November 19, 2012

3D in the Cloud

NextGen 3D Educational Content Series [Part 4]
Another entry in our sweepstakes for the future of great educational 3D content is a stout and familiar player, Sweden’s Eon Reality. Eon Reality offers a crowdsourced vision of cloud- and social media-based 3D educational content development and distribution: Eon Creator and the Eon Experience. Both are well integrated and offer a distinct social-media look, with easy user search, access, or upstream contribution, as well as user-generated content ratings.
Eon Creator, explains Brendon Reilly, the business development manager for Eon’s U.S. operations, “a tool for educators or users to easily generate 3D content and store it in the cloud.” He continues: “It has the scalability to design something as small as the human blood cell to something as expansive as the Taj Majal.”
Eon Creator is tightly integrated with the Eon Experience platform, enabling users 
to download commercial or user-generated 3D content or publish their own content.
The Eon Experience is a platform that permits search, access, downloading, uploading, and rating of user- or industry-generated  stereo 3D content. Some content is free, some is for sale, and I imagine a strong barter economy will eventually arise. The content is organized into three categories: Avatars, 3D Components or 3D Scenes. Reilly notes that the Eon Experience is “cloud based, multiple-device friendly, and offers great possibilities for education.” 

Now this is the point where I am forced to chime in: “You betcha!” Eon Creator was designed for non-professional content producers (a.k.a., students and teachers). The advantages are obvious. The Eon Experience platform creates a friendly space where the 3D educator can become a consumer, producer, or both. More importantly, both tools were evidently created with the school educator or industry “human performance improvement” professional in mind.
After learning resources are attached to a 3D model in a walk-through gallery, 
the learner can access those learning support resources by simply clicking 
on one the icons layered in a pyramid above the 3D object.
For example, 3D objects can be placed within a 3D gallery or exhibit hall scene for casual or in-depth exploration.  A trainer can also insert or embed learning resources into the 3D objects he/she has designed. This enables the creation of richly layered, hypermedia-based learning experiences that can stand on their own. The trainer/instructional designer can associate many different types of “learning objects” with the 3D model or object, including short video segments; personalized text or audio annotation; a PowerPoint presentation; a wiki, blog, or discussion board; or a hyperlink to a website or simulation activity. Folks, this is designed for great teaching, learning, and instructional design!

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