Engage Students in Deep Learning Across Content Areas

Problem-based learning (PBL) is a student centered method of learning and teaching where students utilize higher order thinking skills to learn by solving open-ended problems. Students develop methodological skills, critical and creative thinking and the ability to implement different types of knowledge in authentic situations.

The Center of Innovation in Research and Teaching says, “Research has consistently shown that PBL leads to higher level learning and thinking and improves problem-solving abilities.”

Creation of Augmented Reality scenes is a perfect conduit for PBL; students are motivated and engaged when creating in AR.

3DBear has been used for PBL in STEAM, STEM, Science, ELA, Language Learning, SEL, Math, Social Studies, Art, History. Below are some examples.

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Susan Sclafani, is a teacher/librarian and hear of Project-Based Learning at Oregon Middle School in NY. She has used PBL effectively in numerous subjects. Her students read The Diary of Anne Frank, the touching story of a young Jewish girl hiding fro the horrors of Nazi occupation in a small attic in Amsterdam, and her students did some research into what the attic looked like, dimensions of the room, the types of furniture and number of people in the room. In the end, students recreated the scene. Read more about her experiences here and here.
In Espoo, Finland students redesigned a subway station using Augmented Reality. This was a pioneering effort by the several departments at the city of Espoo. Students use metro every day in the capital region of Finland to commute and travel to hobbies. Rarely do we have the ability to engage these children directly in the design of their built environment. Let alone that such designs would actually have an impact. Read more to see how this ground breaking PBL initiative progressed and about its amazing results here.

Dr. Monica Burns’ ideas about using AR and design thinking for “Bringing nutrition to life”.

You can make use of the pre-made content within 3DBear for your problem-based learning project or design thinking project. All you have to do is use the keyword search inside the tool to find elements related to a topic. Its great support for students and activities that might have time constraints where they won’t have time to design their own.

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Watch a video by Katie, 9 years about redesigning learning space. This is one of the most powerful and easy use cases to get started with PBL and AR. Even a young child can complete this task. Some students have difficulties with understanding 3D perception, but anybody can visualise their own room or class room and have motivation in how to improve it.

Here you can read about the experiences from a forerunner city Kaarina, Finland and how they have tapped into the power of AR and allowed students to redesign entire school interiors.


Augmented Reality (AR) is a perfect complement to PBL.

Augmented reality, 3D-modelling and 3D printing will be used widely in education in the years to come. Students design, share and create collaboratively. They are ideal for teaching higher order skills, 21st century skills, computational thinking and design thinking. Read about experiences by Vicki Davis in using AR here.

According to learning theories such as Bloom taxonomy, remembering individual facts or numbers is the lowest level of learning. Highest level of learning is creativity. Creating a video / a short story in AR is fantastically effective and engaging way to learn even complex topics.

Just download the app and give it a go!

  • You only need a smartphone or tablet

  • Designing a scene takes less than a minute

  • You get instant access to our library of lessons

  • Empowers visual and kinesthetic learners

  • Creation is the highest form of learning

  • Students are deeply engaged

  • Meet preK and K-12 standards

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SUSAN SCLAFANI, Librarian at Oregon Middle School, Medford, NY.

"For three hours to keep middle school students focused is quite impressive. A wonderful learning experience for my students. They were so excited and engaged!"

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"3DBear allows our students to be the masters of their own digital universe."

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MARIALICE CURRAN, Founder, Executive Director, Digital Citizenship Institute

“What I really like about 3DBear is the opportunity to add layers of opportunities for all learners to be content creators, to solve real problems in local, global, and digital communities through augmented reality.”

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"Students could reenact historical scenes in the social studies classroom or tell a story based on a book they’ve read."

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