Educational 3D Bits and Bytes

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It seems there is no let up in the rain here in Colorado during our ‘monsoon’ season, but at least the landscape is in full bloom with beautiful hues of green. Events and developments in educational 3D also seem to be blooming at a healthy pace. Here’s some rapid-fire news from the educational 3D world:

Products and Developments

News from Presente3D. Presente3D sells the best 3D PowerPoint plug-in I have seen on the market, and
now they have raised the ante. Or should I say, lowered the ante? They have lowered their plug-in product Presente PICcost to $9.95 per user for the education market. See this announcement. Dennis Cafiero, the company president, noticed a tripled uptick on purchases with the lowered price: “What I noticed was when people were buying it at this [price] level, the average user was buying for 3 PC’s”. Frankly, this goes a long way to solve the problem of multiple user acquisition in cash-strapped schools. 3D costs are too high for education customers, and this is one of the first of many manufacturers I now see going for the advantages of volume purchasing. Smart move. Presente3D will also be releasing a 3D video player and image converter in the near future.

News from Sensavis. Sensavis, the creator of the unique educational product “The 3D Classroom,” together with partner Ed10x, has secured the first school district in the US to implement The 3D Classroom with services and video rights for “flipped instruction” in all their schools. (The 3D Classroom is an intuitive and interactive 3D educational visualization tool which allows the teacher to explain complex and abstract subjects to students in a simple, visual, and understandable way.)

The Lincoln County School District in Southeastern Nevada will now be able to produce its own professional development videos with high quality content based on The 3D Classroom, on its own terms. With this district-wide licensing, teachers can share their best videos to their students working with “flipped classroom”, prepare substitute teachers with lesson resources in an instant, and as well as support students with personalized tutoring videos for class. “Lincoln County School District is energized and thrilled to partner with Sensavis. and provide our teachers the opportunity to incorporate an interactive 3D Classroom curriculum resource into their instructional strategies,” says Steve Hansen, Superintendent for Lincoln County School District. Fredrik Olofsson, CEO for Sensavis AB, the Swedish-based parent company of Sensavis, adds: “The 3D Classroom brings to Lincoln County School District a state of the art teaching tool that will enable students to grasp hard to understand concepts through stunning visuals”. Tiffany Kelly, CEO of Ed10x , explains: “It takes our Professional Development initiatives to another dimension… it fulfils one of our goals of capturing the students in those first few minutes of each lesson with technology enriched teaching methods”. She adds: “Ed10x will also be working with Sensavis to develop a video lesson library and a peer to peer video library”.

[Thoughts from Len] Can you see a trend here? Again, we are beginning to rightly move away from the pondering and onerous seat pricing model that has so plagued 3D in education to date.

News from Outer zSpace. Talk about smart moves. zSpace has been wisely cozying up with symbiotic partners and pursuing powerful use cases. Their recent partnership with the Living Heart Project, a collaboration to develop and validate personalized digital human heart models and establish a unified foundation for cardiovascular medicine is sure to turn the heads of both the medical community and medical educators.

3D Model Creation Using Smartphones. Carnegie Mellon University researchers in Pittsburgh have successfully explored the use of ordinary smartphones as scanning devices for the creation of 3D models. Lots of implications here for education. See this link for more information.


A New 3D Design Contest in the Planning. The huge Texas Computer Educators Association (TCEA) recently approved the formation of a 3D design contest for students to be held in 2016. The contest will have students design a solution to a given problem using 3D drawing software such as SketchUp Pro, which is provided free to TCEA members. More details about the contest will be available after the July.

K-12 3D Innovation Summit Held. An Innovation Summit recently held in Cary, North Carolina drew a lot of attention. This event was a gathering of 3D industry professionals, K-12 policy makers, administrators, teachers, and students from around the state. See this clip for a quick video tour.

VREP Showcase Feted. The 6th Annual Iowa VREP Showcase was recently held, featuring Albert Kim, the CEO of DoubleMe, as a keynote speaker. The event focused on 3D animation, video and printing contests, with scholarships at stake.

[Thoughts from Len] Now if you wonder why the above three entries are listed at this point in this article, I am trying to make a point. Can you see the trend taking shape here?

New L.A. VR and Immersive Technology Meetups Announced. A recurring series of meetups for 3D VR and immersive technology enthusiasts has been scheduled by none other than the Creative Technology Center‘s founder (and Iggy Pop rock star), Michael Page. I mention this here because I have met a large number of these folks, and they are deeply interested and committed to 3D in education. It’s a good group to get to know, if you find yourself in Hollywood. Here’s the info on the meetups.

Learning about 3D

A New Book on 3D. Miriam Ross, one of the brightest people I have met online, has released a new book that translates well for 3D enthusiasts and can benefit educators as well. It is entitled 3D Cinema: Optical Illusions and Tactile Experiences. She always has smart things to say. According to Dr. Ross, the book is a bit different from many of the books that have already been published on 3D based because it is rooted in Humanities theoretical analysis. See these preview pages.

A Useful 3D Knowledge Collector Site. David Briggs, the co-founder of the Neo3do autostereoscopic 3D tablet, purchased and now runs an informative website on all things 3D, 3D Focus. It’s a good place for educators to learn what’s happening in the broader 3D world. – Len Scrogan