One of the most interesting things I am seeing develop in 3D teaching lately is the combining of 3D visualization techniques with hands-on activities. Both Lauren Sanders of the Shelton School (Dallas) and the BVSD Douglass Elementary team (Dawne, Lynn, and Holly) are designing and using lessons that combine a visually rich 3D interactive presentation with individual hand manipulatives or desk-based activities. Lauren has used manipulative cubes along with her 3D images, while the Douglass team plans cleverly to use acetate sheets for hands-on reinforcement, practice, and transfer of learning (see the lesson plan thumbnail below)..
The combining of visual manipulatives or experiences with hands-on manipulatives is an effective practice that has been used in lower grade levels for years, and using it in conjunction with 3D visualization is a very thoughtful connection. And it promises to be effective in transferring abstract concepts to very physical levels of understanding for children.