Sensavis Promotes Student Activation

The screen-time debate seems to be growing louder each passing day, the concern that too much screen time in schools and homes may be damaging to children. But there is a successful way to soundly remedy this alarming concern.

Ample screen time is rarely viewed as problematic in education when students are creating and demonstrating their knowledge using innovative display technologies. What worries many pediatricians, parents, and teachers is when the children are passively absorbing nothing more than pap from a screen.

Sensavis Payoff GreenEnter Sensavis, the Swedish company that helped launch the stereo 3D visualization and simulation movement in schools almost a decade ago. Listening to the market, several years ago, they began to shift their focus from passive visualization models to what we call constructionism, its more interactive cousin in the passive visualization arena.

Using this new twist, Fredrik Olofsson, the CEO of Stockholm-based Sensavis, has been able to ‘weaponize’ his stout array of 3D visualization and simulation videos/animations in the hands of students. “We wanted to find ways to allow for students to improve their digital know-how and learning by creating videos using our content, while adding the students’ own voice, text, and visual annotations”, he explained. As an example, see this project by a student at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile, Alabama:

Olofsson’s constructionist urgings are quite in tune with what’s currently trending in education. Active student learning is increasingly a priority at every grade level. Olofsson confessed, “as we continue to listen to the market and try to understand the most urgent needs, we have learned that student activation using digital tools is high up on the priority list.” By that, he recognizes the burgeoning role of students as creators of knowledge, not just recipients. Sensavis has seen this concept surge in schools and sales. To this end, Sensavis has also produced two free online courses for teachers to better understand the value of visualization and digital storytelling in the classroom:


As an aside, Sensavis’ Olofsson also issued a long expected announcement about the firm’s visualization products for education: “As you know we’ve been focusing on the Microsoft platform since we started our journey within education. But we are currently working on having an iOS version of Sensavis Visual Learning Tool available in February“. Given the number of iPads in schools, that’s smart business sense.

Active learning using digital resources is well supported in research and in the literature, as evidenced by this article from the Stanford Graduate School of Education: . Can Sensavis’ visualization, inking and digital storytelling acumen help soften the screen-time debate? As I said before, the answer is likely ‘yes’–active constructionist learning easily trumps the worrywart. –Len Scrogan