Today we, students in English school Helsinki, worked collaboratively with a school in US, Oregon Middle school, to create a colony on Mars using 3DBear AR application. After arriving at Valimotie, we formed groups of 4-6. We spent time getting familiar with the 3DBear AR. 3DBear AR is an innovative learning application that allows users to build Augmented Reality scenes using virtual 3D models and their surroundings. It adaptably allows educators to teach various content in any grade level and any subject using Augmented Reality, 3D-printing and 21st century skills.
After getting familiar with the app we called the Oregon Middle School. We were given a copy sheet about Mars. After working on the copy sheet we shared our answers with the students of Oregon Middle school. Then we researched about Mars on iPads.
We started creating our own colonies on Mars using 3DBear AR.
At the end of the session we shared our Mars colonies that we’d
been working on, with the students from Oregon Middle school.
We ended up telling about the things we like. The students from Oregon Middle school liked many same things as us.
It was amazing working and sharing our Mars colonies with the students from Oregon Middle school. This was also an amazing opportunity to work with another school.
Thank you Oregon Middle school! This was really fun!
Our teacher Leena Liimatainen comments: It is thrilling to see pupils meet with children from the other side of the globe. They started instantly solving problems that starting a settlement on Mars would bring and creating fantastic solutions for them. We witnessed active group work and communication both in the groups and with our partner Oregon MS on Long Island. This is how it feels to hold future in your hands!
Anni and Zixin from English School, Helsinki
How 3DBear AR Helps Prepare Students for 21st Century
In today’s world of education, there have been a plethora of discussions about 21st Century Skills, and how important it is to have our students equipped with them. In Finland, these skills are called Transversal Competencies, which particularly focus on the competences that cross the boundaries of individual subjects and aim to link different fields of knowledge and skills. But no matter it’s 21st Century Skills or Transversal Competencies, they can be all boiled down to a group of words known as “4C Basic Skills”, i.e. creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration.
21st Century Competencies/Transversal Competencies
4C Basic Skills
At 3DBear, we believe that Augmented Reality and 3D-printing are beneficial in helping students develop these essential new basics. Here are how 3DBear AR makes them happen:
3DBear AR empowers student-centered learning process. Students are the owners of their learning, they are free to decide how they would like to complete the learning tasks. All of our lesson plans provide open-ended design challenges, and there are multiple ways to approach to these challenges. During the class, students are encouraged to brainstorm as many ideas as they can before choosing one as their ultimate solution.
The learning content of 3DBear AR lessons are interdisciplinary, which demand students to look at problems from different angles. In order to make smart decisions, students need to make connections to multiple subjects and ideas. For example, the Redesign Your School lesson presents students with a real-world scenario and ask them to identify possible issues or problems in their surroundings. By posing students as problem explorers, we are actually encouraging them to think critically while identifying needs and opportunities from different perspectives.
3DBear AR allows users to communicate themselves in a visual way, students can share their thoughts, ideas, solutions and creations using Augmented Reality. We are especially proud of the fact that the app is such a powerful tool for students who are not good at expressing themselves verbally. In the majority of our lesson plans, we have included various activities that require students to show their understanding of a concept or idea using AR, then engage them into discussions to further enhance the learning process.
3DBear AR aims at creating a shared classroom. All of the class activities invite students to work together in achieving shared goals. When students work in teams, they learn to collaborate, negotiate, and resolve conflicts. These skills support their social and emotional development and prepare them for the success in future workplace and life in general.
A classroom in the U.S. where the students are using 3DBear AR to restore a virtual Machu Picchu.
In addition to the “4C Basic Skills”, 3DBear AR is a good medium in assisting students developing ICT competence. Through the different lessons, students will get familiar with the emerging technologies like AR and 3D-printing; also the use of digital devices creates many opportunities for students to make their own thoughts and ideas visible in unique ways, thus developing their thinking and learning-to-learn skills.
From a bigger picture, it’s not about math, science or languages, 3DBear cares more about our students grow as a human being, cultivate their necessary skills for building a sustainable future.
Co-written by Maria Muuri and Junyi Sun, Education Lead and Pedagogy Specialist at 3DBear