015 Horizon report devotes considerable ink to identifying some of the stubborn obstacles currently facing K12 technology efforts. These obstacles are divided into three categories: solvable (those we understand and know how to solve); difficult (those we understand, but any solution remains complex); and wicked (those that are exceedingly difficult to define, let alone solve. See panel 3.)

When reviewing the K12 Horizon Report, it is always heartening to see a trend or development come across the radar that validates one of your existing technology initiatives. Such is the case with 3D and virtual reality. It is also insightful to see a yet untraveled pathway beckoning us, crying out for our future technology investment. But do you ever feel like the technology journey is so daunting? That the sheer number of technology choices or lanes is overwhelming? I certainly feel that way at times! Still, there is hope. You see, sometimes a single technology can have a broader impact, cover a richer swathe of learning experiences, than we think. In this way, an innovative technology can pack a bigger instructional punch than we originally imagine.

Here’s just one example. One technology drawing consistent crowds at educational conferences for the last three years is the zSpace STEM LabzSpace is a Silicon Valley company offering what I call “a near-holographic hardware platform,” one which really turns heads. Last year, the zSpace STEM Lab earned best of show award at the huge ISTE ed-tech conference in Philadelphia. (It will certainly again be featured at the ISTE 2016 conference here in Denver.) The zSpace STEM Lab is a unique visualization technology, but more importantly, it demonstrates how a single technology can exemplify many of the possibilities found in the Horizon Report. In next week’s post we’ll take a closer look at how a 3D product like the zSpace STEM Lab can cover a lot of bases. Stay tuned…


May 10, 2016

Color Me Cool

Here’s a hot tip. Some of the finest 3D I have ever seen comes to us via OGON and their ColorCode 3D technology. Among many installations, this technology made two immense power plays in the past—once at Super Bowl 2009, the other occasion in an entire slate of Time magazine holdings (Time, People, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, and Entertainment Weekly).

And I am not exaggerating here. The 3D is simply remarkable. Frankly, I don’t know why this low-cost technology never permeated the education market. If you are an educator interested in pursuing 3D in the classroom, or a 3D content producer, check them out. And if you are interested in brainstorming about this remarkable technology, just send contact me and let’s brainstorm its application for the education market.

May 2, 2016

New Dimensions

Visualizing, designing and making in 3D are our future.”
-          Ed Tech Next Report

CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) has released their latest  Ed Tech Next report “Dimensions in Learning: Visualizing, Designing, and Making in 3D.” The report focuses on the growth and potential of 3D in education.

CoSN is a leading international professional association for district technology leaders, representing over 10 million students in school districts nationwide and is a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education.

Once or twice a year, CoSN releases their well-respected Ed Tech Next report. Ed Tech Next reports are periodic publications which examine hot emerging technologies. Designed for busy professionals, these reports provide quick snapshots of rapidly changing fields, followed by succinct summaries of the issues as well as discussion questions or case studies to guide organizational thinking. CoSN’s EdTechNext reports are supported by a pantheon of companies: Amplify, BestBuy, CDW.G, Cisco, Comcast, Dell, ENA, Filewave, Google, HP, iBoss Security, iDentityAutomation, Ipswitich, itslearning, JAMF Software, Juniper Networks, Lenovo, Lightspeed Systems, McGraw Hill, Microsoft, Pearson, Presidio, Promethean, Qualcomm, SchoolDude, Sprint, and Verizon.

The report focuses on 3D in education. (In bringing full disclosure to the table, I am one of the two co-authors of this report. The other author is Chad Norman, who serves as the K-12 Highly Capable Program Director for the Mount Vernon School District in Washington state.)

The report, as the title indicates, focuses on the three “learning families” of 3D in education: designing in 3D, visualizing in 3D, and making in 3D. Each of these components is supported in some measure by the projector, large display, and mobile display technology industry.
The report suggests that 3D technologies sit at the bedrock of the coming digital learning revolution:
[The same] struggles and achieve­ments mark the progress of civiliza­tion. People observe, conceptualize and understand, laboring to think, plan, design and solve and struggling to fix, build, tear down, retool, reinvent—and do it all again. The digital revolution has not lessened our ingrained desire to understand, interact with and challenge the immersive world. In fact, these age-old strivings continue as we use new digital environments to visualize, design and construct our way through life, learning and work. Enter 3D technologies. 3D—origi­nally a trademark of the artisan’s stall, the architect’s bench, the gamer’s con­sole, the blockbuster cinema or the engineer’s display—is rapidly moving to the newest sandbox for learning, hashtag, the digital classroom.

The report claims that 3D merits consideration for its educational value proposition, not its “wow” factor. “In other words, what matters is the potential for improved learning with 3D technologies, not merely the pizzazz of 3D visualization, design or printed objects.” The report then goes on to cite recent research indicating the benefits of 3D technologies for visualizing, designing and making; numerous industry players in the world of 3D in education; and a rich list of available resources and references.

To obtain more information about this report, or to explore CoSN membership, see http://www.cosn.org/ed-tech-next-reports


April 25, 2016

Why, not 'wow'

While the familiar 3D nomenclature begins to fade, and the equally 3D “virtual reality” meme slowly takes its place, some things stay the same. And something needs to be said.  3D—whether in its printed, video, or virtual reality incarnation—merits consideration for its educational value proposition, not its “wow” factor. In other words, what matters is the potential for improved learning with 3D technologies, not merely the pizzazz of 3D visualization, design or printed objects. Remember, as relates to learning, the Why always trumps the Wow.

