Take the 3D Test

Educators and non-educators alike are significantly confused about 3D. That's because several technologies in schools and the consumer marketplace use the 3D moniker. There are two chief types of three-dimensional experience that are often mistaken for each other Stereoscopic and Virtual.

WHAT IS EDUCATIONAL 3D?
Stereoscopic 3D This involves images or experiences that visually seem to extend forward and backward away from the screen into the audience, or "audience space," and deep into the background of the screen, or the "screen space." Examples include the film Avatar, other 3D Hollywood and IMAX movies, the newly announced 3D television, and 3D educational content providers.

Virtual 3D This involves images or experiences that are two-dimensional yet 3D-like, but that do not perceptibly extend away from the plane of the screen. Examples include Google Earth; 3D CAD, or design software; 3D visualization tools; and the Winter Olympics' 3D tour. These are all examples of virtual or pseudo 3D.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO RUN 3D IN MY CLASSROOM OR TRAINING ROOM?
Creating a 3D educational experience in the classroom requires some specific resources. Although the requirements for the 3D classroom are constantly evolving because of rapid technological advancements, the basic building blocks, for now, include the following
• A high-end laptop with a 3D-capable graphics card able to run OpenGL and/or DirectX stereo applications
• 3D glasses (active glasses are required, although this may change to passive glasses as this technology continues to evolve)
• 3D stereoscopic content
Please note Any 3D projector or system can also run ordinary two-dimensional classroom resources.


3D DEFINITIONS
3D CONTENT CREATION The enabling of students, using appropriate 3D camera technology and programming skills, to produce their own 3D video segments, learning objects, microsimulations, and interactive simulations.

3D INTERACTIVE SIMULATION
An interactive experience that imitates, models, or replicates more complex phenomena; learners can be in places they normally cannot be, can change variables, explore the simulated environment, and engage in a "discovery" journey with a concrete end in mind.

3D LEARNING OBJECTS
A large library of easily accessible 3D objects and models (e.g., the solar system, DNA, atomic particles, geometric shapes, landforms, maps); these objects may be easily shown, rotated, and labeled.

3D MICROSIMULATION
A short, interactive simulation of an object, process, or phenomenon; interactivity implies the ability to manipulate, change, vary, layer, and/or simulate; in essence, a learning object with a limited degree of built-in interactivity.

3D MOVIE
A full-length 3D movie, video short, or video segment also recently available, but the cost differential favors the projector, for now.

3D CONTENT PROVIDERS
While some of these providers are geared for K-12, they have relevance for the higher education marketplace, teacher training, and government simulation training.

AMAZING INTERACTIVES
Producing 3D video segments and learning objects along with tools for student-created content. Visit amazing-int.com

CYBER-ANATOMY

Producing 3D learning objects, microsimulations, and simulations in the area of science. Visit cyberscience3d.com

DESIGN MATE

Producing A collection of 250 3D video segments (2-6 minutes in length) and learning objects and 100 interactive simulations. Visit designmate.com.

JTM CONCEPTS
Producing 3D learning objects, micro-simulations, and simulations. Visit jtmconcepts.com/3d_class_imagegallery.cfm.

K2
Producing 3D educational movies. Visit k2communications.com

NAVTECH
Producing 3D learning objects and microsimulations and featuring a student-created-content component. Visit designmate.com .

NEOTEK
Producing 3D video segments, learning objects, microsimulations, and simulations. Visit neotek.com/Educational_Titles.htm.

PASSMORE LABS
Producing 3D video documentaries, such as The Physics of Surfing and Microworlds. Visit passmorelab.com

Courtesy of Tech&Learning