Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Exploring the Dimensions of Classroom Teaching: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Exploring the Dimensions of Classroom Teaching: News

Article excerpt

Can 3D technology in schools enhance the learning experience?

So you think your interactive whiteboard is clever? Think again. The newest technology in the classroom is urging teachers to think of using images that fly off the board - in 3D.

The use of 3D technology in the classroom can inspire pupils and teachers, new research has claimed. Science lessons in particular benefit from pupils being able to see things they are learning about - such as plant structures - right in front of them, rather than trying to imagine them from drawings.

And the advantage of a virtual model over a real one is that hundreds can be called up and manipulated. It is not just the microscopic world that can be visualised; the technology could help pupils learn about astronomy or earth sciences.

Professor Anne Bamford of the University of the Arts, London, who carried out research into 3D learning, will be talking about her findings at the BETT education technology show in London's Olympia next week.

She led the study, funded by educational manufacturer Texas Instruments, which looked into the effectiveness of including 3D content in lessons in 15 schools across seven countries.

Her paper found that the main factor was an increase in attentiveness, not just during the 3D part of the lesson but also afterwards. One teacher in the study, entitled The 3D in Education White Paper, said: "In class with 3D you have the 'wow' effect. This helps with behaviour. The pupils are too interested to be disruptive. They get involved and forget to be naughty."

The study was carried out by having one class in each school learning science in the usual way and another class with the same instruction but with 3D resources being used.

Professor Bamford, an expert on creative education, compared pupils aged 10-13 and found that 3D education can help children remember and learn new concepts. …

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