April 30, 2011

3D @ ISTE Update

In a previous posting, I provided a complete list of the 3D presentations being offered at the ISTE 2011 conference, including rendered and stereoscopic 3D presentations. At that time, only one stereoscopic 3D poster session was scheduled.

That has now changed. A new and very inspiring presentation has made the cut: 3D Teaching = Student Engagement in the Classroom. This Wednesday morning panel session promises to be rich in content and extremely up-to-date. You will not want to miss it. The panel tentatively includes three thought leaders in the field of 3D in education:

Dr. Carol Hruskocy. Dr. Hruskocy, Associate Professor of Education and Counseling at Regis University (CO), oversees two master degree programs. She is one of the researchers associated with the BVS-3D Case Study project in Boulder, Colorado. She has presented both nationally and internationally on a variety of topics including technology integration, faculty development for online facilitation and course development, and assessment of student learning. 

Kristin Donley. A talented science teacher and runner up Teacher of the Year in the state of Colorado, Kristin currently serves as a high school teacher at Monarch High School in the Boulder Valley School District. She has carried the lead role in the most successful implementation project for 3D in U.S. schools.

Len Scrogan. Your humble blog author will provide an introduction and serve as the moderator for this unique panel session. I will also provide a brief update on 3D vision and eye health.

April 25, 2011

Friends in High Places

James Cameron, the well-known director of “Avatar” (the blockbuster 3D sci-fi movie), recently spoke out about the potential of stereoscopic 3D in education.  His thoughts are best conveyed in his own words...

April 18, 2011

3D Simulation

Last week, a friend of mine attended a series of presentations made to customers from the U.S. military at the 27th National Space Symposium. One of the presentations, which was conducted by Boeing, was an immersive 3D battlefield simulation so realistic that the sense of engagement was palpable and heads were clearly bobbing. The simulation employed 3D to replicate a battlefield experience with the confusion, sounds, and explosions of real warfare—followed by shrapnel whizzing past their heads or flak exploding dangerously nearby. The notion was to build soldier and communications preparedness, quick thinking, and readiness well in advance of any real combat action.

Since I am more of the peaceful sort of person, I swiftly conjured possible applications for K-16 and adult education in this same vein.  Using 3D content to foster preparedness, quick thinking, and ‘field’ readiness could easily be applied in such areas as:

-         plant and employee safety
-         emergency training
-         driver’s education (please don’t laugh!)
-         athletic competition training
-         physical education

April 11, 2011

3D Integrators

In my humble opinion, the role of integrators in creating 3D projects in a school is invaluable.

An integrator is a company that can help ‘integrate’ the disparate pieces involved in your classroom 3D project. An integrator can help identify the needed hardware components, offer sound technical advice, provide helpful technical support and problem solving over the long-haul, and even suggest appropriate 3D content.

In a word, an integrator can help simplify often confusing 3D technologies, making your road toward instructional success much easier and straighter. In my article, “3D Comes to School” (see January posting), I listed several such integrators. Since that time, I have updated my list of 3D integators:

(If any of my readers also represent an integrator firm with which I am currently unaware, please leave a comment below, listing your web site; and please contact me via email, so that I can update my list.)

April 4, 2011

A 3D Lagniappe

Question: “What 3D announcement made in March resulted in over half a billion web impressions in just two weeks?”
Answer: The 3D lagniappe.

Lagniappe” is a Cajun term meaning “a little extra,” or a bonus gift. (For example, if you were to receive a free slice of scrumptious pecan pie after ordering the large-sized crawfish etouffee—that would be a lagniappe. Or if, at the end of a workshop, a presenter gave everyone in the room a practical new tip, immediately usable—that, too, would be a lagniappe.)

This metaphor is absolutely the best way to describe what is currently erupting in the 3D world. In a recent announcement, the American Optometry Association took a significant position on 3D viewing, and this announcement has since reverberated around the globe. The upshot is that viewing 3D is strongly encouraged by the AOA.  Viewing 3D—in theaters, on home television sets, on game consoles, and in our nation’s classrooms—appears to serve as one of the most reliable and effective vision screeners ever offered. It’s apparently far more effective than the standard eye-chart test.
Who could have imagined? It’s an unexpected bonus, a “little extra” gift for 3D-using schools. Although we are seeing very positive results in classrooms that are using 3D, now we have a 3D lagniappe—a tremendous health benefit is now associated with this impactful teaching tool.

Take a look for yourself by checking out these national announcements: 

Special Notes:

1.  In mid-May, I plan to populate this blog with a rich series of posts about the learning results and successes we are now seeing in our pilot 3D classrooms.  The 3D lagniappe above is just your appetizer!
2.  Yes, I’ve been serving on the national AOA team that has been developing a position paper on this topic. Our work is expected to be released sometime in June—so please stay tuned!