In an early entry in this blog, I introduced the 3D content taxonomy represented in the chart below:
In this post, I originally groused (in reference to 3D movie or movie segments): "There's not much educational value there, except the 'grab' factor. Don't stay fixated here too long." Well, live and learn. I was a bit wrong. At the ISTE 2010 national technology conference in Denver, I spoke with Dr. KJ Brar, who is the president of Designmate (www.designmate.com), perhaps the largest producer of 3D content in the world. After some thoughtful conversations with Dr. Brar, I learned something quite important. Although movie segments are indeed more passive learning experiences than their other cousins on the 3D content taxonomy, they can still play a very important role in 3D learning. When tightly tethered to interactive simulations, 3D movie segments can provide the sound base of knowledge and context that students need in order to fully explore a simulation and firmly understand the concepts being presented. Although 3D movie segments have less value when they stand alone in instruction, in tandem with interactive simulations, movie segments have real value. Now, six months after I spoke with Dr. Brar, his words have borne out in our classrooms. Short video segments are indeed highly effective.