April 28, 2014

What the 3D Kids Say

The recent YouTube craze “What the Fox Says” is amusing to most, but carries a confusing message. Not so with “What the 3D kids say” in a two-year pilot project led by 4th grade teacher-innovator, Holli Hillman.  In this week’s installment of the St. Francis school success story, we’re going to listen chiefly to the voices of the children involved in the project over the last two years. Face it—we can learn more from the sincere words of children, spoken in a few minutes, than we can learn from lengthy ramblings of marketing experts or educational experts.

What the 3D Kids Say
Cedar Creek Community School
I am going to bring you these quotes in a straight and unadulterated way—directly from the mouths of the 4th grade children in this 3D project. I am only going to comment indirectly; the italics in each quotation below are mine. They represent my silent smile, pointing the reader to a key understanding or brain-based principle about “learning with depth.” By remaining silent, I feel I will provide greater voice to these nine-year-old students.  So, in that spirit, here is “what the 3D kids say” about learning with 3D:

"It's visual. You can see the actual water cycle and how it really is. A poster doesn't rain. Makes you feel like you are there and it helps you understand it better."

"The visual is good because we remember pictures and not words."

“We remember better and can visualize it [at] another time.”

"It makes it seem like you slow everything down and it makes it easier to learn it because you want to pay more attention to it and we're not just reading about it. You get to see more angles of things and more of the close up parts...like more details."

"It's more exciting to see things pop out because you feel like you're there and you learn more facts as someone tells you about what you're looking at. The screen moves and you actually feel like you're in the mountains."

"It's more exciting for us to learn in 3D because it shows you the system and how it works."

"When you show us a picture, you see the picture, and copy the picture because it doesn’t talk. But when you see the 3D, you don't copy it - you see it differently so you draw what you learned."

"You can picture it in your head better."

"We learn more in less time."

 “Ssshhh!” [whispered by children when adults are talking while students are viewing 3D content]”

Holli Hillman, the teacher extraordinaire leading this project adds: “My students are ready for more. They ask me daily if we get to view 3D. Although it's not something I use daily, as I continue to discover more content, my students and I will look forward to viewing concepts in 3D in other subject areas very soon!”

Well, there you have it. Consider going back to re-read each child's statement. Think about the brain-based research I highlighted with each italicized phrase. It make you wonder why 3D isn’t adopted more broadly, doesn’t it? 

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