Should classrooms embrace 3D technology?
Square roots flying at them during Maths lessons, solar systems orbiting their brain during Science – how better to get kids involved than by jumping on the 3D bandwagon? A recent study found that students remember more after, and behave better, during 3D lessons; but how feasible and desirable is 3D technology in classrooms, and who cleans up the popcorn afterwards?
It’s important for students to conduct ‘hands on’ learning but one area has always aroused controversy: dissection. Here 3D technology would alleviate health and safety and animal cruelty concerns. It would also help keep the more squeamish pupils engaged rather than tearful.
As for applying the technology beyond Science? History could be brought to life, there could be journeys to the centre of the earth in Geography, Macbeth’s bloody hands could wrung right before the eyes of an English class. As a Drama and Media teacher I’m especially torn. I can see 3D experiences keeping students on their toes, I’m ready to embrace new technology, but I’m also a fan of using your imagination.
Some teachers argue that uses for 3D technology are currently limited, making the investment difficult to justify. Whilst a 3D projector, which can also operate as a 2D projector, doesn’t have to cost more, upgrades aren’t in many schools’ budgets, plus software and specialist 3D glasses drive up costs.
Critics have been quick to suggest that is was novelty rather than technology that increased engagement and improved behaviour. Once 3D technology becomes the norm, could students become immune to 3D? I’d hate to imagine what a 4D dissection would involve.