I learned to HATE many subjects. For example I hated history because strangers,
strange lands, and strange facts seemed to have no place on the strange
timeline I was told to memorize but for which I had no learning context. At the
same time, one of my favorite (though admittedly, not safest) pastimes was to
sneak into abandon homes and learn about the past through artifacts,
newspapers, letters, magazines, and really anything I could find. I could sit in a house for hours reading
through and looking at everything. I was fascinated with looking at what prices
were in the past, the sort of businesses that people were in and the language
in the letters that people wrote. I also
learned to HATE science. Memories of a boring lecture followed by read chapter
6 and answer the questions at the end, still haunt me. At the same time, I was fascinated with the ocean and sea life. I loved snorkeling and later SCUBA diving and wanted to know all about the creatures of the sea.
|Gaia 3D - Finally! An ed product that doesn’t kill
creativity, imagination, or critical thinking!
School should not be a place that kills our love for that which fascinates us in the real world. Unfortunately, for many, textbooks, tests, and teacher
lectures strip away the excitement and discovery of learning.
Fortunately, things can be different for children today, with the introduction of Gaia 3D. This innovative technology literally
transports learners back in time to meander through ancient streets on an exploration of the past. Learning is brought to life as
children can take a class trip to places like ancient Rome,
through WWI barracks, or through 17th century London during the bubonic
plague. What is even cooler is that
learners are not just exploring and discovering. As they develop interests in
various areas they can do further research and then add their findings to the
3D content. For example, a student interested in the bubonic plague, could
create a video about how the rats spread the plague and when clicking on a rat,
the video could be programmed to play.
Perhaps a student interested in the ancient Rome practice of selling
children into slavery or marriage wanted to create an audio script or poem of what
a young girl felt. This audio could be added to the content. The options to add
original content are endless.
can teachers and students create content within the existing library, they can
also create original content. The folks
at Gaia have also found that many students who are not traditionally
academically gifted have taken off when it comes to creating 3D animation using
the AutoDesk 3D design software and for those interested in that there is free
AutoDesk 3D design
software for students, competitions, and even design certifications.
technology, which claims to be interactive, but actually promotes poor
pedagogy, Gaia 3D provides true
interactivity and engagement. It can be used in virtually any content area with
libraries in Biology, Chemistry,
Physical Education, English
and more. What’s more, labels, signs, identifiers, artifacts, and audio can be
added in any language desired. The
interactivity comes from the ability of the user to literally choose their own
discovery and adventure, add and create their own content. One of the
newest innovations is that it is partnering with Xbox Kinect so students’ can actually
see their effect on the environment or objects. For those who can't leave the board behind, Gaia 3D can be integrated with that as well.
Teachers using the technology report students are on task,
excited, and engaged. They report that it makes difficult concepts much easier
to understand and they can do so in much less time. The results of the research
indicate a marked positive effect of the use of 3D animations on learning,
recall and performance in tests. Under experimental conditions, 86% of pupils
improved from the pre-test to the post-test in the 3D classes, compared to only
52% who improved in the 2D classes. Within the individuals who improved, the
rate of improvement was also much greater in the classes with the 3D.
Individuals improved test scores by an average of 17% in the 3D classes, compared
to only an 8% improvement in the 2D classes between pre-test and post-test.
The students who have used the technology felt strongly (84%
agreed or strongly agreed) that 3D had improved their learning and there were
high levels of satisfaction with 3D learning. Teachers and learners alike
agreed that learning this way was much more fun. Additionally, like my earlier personal
anecdote, students using 3D were indeed more likely to recall detail and
sequence of processes and stated that 3D made learning more “real.” Teachers
explained that these concrete, “real” examples aided understanding and improved
results when measuring understanding. If your school or district wants to
invest in classrooms of the future, this innovative educator says forget that
money you were going to allocate to the interactive whiteboard and instead
invest this truly interactive technology and provide teachers with a 3D
*To set up a 3D presentation station you will want the following
- A DLP 3D-enabled projector: The majority of
new projectors purchased for schools already have this capability, and future
purchases of DLP projectors are generally no more expensive than those that are
- A laptop or PC with good graphic capability:
Most standard PCs and laptops can be fitted with the necessary upgraded
graphics card for only a small cost. More recent laptops tend to have adequate
- Personal Devices:
Small groups or individuals can work with 3D environments and
images on laptops, desktop PCs and plasma screens.
- 3D content: There are a number of 3D software
content providers and currently more than 3,000 pieces of free 3D content
- 3D active glasses: There are a number of
companies making ‘active’ glasses. They vary considerably in quality and price.
Ideally the pupils should have a pair of active glasses each so that the fit
and comfort is suitable for the individual child. Class sets of glasses are