Credit to Tracy Mercier, the post was originally published on www.vr2ltch.com on July 31, 2019.
In the past, students have been able to only see and observe what others have done in augmented reality, but haven’t really been able to create and design themselves. Now, they have capabilities similar to famous directors as Steven Spielberg or George Lucas. Why hasn’t this been done before? The reason is: the underlying technology enabling these pedagogical benefits is only two years old.
by Fatih Narin, 3DBear Ambassador teacher in Hong Kong
What is 3DBear?
3DBear is an application can be downloaded from Google play or Apple store. It works on both tablet and smartphone. 3DBear is a great educational tool which utilizes augmented reality and 3D objects.
Why do I use 3DBear?
I consider 3DBear as an educational tool just like a book but different. Some abstract concepts can be explained better by using augmented reality. Addressing this point, 3D Bear fills a huge gap. Students can visualise abstract phenomena by using technology. For instance they can observe and see extinct animals. We do not need to buy e.g. VR goggles to allow kids build 3D structures. In 3DBear they can build castles, farms, or cities. They can decorate rooms, paint walls, hang frames, design furniture and so forth. Furthermore, they are able to print those works using a 3D printer. 3DBear unleashes creativity of students. They may have their own garden on their tablet or phone, plant flowers, pumpkins, and strawberries. 3DBear users may even interact with both wild and domestic animals on their own farm. This is done simply by downloading a single application.
What distinguishes 3DBear from other apps out there?
3DBear is purposefully created and designed for education. The creators of the app obviously want to address educators and students. If you enroll in the app using teacher account, you can create your own classrooms, and invite students. You can assign, follow and evaluate their work. Moreover, you get to decide whether it is ok to share the spectacular student works with other 3Dbear users.
Usually, you need to download different apps for doing different activities. However, the biggest advantage of 3DBear is that it is pedagogically adequate for your many activities and lessons. For instance, If you want to show ancient animals, you can download any AR app but that app just consists dinosaurs. To build a town, you have to download another one. However, 3D Bear replaces majority of these apps by providing a wide variety of different collections and lessons.
How does 3DBear help us to reach educational goals?
Surely, one single app cannot help teachers to cover all objectives and goals, but 3DBear encourages critical thinking, creativity, better judgement and decision making. It’s good for media literacy. It certainly helps classroom engagement and therefore management, because students are highly motivated to finish their tasks.
What are the drawbacks of 3DBear?
If teacher wants to stop students and explain an issue, it is hard to concentrate for students because they are so engaged in using the app. Moreover, some students need to be mentored in the basic use of technology (how to use ipad, how are the basic commands done). This might lead into delays in running the class.
To Sum Up,
Using technology in classroom is quite essential. Teachers, educators, and mentors should use augmented reality and virtual reality in class. These technologies unlock people’s creativity, and actually enhance classroom management. Students learn easier if they love what they are doing!
Fatih Narin, 3DBear Ambassador teacher in Hong Kong
“Where did the fox go?”, Sarah enthusiastically wondered. She stepped over to the other side of the room with the tablet in a firm grasp, followed by the rest of her group. “Ha! It’s there, at the left side on top of the bookshelf!”, Martin exclaimed as he helped her zooming in on the screen. “Let’s place him in our forest with the rest of his friends!”, Sarah concluded.
Many of us recognize the playful and creative minds of young kids in the early education. The imagination they implement in their plays and games has few limits. This mindset is an important skill in the future, and it’s a reason for us adults to encourage fun and creative activities for children where they can have an active part.
This is one of the key aspects on which the Finnish curriculum is built upon. Children's own input and motivation should be integrated in the main frame of teaching. The goals of education and learning are often vast, but do not exclude engagement, playfulness or many varieties of fun. This is why augmented reality works well with children in the early stages of education and why it is implemented in various kinds of teaching. It gives learning a purpose, because the making and all the objects are connected to the real environment.
What is the pedagogic value that augmented reality adds to our teaching? It is a critical question to ponder on when deciding to include AR in everyday classrooms. Having students exposed to new technology cannot be the sole purpose of using technology in class. The 3DBear app is designed to help kids to tap on and express their creativity and imagination. Children can, for example, learn letters and numbers better by connecting them to and viewing them in real surroundings. They can bring their own stories to life, or the other way around, be inspired to tell stories based on virtual characters they add in AR. They can even furnish the whole room or organize a treasure hunt with their friends. Everything, with a deeper purpose of learning.
