As stated in a previous post, effective 3D instruction certainly depends on good equipment and well-crafted content. But the effectiveness of 3D in learning also hinges on creative teaching strategies used by talented educators.
We simply don’t show 3D movies in classrooms. Not ever. To the contrary, 3D educators add value. Here are some of the important value-added practices employed by Hillman in her successful 3D pilot project:
- using only parts of the 3D simulation that are age appropriate
- muting the narrator because vocabulary might be too advanced
- providing the teacher’s own narration in order to simplify the content for the learner
- pausing the 3D simulation for discussion, allowing for questions or further explanation of the topic
- watching, discussing, then watching again – repeating as needed (repetition encourages mastery and comprehension)
- previewing a topic in 3D before the chapter/unit begins
- creating a KWL chart together with the students, after showing a 3D simulation or animation
- using 3D as a form of enrichment and/or expansion on a topic for those students who are ready for more
- using the 3D simulation AS the lesson (Holli explains: “the visualization is often so rich that it provides an experience unlike anything one can offer through lecture or even hands-on; of course, the teacher can still provide elaboration, clarification, and guide discussion, since a 1-4 minute 3D simulation will never replace the teacher.”)
- taking a virtual field trip (Holli notes: “3D can take students places they would never otherwise be able to go—and the color, imagery and depth is attractive and captivating!”)
In her own words, Holli Hillman hopes to “step outside of the box and implement [3D as an] innovative instructional approach.” Her enthusiasm is palpable and each of the above strategies helps us understand what a gifted 3D educator actually does with this powerful new medium of instruction. She is not afraid of sharing her insight and enthusiasm both with interested visitors and questioning skeptics alike. “I can’t wait to watch it all unfold,” she declares, as she makes plans to explore even more creative teaching angles in the months to come.