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Education Media United Kingdom Build Science

Put On Your 3D Glasses — Class Is About To Start 80

Posted by timothy
from the smell-o-vision-also-very-valuable dept.
First time accepted submitter sydneyhype writes "Seven schools across Europe have been testing the effectiveness of 3D learning tools — specifically 3D projections of body organs in biology class. A study found test results jumped up by 17%. Prof Bamford says, 'Children can see how things function. Instead of learning about the heart statically they can see it in a solid way, literally see blood passing through the valves, see exchange of oxygen, rotate it, tilt it and zoom in.'"
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Put On Your 3D Glasses — Class Is About To Start

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  • Novelty. (Score:5, Informative)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @05:26PM (#37560560) Journal

    Anything significantly different from what people are used to will have this effect because things that are novel tend to capture people's attention.

    In twenty years, when everybody has a 3D TV set, I doubt it will have nearly the same effect.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      Anything significantly different from what people are used to will have this effect because things that are novel tend to capture people's attention.

      In twenty years, when everybody has a 3D TV set, I doubt it will have nearly the same effect.

      I don't think the first few times I sat in a computer lab the presence of computers helped me in the study of the subject - I was too distracted, trying to figure out what made them tick and how I could make my own applications and stuff.

      Anecdotal, but I still feel your theory isn't more than than a theory.

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        Sitting in a lab isn't the same thing as directed instruction.

        When I was in elementary school, educational games were the new "cool" way to teach, and teachers deployed them. The kids found them were fun and exciting at first, but after a few years, everybody just wanted to play Oregon Trail. It lost a lot of its power to captivate when people got used to it.

        YMMV.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          It lost a lot of its power to captivate when people got used to it.

          Oregon trail was as good as most commercial games of the day. No one has made an "A" grade educational game since the Carmen Sandiego series was state of the art. It's been a long time.

          • by tepples (727027)

            No one has made an "A" grade educational game since the Carmen Sandiego series

            Civilization series?

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              That's kind of educational, I guess. I've only recently got Civ IV, so now I can comment on more of the series. I regularly played 2 until I got IV, used to play the original a lot, have been playing IV plenty, and played the board game related by name and background concept once :)

    • by skids (119237)

      Well, there's an argument to be made that more realistic visualizations have their own merit. So we'll see whether there is a retained effect after the first generation of kids who grew up with 3D TVs arrives.

    • Are you NUTS? A full 3D course work for biology, MATH (did i say MATH, not LOUD ENOUGH!), geology, etc. would be awesome! You're quite the curmudgeon, and, I suppose, unaware that for some people, a picture is worth a thousand words.
      • Are you NUTS? A full 3D course work for biology, MATH (did i say MATH, not LOUD ENOUGH!), geology, etc. would be awesome! You're quite the curmudgeon, and, I suppose, unaware that for some people, a picture is worth a thousand words.

        Back in school I took a geology sequence, and one of the aids we used were these stereoscopic maps. 'Course you had to lay the maps flat, position a viewer over the top,& for some of the students it wouldn't work - but when it finally popped it could be quite useful, if one were viewing unvisited terrain. Also, just made the course more interesting, and full-bodied.

    • by copponex (13876)

      This is not the same thing. It's the difference between trying to learn how to change an oil filter by looking at a series of pictures of an engine, versus looking at the engine itself.

      To put it in another way, if a picture is worth a thousand words, a three dimensional moving model is worth a thousand pictures.

      • But you're not giving them the engine, you're still giving them an image albeit a 3D one.
        Is there any reason we can't give the students a physical rock, a real fossil, get them to do a dissection?

        As a teacher, I'm concerned that computer technology is being used to replace real experiences in schools, rather than supplement them. And I'm in my 30's and a Linux user, so it's not because I dislike technology or anything like that. It's just every time a new piece of software shows up, I've noticed a tendency

    • by Twinbee (767046)

      Possibly. Or instead it could just be more fun, and information is clearer in a 3D format (as it often is when presented in stereo generally).

      Make classes entertaining, exciting and involving, and kids will want to learn more.

      • Yeeeessss. But as dgatwood pointed out, any new and novel technology will become old and boring given enough time. Using multiple teaching technologies and experiences will counteract this, but at some point kids will have to bear down and learn something they find dull. (Especially when they're learning basic skills for a topic.)
        I agree that a good teacher tries to make a class exciting as possible, but I've noticed more and more kids expect to be entertained at school rather than taught.

        http://www.google. [google.com]

    • by Beorytis (1014777)

      Anything significantly different from what people are used to will have this effect because things that are novel tend to capture people's attention.

