April 29, 2013

Around the 3D World

This week’s post is a virtual “grab bag” of happenings in and around the world of eS3D (educational stereoscopic 3D). Enjoy this virtual playground, as you explore the tremendous potential for 3D in education and other related fields.

April 22, 2013

More on Brain Research and 3D Learning

In our post last week, I wrote about a new study now being conducted in Boulder connecting brain research with 3D learning.  In this follow-up post, I want to take a closer look at the study design and the hardware/ software that is being deployed in the effort. This insight can help other schools and organizations develop their own research strategies.

Study Design
Some of the most insightful design aspects of this study include:
  • Using software in both the stereoscopic mode (3D) and in non-stereoscopic mode (2D) in to explore students’ ability to understand and retain abstract knowledge (as opposed to just using 3D). 
  • Testing a student’s ability to transfer learning through model building and videotaped explanations of abstract concepts and processes (as opposed to testing for retention). 
  • Ascertaining a student’s ability to transfer their newly-acquired visual learning to the standardized tests and writing prompts of the new Colorado state testing system.
  • Using a control group of students, who do not view the science and math lesson content in stereo version prior to the standardized test, comparing their outcomes with students who used the stereo mode for only the first 5 to 10 minutes of a class period. (Remember, it may not require constant use of 3D to show a positive effect on learning.)
  • A special focus on the effects of 3D versus 2D images on thinking, memory formation and student learning disabilities.
  • As an innovative form of evaluation, students will be videotaped while using 3D and 2D interactive software and while doing hands-on performance assessments (3D model building and video explanations of content).
Hardware and Software
The hardware being deployed in this study includes DLP 3D projectors provided by Vivitek and active glasses provided by XPAND. The software lessons to be used in this designed study include Stereo 3D biology, physics, and chemistry resources from Designmate, along with and 3D Geometry and Calculus lessons from Spatial Thinking.

April 15, 2013

3D in Education meets Brain Research

What do you get when you cross a 3D classroom with an advanced cognitive neuropsychology laboratory?  Find out for yourself by reading my recent Display Central article, which has been opened up for a limited time only....

To see the article, and answer the question, 
just click HERE

And if you have something to say on the matter, please come back here and submit a comment.

April 8, 2013

A Teacher's Story

Do you ever wonder what educators think about 3D? How they approach buying a 3D solution? What kind of obstacles they face in doing so? Over the last few months, I have received six emails like the one below. Please take a close read:

Dear Len,
I first met you at ISTE in the EXPO while you were demonstrating an incredible lesson using 3D technology. I again spoke with you during another 3D session. I’m extremely interested in bring 3D technology into my school district and have the support of both my IT Department and Superintendent. Our district is very tech savvy and interested in implementing 3D technology!
I need more information regarding what I saw at the EXPO at what exactly is required to implement this technology precisely as it was seen; I believe this is called “stereoscopic 3D”. The few pieces of 3D software that we have demo’d thus far have been nothing more than glorified 2D—I am looking for what’s required to implement stereoscopic 3D. The software I saw yesterday must have been flat 3D. I was not impressed at all. This was nothing like I saw when you demonstrated 3D at [the Texas Instruments ISTE exhibit]. That demonstration still has me talking and has me incredibly eager to get it in my district. I just need more specifics. The [AV dealer] for our district said we are the first district in the state to request 3D technology to demo. However, he sent us a special [and expensive] projector, told us we needed a special [high-end] laptop, and two pair of glasses [@ $150 each]. The video we witnessed was hardly 3D. I don’t think our rep is familiar with what I am after.
I want to blow people away with I saw at ISTE! It was incredible!
Could you please contact me to answer a few more detailed questions and point me in the right direction to working with people that can help me successfully locate the appropriate technology required?
I look forward to hearing from you!
Wow! My question to the reader is: “Why do we make 3D so very hard to buy, even if the customers want it badly?” 

April 1, 2013

3D Dupery

It’s April Fools’ Day here in the U.S., so I wanted to pursue a topic consistent with the hoaxing season.  Yet, these unfortunate examples are no joke—or maybe the joke’s on you!

This is a test. Feel free to use your notes. Look at these exhibit hall booth pictures or videos, each featuring 3D products, which were taken at recent FETC (Orlando) and TCEA (Austin) conferences:

Exhibit 1

Exhibit 2
Exhibit 3

Next, look at this product:
Exhibit 4

What’s absolutely intriguing about each of these scenes is that they have nothing to do with Stereoscopic 3D. They demonstrate guerrilla marketing techniques, efforts at capturing the recent cultural fascination with all things 3D:   
  • Exhibit 1 is a vendor marketing a type of 360teacher evaluation product. No stereoscopic here.
  • Exhibit 2 is a media distributor advertising 3D simulations from a respected company—Cyber-Anatomy—but although the exhibitor advertises it as 3D, they only sell the rendered 3D versions (namely 2D), not their wonderful stereo 3D collection.
  • Exhibit 3 shows the booth for the well-known Kid Pix software sold to elementary schools. But there is no stereoscopy here—it rendered 3D or paste-boarded 2D.
  • Exhibit 4 is a new toothpaste product. ‘Nuff said.
Although truth and advertising are jokingly considered contradictory terms, let’s pause and consider what is actually happening on the exhibit hall floor. 

If I were a pessimist or a conspiracy theorist, I might call this approach misleading or beguiling, a clever ruse set up by dishonest wanglers attempting to cloak questionable marketing copy. Ignis fatuus.

On the other hand, this might be a very reasonable and benign attempt at marketing. In that case I would consider this approach to be little more than benefit by association or unintentional misbranding. Or you might consider this old-school branding—after all, rendered 3D and stereo 3D both use the ‘3D’ nomenclature.

But the more I think about it, and how ‘3D’ is hawked in person or in print in these exhibit halls or advertisements, I can see why many educators I talk with feel differently. They feel let down after visiting these booths in exhibit halls. It’s similar to the dozens of exhibitors that aim to jump on board the ‘green’ bandwagon by claiming their products are now green. The words canard, misrepresentation, or equivocation come quickly to mind. Mere semblance always frustrates educators. Remember that.