Should We Be Thinking about 3D Devices and Services for the Classroom?

  • Market research firm Pacific Media Associates estimates that approximately 185,000 3D-ready projectors will be sold to U.S. schools (grades K-12) this year, which would be more than double the number sold last year.
  • “Schools are trying to keep up with the multiplex, keen to find ways to engage students in an age of 3D movies and gadgets that make traditional classroom materials look dated,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “And the technology and equipment makers are eager to create a new market for their 3D products.”
  • Teachers who are 3D proponents find that introducing 3D experiences in the classroom are beneficial in explaining a wide range of topics from understanding what cartilage in a skeletal system looks like to how math works in real life. “You don’t want to turn away because you don’t want to miss anything,” said one middle school student of the approach.
  • It should came as no surprise that younger generations are drawn to 3D, the iPad and mobile devices, but despite new technologies interactive teaching techniques remain the key. This makes 3D technology different in the classroom than it is in the multiplex. “Anyone can watch 3D, but you need to interact with it to really learn,” says James Mayrose, associate professor at Buffalo State College and chief executive of Tactus Technologies Inc., a company that offers a 3D dissectible-frog program.
  • Early studies indicate 3D projection dramatically increases test scores, and it is interesting to note that, unlike TVs, many 3D-ready projectors typically cost the same as regular projectors ($600-800).
  • According to WSJ, some schools are evaluating budgets while some are “waiting for more 3D materials that are in compliance with testing and graduation standards.” The article also points out that “few if any of the leading academic publishers, including Pearson PLC and McGraw-Hill Cos., have created their own stereoscopic course material, but Texas Instruments’ DLP says it is currently in discussions with various publishers.”
  • ETCentric staffer Phil Lelyveld suggests this is a potentially huge market for monetization and marketing opportunities.