      Maybe a bit of the Hawthorne Effect [wikipedia.org] too?

    • I disagree. This is about visualization of 3D objects students are traditionally forced to study using 2D illustrations and text descriptions. Allowing them to see something like a human heart from every angle as it operates is a killer application. Your argument is similar to saying that showing kids color images over black and white will lose its effectiveness because color is just a fad. The better we can visualize things the easier they are to comprehend. Finally, a real use for 3D!

      • I think that examining other advanced visualizations such as real MRI and CAT scans would be interesting to any audience as well.

      • Or you can give them a real heart to dissect!!! Gaaaahhhhh.

        • Not as good. As the article points out, the benefit is in showing the students a working heart. Typically they're not as functional by the time they hit the dissection table.

          • Yes but you can't touch a 3D visualisation, so things like "the aorta is made of elastic connective tissue to help it deal with the high blood pressure from the heart" doesn't have the immediacy of feeling it stretch like a rubber band. If you see a couple of posts above, you will see that my objection is not with the use of 3d visualisations, but with the replacement of hands-on activities.

            • I get your point; hands-on is always the best when possible. However, resources are a consideration; real hearts aren't always available. Also, the heart is only one example. What about in the macro? Architecture, geography, astronomy. There are a ton of applications where hands-on isn't just impractical, it's impossible.

              • However, resources are a consideration; real hearts aren't always available.

                Yeah, but as a teacher, I find that schools and districts use this as an excuse to cut resources. "Real hearts are better, but we've got this 3D simulation which is almost as good, so why should we use hearts any way?" And if the 3D software is commercial, the conversation becomes "Well we've paid for this software's annual license out of our budget, we'll have to cut back on photocopying, etc." Don't get me started on the $2000 solutions to $200 problems. (Interactive whiteboards and projector as opposed

    • Going along the same meme I think examining real imaging(with explanations) of the human body such as MRI and CAT scans would be a fascinating for any audience and a great learning tool.

  • Surprise (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This sort of experiment is a classic for the Hawthorne Effect [wikipedia.org]. Excited children having a chance to try out the latest technology... of course their test results went up.

  • The article mentions that test scores went up and suggested that it was due to improved concentration. In other words, the children were probably more engaged in class due to the novelty of the technology.

    They would probably find similar results if they replaced the regular classroom teacher with a guest speaker for a week or incorporated a variety of instructional strategies (i.e. going beyond the traditional reading, problem solving, and chalk & talk). Oh, and those instructional strategies wouldn't

  • Shouldn't we be focusing more on the possible health effects of 3d tech before we start teaching kids with it?

    • Re:Just a thought (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MidnightBrewer (97195) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @08:57PM (#37562196)

      Optometrists have already said that children below the age of five may be at risk if they use 3D for several hours a day non-stop, because their true depth perception is still developing. After that age, however, the risks are slight to none. As someone who has no depth perception, I've had the reasons why explained to me pretty thoroughly.

      • As someone who has no depth perception, I've had the reasons why explained to me pretty thoroughly.

        Agent 1BDI, is that you?!

      • There are already studies blaming near-sightedness on children not spending enough time outdoors.

  • We just need to give students real, live human hearts to study. MWUAHAHAHAA!!
  • by skine (1524819) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @05:38PM (#37560702)

    But I'm fairly certain that school boards will expect all teachers to find uses for it.

  • 17% improvement would have been 25% but the couple of kids who got a splitting headache bombed out on the test.

  • I'm pretty sure that dissecting a model organism is even more engaging, and quite possibly less expensive, than this "3D"nonsense... I for one would certainly want my hypothetical surgeon to be elbow deep in a variety of actual dissections before getting to me...
    • I don't think I'd want kids operating on me no matter how many times they've been elbow deep in a variety of actual dissections.

    • They could just do a survivor game out of it. Every semester the kids get to vote which one of them should be dissected. I mean school is already a popularity contest, so why not make it official? Btw, this is probably one of those times my sig really needs to be considered.
  • I was pulling a low C in calculus until I had that moment .. the one where I visualised the volume of a circle of a certain radius, rotated around another radius, forming the inside of a torus. At that moment I realised Calculus was easy and I had been making hard work of it by trying to memorise every rule or theorem without understanding their applications. Pulled that grade up into an A and sailed merrily along the seas of math thereafter.

