July 18, 2016

Flash in the Pan

I’ve noticed something interesting about educational institutions over the years. Usually, once they have researched, procured, and installed
showcase 3D or VR environment, that’s the last you will hear about it.  That’s explains why I often pursue a long-term reporting strategy. Simply stated, I like to follow up. I am curious to see what has happened, to see if a project has evolved or quietly vanished into educational anonymity. Take the 3D visualization initiative at Nevada State College, for example. After I penned my first piece, Nevada State College Flies High, I wrote a follow-up piece, Unparalleled Learning.  That explains why I returned to the outskirts of Las Vegas to visit Nevada State for a third time. 

In the past two years, Nevada State College has experienced a building and enrollment boom. But with their venerable 3D instructional infrastructure in place, and new construction becoming the new major emphasis, did 3D visualization and display technology take a back seat? Stay tuned for next week’s post on what I saw on my third trip. It's all about the long view...


  1. Dear Len,
    I'll wait for your next post :)
    Do you mean these technologies or the content are becoming obsolete? or teachers not (enough) trained? TY for your study. Regards, Nicolas Mahe - IRDNA (connected on Linkedin 1st)

  2. Yes, the answer will be revealed in the next two posts. No, the technologies/content are not necessarily growing so desperately obsolete. But here is a preview of what actually CAN BE occurring:
    Educational settings are both complex and idiosyncratic; there is no single explanation for why a technology may seem to disappear. Here are a few cases i have seen:
    - the technology may morph
    - the technology may undergo a name change, a platform change, a technical change
    - the teachers involved may retire or move elsewhere
    - the administrators overseeing the initiative move on to other priorities, leaving this in place, but focusing all attention on "the next big thing."
    - Reporters, journals and conference session gatekeepers have also moved on in terms of dedicated print space to "the next big thing."
    - Educational institutions are not facile at shouting their own successes.