3D-modelling is considered to be one of the most important future skills. The 3DBear application offers children an easy and user-friendly approach to the first steps of 3D-modelling, expanding their spatial perception and understanding, which further on can be utilized in more advanced modelling software.
Many schools and kindergartens in Finland have recognized the benefits of AR in education and the amount of users is constantly increasing. Augmented reality does not replace other methods of teaching, but can instead be innovatively combined with them. The easiest way to discover this, is simply trying it out. My best tip to all fellow teachers is to grasp the tablet, open the 3DBear app and dive into the world of AR.
Rasmus Borg, Pedagogic Specialist at 3DBear
The cool factor behind augmented reality might grab the attention of students at first glance, but can this technology really change the way students interact with content in their classroom? Making teaching and learning relevant and engaging for students can take many forms. With augmented reality in the classroom, students can bring their ideas to life and represent their thinking in new ways.
Earlier this year I shared a blog post on augmented reality and Web 3.0 featuring 3DBear. If you haven’t gotten a chance to look at their dynamic EdTech tool, I definitely recommend that you take a look. At TCEA in San Antonio last month, I sat in on a presentation where Kurt Allen from 3DBear shared the quick steps for getting started with a room full of enthusiastic educators.
Augmented Reality Lesson
So in this blog post, I wanted to spotlight an augmented reality lesson with you. It focuses on nutrition and how you can explore this topic with students of all ages. Of course, you’ll want to tailor this activity to the needs of your particular group.
One advantage of these types of augmented reality projects is that they lend themselves to cross-curricular lessons. You might make connections to other learning goals, or even speaking and listening standards. This type of exploration can happen if students work collaboratively or present what they have created to their peers or a broader audience. If students are conducting research, you might also make connections to information reading standards.
Middle School and Elementary Nutrition Lesson
In elementary or middle school, you might start with a robust discussion on nutrition. Students might watch a TED-Ed video to help answer some of their questions, or explore a curated list of articles hosted online. You can decide on the focus area or emphasis you would like to place on a specific part of a nutrition unit.
You can then have students open up the health and nutrition collection inside of 3DBear. Here they will find lots of objects that can help them create a healthy meal and an unhealthy meal. Students can “place” the objects on their desk or another surface. Then they can take a screenshot/picture or even a video with a voice-over and share what they have created with classmates.
3DBear has a teacher dashboard where you can view or share snapshots of your students’ work. If your elementary students already use a tool like Seesaw, this is a great “app smash” opportunity. They can record their voice over their picture to explain their thinking. If your middle school students use Google Classroom, they can post their image or submit it to their teacher using this platform.
High School Nutrition Lesson
At the high school level, you might have students work in small groups so they can do more analysis, research, problem solving, and iteration. One group can focus on a particular diet plan like Keto or the Mediterranean Diet. Then they can decide on a daily meal plan for someone eating within those parameters.
Students can research how their meal plans connect to a particular diet and represent best practices in healthy eating. After they have solidified their plan, students can find elements of those foods in the health and nutrition collection inside of 3DBear or Thingiverse. Alternatively, students can build them in Sketchup or Tinkercad. Teachers can even curate their own custom collection around any topic of project in Thingiverse if they would like.
After their research and 3D modeling is complete, students can create a video of the meals and share any additional conclusions. Depending on your focus area for this type of activity, you might have students report on nutritional content, caloric content, percentage of recommended dosage, and/or amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, sugar, and salt in a meal.
Design Thinking and Augmented Reality
With both of the augmented reality activity ideas explained above, you can make use of the pre-made content within 3DBear. All you have to do is use the keyword search inside the tool to find elements related to a topic. This feature is great as a support for students, or for activities that might have time constraints where they won’t have time to design their own.
One feature of 3DBear that I find particularly compelling is that instead of just searching for elements, you can add custom elements to your library. So if you’re completing a new unit on a specific topic, this can become part of the research and development portion of a unit of study. Students can create elements and add them to 3DBear. So 3DBear becomes the tool for video creation, allowing students to create for an authentic audience.
Special Offer from 3DBear
The team at 3DBear has a special offer going on right now. If you sign up for next year now, you get the rest of this year as a bonus free. If you want just want to try 3DBear with your class for 30 days, head over to their website to take advantage of their free trial and special bonus with an annual subscription!
By Monica Burns, Class Tech Tips
March 27, 2019