    I certainly can appreciate how observing something animated in

    • The 2 biggest barriers to kids using computers is:

      A) Typing speed

      and B) Special input characters.

      Kids generally can't type quickly. Until kids learn qwerty and have a normal typing speed, it is usually hunt and peck. A kid can write with their hand much faster until their typing speed changes. Unfortunately it isn't really possible to decide /when/ that is because it changes depending on the kid.

      And input often isn't coded correctly. For example, on a question asking who the first president
      • by Hentes (2461350)
        Kids type slowly because they aren't taught to type. After you learn it, typing is way faster and more correct then writing. This is why it's so sad that children still get wasted years of their lives by forced to learn cursive (a torture to a lot of them) wich they will never use outside of school, instead of using that time to teach them to type properly that they will have to use everyday. I don't understand why do you think that moving from paper to digital would mean that teachers are also replaced by
        • by Belial6 (794905)
          Bingo. There was not a singe day of my child's life that he could write faster than he could type. Sure he is only 7, but his typing is increasing in speed faster than his writing. While the numbers don't seem to be authoritative, it seems that most people fall somewhere between 14 and 30 wpm for writing with a pen. At 20 wpm, my son is already as fast a typist as a good portion of the adult population is at writing. By the time he gets to 20 wpm writing, it is likely that he will already be typing fas
    • by jezwel (2451108)
      I had the exact same conceptual epiphany on a different subject (some structural analysis thing about bending moments and external forces), however it was years after I failed the subject twice and went on a different track so I wasn't kicked out of university.

      Each person learns things differently - I would guess that the increase was due not just to the novelty of the interface, but also that those unable to understand the concepts of what was taught using traditional methods were able to understand usin

  • I had a 3D class room back in the 90s.

    Back then we learnt about the human body by looking at a 3D model skeleton which could be disassembled organ by organ. Need more detail and want to know how a heart works, well grab a sheep's heart and a knife and get cutting.

    Still not good enough? I spent my university life and now my real life working with highly complicated 3D models for production and I don't think I've ever once thought that it would benefit from having depth on screen. The human brain has a remar

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      We had a 3D heart model back in the 60s & 70s & 80s. You could hold it and take it apart and throw it to your friends when the teacher wasn't looking.

  • I have found the same thing is true about math. If I can see how an equation or function performs in action I "get it" instantly. Staring at someone trying to "explain" it with practice stifled by numerous barriers often discourage many. Animated or life-like modeling will help any learning endeavor.
  • I miss my old Revell see-thru plastic human body model.
    Great for ripping the guts out and putting them back in!
  • James Cameron believes that 3D aids in memory creation. He stated that “ 3D is so close to a real experience that it actually triggers memory creation in a way that 2D viewing doesn’t.” An Advertising study showed approx. the same increased retention in relation to 3D advertising.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/19/idUS209878+19-May-2011+MW20110519 [reuters.com]

    I don't doubt that it can help education.
  • by raaum (152451) on Thursday September 29, 2011 @07:29PM (#37561650) Homepage

    It's hardly surprising that the study found such an amazing effect, since any study that did not would never have been released to the public.

    "The study, conducted by researchers from the International Research Agency on behalf of Texas Instruments" was destined to find that Texas Instruments 3D tools are amazing. What's left unsaid is that the 30 other studies that TI funded didn't find any effect.

  • Does anyone else here remember "3D Body Adventure" for DOS?
  • My school (Lansing Community College) has a 3D learning lab. It's actually really cool, but I never have a reason to be in there. D:
  • Who finds it strange that you need stereoscopic vision goggles to look at what basicly is a 3D mesh of a human heart displayed on a 2D-screen? What's everyone so riled up about? Liek, srsly...

    • And why do we need the expensive circularly polarised goggles. Is there a reason we can't use Red/Blue glasses and images? Then we can print them out in books, put them up on normal TV, computer screens and projectors.

  • Since we are getting academic here, can we be serious and call it stereoscopic? - unless it really is a hologram.

    And isn't the 3D-glasses fad a bit lame compared to the virtual-reality fad we had back in the 90's?
    Back then you got to put on a headset and walk around in a 3D environment, - WAY more cool than just looking at a stereoscopic TV.
    What ever happened to VR?

  • So now kids wont have to lie when they say 'school makes me sick'.

  • The Jocks shall finally Rise Again!

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