January 6, 2011

Demystifying 3D Content

Here's a bit more explanation of each of the categories in my taxonomy:

3D Movies
Explanation: Full-length 3D movies, or video segments designed professionally (with Hollywood or production studio quality).
Blog Author's Commentary: There's not much educational value here, except the 'grab' factor. Don't stay fixated here too long. 

Learning Objects
Explanation: A large library of easily accessible 3D objects, focused video shorts, and models (e.g., the solar system, DNA, atomic particles, geometric shapes, landforms, and maps) that are used by the instructor to clarify working components, concepts, relationships, comparisons, and/or misconceptions; these objects may be easily shown, rotated, or labeled.
Blog Author's Commentary: An essential first tool in the 3D educator's toolkit; however, the educator will need to employ high-level strategies (kinesthetic connection, higher-order thinking and questioning, focusing on misconception, and/or peer teaching) in order to maximize the educational potential of 3D learning objects. Firms that produces quality 3D learning objects include DesignMate and NavTech.

Explanation: A small, interactive simulation of an object, process, or phenomenon; interactivity implies the ability to manipulate, change, vary, layer, and/or simulate; in essence, this is a learning object with a limited degree of built-in interactivity.
Blog Author's Commentary: Micro-simulations are practical tools and a step up from non-interactive learning objects; still, the educator will need to employ high-level strategies (described previously under learning objects) in order to maximize their educational potential. Firms that produces quality 3D learning objects include DesignMate, JTM Concepts, and NavTech (also see this NavTech link).

Explanation: An interactive experience that imitates, models, or replicates more complex phenomena; simulations allow learners be in places they normally cannot be, allow learners to change variables and thus explore the simulated environment, or take learners on a 'discovery' journey with a concrete end in mind.
Blog Author's Commentary: This stage starts to recognize and build smartly on the power and potential of 3D learning. A pre-eminent publisher of this type of content (as well as micro-simulations and learning objects) is Illinois-based JTM Concepts.

(Click on the thumbnail above to see the current collection of JTM simulations)

Content Creation
Explanation: Enabling students, with appropriate 3D camera technology and programming skills, to produce their own 3D videos, learning objects, micro-simulations, or interactive simulations. A firm that has experience with student-driven content creation is also NavTech. Check out this Link.  
Blog Author's Commentary: In case you didn't notice beforehand, these five categories of 3D content easily correlate with the new Bloom's taxonomy for digital media.

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