April 18, 2016

3D Shufti: Freebies

‘Shufti’ is an Arabic word meaning ‘look!’ It was brought back to Britain after the Second World War by returning soldiers who learned the word from Arab peddlers. Its meaning now suggests taking a quick look around. That’s the purpose of the previous four posts and the current post—taking a 3D shufti—a speedy reconnoiter of some happenings in the area of educational 3D.


Free Software Downloads for Educators and Students

Autodesk is now providing a full range of 3D production software to the educational community free of charge. Check it out for yourself here

April 11, 2016

The LinkedIn 3D Surge

‘Shufti’ is an Arabic word meaning ‘look!’ It was brought back to Britain after the Second World War by returning soldiers who learned the word from Arab peddlers. Its meaning now suggests taking a quick look around. That’s the purpose of this and next week's posts—taking a 3D shufti—a speedy reconnoiter of some happenings in the area of educational 3D.

Many of you know that I am the online community manager for the Stereoscopic 3d Media and Technology group on LinkedIn. By the way, we renamed the special interest group in order to keep up with the 3D VR movement. It is now the LinkedIn Stereoscopic 3d and VR Media and Technology group.


I’ve noticed an interesting development over the last four or five months, a definite wave. We’ve seen a sudden surge of 3D, VR, and production professionals joining our ranks at the clip of a dozen a week, after a two-year lull. Lots of new faces. New companies. New VR content divisions. It makes you wonder. Why are folks are starting to creep in after such a long absence? A spate of new startups? Companies showing interest in ramping up content for the coming VR tsunami? Something is up, not sure what. Take a look. Join us!

April 4, 2016

A Face in the Crowd

‘Shufti’ is an Arabic word meaning ‘look!’ It was brought back to Britain after the Second World War by returning soldiers who learned the word from Arab peddlers. Its meaning now suggests taking a quick look around. That’s the purpose of the previous and the next three posts—taking a 3D shufti—a speedy reconnoiter of some happenings in the area of educational 3D.


In search of autostereoscopic 3D, while recently passing through Vegas I stopped to see the famous face-above-the-bar autostereoscopic display at the SLS Hotel and Casino. I was underwhelmed, because the negative parallax was minimal. It was too ‘safe.’ It reminded me that folks who want to reach the education market with 3D or VR had better be forewarned. Students strongly prefer negative parallax. If the learning resource doesn’t penetrate deeply into audience space, you won’t sell it very well. I suppose it’s good enough for the imbibed in Vegas.

March 28, 2016

3D Competition

‘Shufti’ is an Arabic word meaning ‘look!’ It was brought back to Britain after the Second World War by returning soldiers who learned the word from Arab peddlers. Its meaning now suggests taking a quick look around. That’s the purpose of the previous and the next four posts—taking a 3D shufti—a speedy reconnoiter of some happenings in the area of educational 3D.

Competition Announced for Educators


Five talented educators will win a free trip to SketchUp’s 3D basecamp in June of 2016, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado! 


The prize includes:
  • Roundtrip airfare and transportation to 3D Basecamp from the U.S. or Canada 
  • Free admission to 3D Basecamp and lodging at the event (June 13th - 15th)

How to enter:
SketchUp want to see examples of how you teach using SketchUp. Examples may include; class videos or photos, lesson documentation, SketchUp templates, student worksheets, student presentations, pretty much anything else that can be digitized. 
Entries are accepted until March 31st, 2016. Learn more about the competition here.


March 21, 2016

3D Shufti: NEO3DO

‘Shufti’ is an Arabic word meaning ‘look!’ It was brought back to Britain after the Second World War by returning soldiers who learned the word from Arab peddlers. Its meaning now suggests taking a quick look around. That’s the purpose of the next five posts—taking a 3D shufti—a speedy reconnoiter of some happenings in the area of educational 3D.

NEO3DO Set to Release Next-gen Product
While travelling to Las Vegas to compete in the Senior Games (competitive volleyball) in St. George, I paused to meet with David Briggs, co-founder of NEO3DO, the autostereoscopic tablet manufacturer. He offered some news about their next-gen NEO tablet. “What will differentiate this product”, I asked? Briggs responded: “The speed of the processor, megapixels of the camera, and the screen resolution will all be greatly improved.” “Both 7” and 8” autostereoscopic android tablets are on the table for us”, he added.

He also mentioned that their strategy was involved “pushing the why over the sizzle and wow” in promoting 3D. NEO3DO plans to lead with a strong content posture with the new release. “With higher computational ability and graphics processing, we expect our next gen device to be more amenable to 3D educational and game content.” He noted: “Tons of VR content will work with 3d tablets. We are also making inroads in the medical market (medical displays), and we are planning to support stereo vision acuity testing and therapy.” He also mentioned the use of “stereo cameras on drones controlled from the new tablet.” Learning from the content mistakes of others in the autostereoscopic market, he mentioned that: “The NEO3DO Next Gen will be loaded with content, films, and educational resources.”


According to Briggs, the numbers look good. “We are working with higher numbers of pre-ordered units and have garnered considerable interest from some of the production houses.”

I own a NEO3DO, and let me say--it is a tool that impresses educators--so this is very good news.

March 14, 2016

3D and Early Literacy Research

Is there really a direct connection between a child’s ability to read and the ability to see in stereo (natural binocular vision). Yes there is! See this recent study (click on the PDF) for some advanced medical insight: