NC High School boosts science learning with 3D technology

Dixon High School, part of the Onslow County School District in North Carolina, has recently purchased XPAND systems to provide a more engaging learning experience for its students in subjects like biology, where 3D content offers greater depth and detail.

The school purchased XPAND 3D Educational products through Skylink with the help of Andy Canady, President of Skylink. XPAND 3D’s Educational Kit includes XPAND DLP®-Link 3D Glasses (which work with all 3D-ready DLP projectors) and a library full of educational 3D content for every subject.

Biology teacher Jason Chambers is pleased with the results that he has seen since he started using the 3D material in October 2011. He has used XPAND’s 3D content, including Designmate 3D technology, in almost all of his instruction, whether it is an introduction before diving into a new subject, teaching the subject itself or even as a refresher after a section is completed.

“It’s been a dream using the software. It not only helps the kids but the teachers are also enjoying it, especially when they see the test results," said Chambers."In General Biology alone there has been a more than 50 percent improvement in test scores. Our Principal is ecstatic.”

In North Carolina,a student has to score a level 3 (mastery of concepts) or 4 (superior understanding and clearly proficient in concept) on a statewide testing exam to be considered efficient. All classes taught by Chambers including those with EC students received 100 percent proficiency using the 3D material. In his honors class, he had 12 students score 4 in a class of 21 students. “Those types of scores are unheard of!” Chambers remarked. “Normally I’m lucky to get four or five 4’s in a class of 30 students, so the numbers speak for themselves.”

Not only does the 3D content engage students on a higher level than Chambers has ever seen, but he also feels that high level of engagement translates into greater comprehension and retention of the information presented. “Students are grasping the material much quicker than with traditional methods,” Chambers said.

Chambers noted that the 3D content is ideal for subjects like biology, where 3D content showing DNA, mitosis or cell division can help explain the concept better than a 2D picture. “Being able to fly through a cell and watch the actual process as it happens is amazing,” he said.

Where students often get restless when a video is being played, Chambers noticed the opposite effect with the presentation of 3D content. “I can hear a pin drop in the room when we’re watching a 3D video. Kids are attentive and focused and actually entertained by what they are watching. I had never seen that before,” he said.

According to Chambers, even the quality of XPAND’s active-shutter 3D technology is apparent to the students. “The kids even enjoy it more than the passive 3D they see in the movie theater,” he noted. “They recognize the difference of the active technology that XPAND 3D uses and how it eliminates strain on the eyes and headaches. I explain the differences in the technology to them and show how the light enters the eyes differently. It’s a lesson within itself.”

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