3D Gives Talking Heads a New Dimension

Photo credit: Eon Reality

BY JAN CRITTENDEN LIVINGSTON AND MICHAEL BERGERON

Last week, Beloit College (Milwaukee, WI) released its annual Mindset List for the “Internet Class” of 2015. Since 1998, the list provides a humorous look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college in the Fall. Unintentionally, the list has become a national phenomenon, triggering parents and those with a nostalgic-bone to wonder where all the years have gone.

But, a closer look at this year’s list reveals the dramatic role technology has and will play on shaping our nation’s bright young minds. This class not only grew up with the Internet, they’ve not known life without it.  For this generation, there’s no concept of a blackboard in a chalkless classroom and education has to be more than a “talking head.”

Education has changed and will continue to change. Technology will continue to drive this change as educators seek new ways to engage increasingly distracted students.

Panasonic is working with colleges and universities to determine applications for the use of 3D in the classroom. Our 3D media and production equipment, combined with our 3D Projection System and displays provide a unique offering for educators looking to create and exhibit 3D content in a learning environment. 3D enables institutions to create more immersive, active learning environments. Instead of looking at flat images of Tutankhamen’s tomb or the interior of the Titanic, why not take a walk through a virtual environment? Or, teach music or how to administer an IV in a new way through the addition of depth and perspective? 3D opens up new opportunities for educational content creators to imagine innovative ways for simulation-based learning. Who knows 3D may train the next Doctor. In fact, it already is.

Findings from pilot research initiatives support the benefits of 3D in the classroom. Earlier this year, Panasonic Partner, Texas Instruments, rolled out 3D simulations for curricula across Illinois. Students in Rock Island, Ill., wore special 3D glasses as a teacher began her lesson on the anatomy of the inner ear. The teacher “disassembled” the components of the inner ear, while her students, rapt in attention grasped at the hammer, anvil, and stirrup. Far from a gimmick, the enhanced material led to measurable improvements in student performance. The delta between pre- and post-lesson tests was impressive. The group that received its lesson in 3D saw a 35-percent increase in test score performance from the control group.

The research community has also countered some misconceptions that 3D in the classroom is not safe. This month, the American Optometric Association came out in support of 3D in the Classroom publishing a report that found focus, attention span, retention, classroom behavior, and achievement all improved via the use of 3D.

Education is one area where we’ll start to see 3D impact our everyday lives. Where else do you think 3D will have an impact on society? Let us know by submitting a comment.