Web 3D for Education


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Presentation from the Industry Track at the Web3D Conference, co-located with SIGGRAPH 2014. We discuss the challenges of delivering engaging learning materials, and how interactive 3D content on the web can help.

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Web 3D for Education

  1. 1. Web 3D for Education Ian Kerr! Senior 3D Developer, Verold! Do you know who this is? Bill Nye “the Science Guy” makes learning science fun by engaging and entertaining his audience. Why?! ! How?! ! Examples... Why use Web 3D for education? How can you build interactive, engaging Web 3D apps?
  2. 2. Many of us were educated in the pencil and paper, chalk and chalkboard, era… Today, children grow up with smartphones, tablets and the Internet. They are increasingly technologically-literate, and expect their education to be delivered on devices they are familiar with, while being interactive and engaging. Studies have shown that interactive learning modules can: ! ! " Help understanding (Bliwise, 2005; Morris, 2001; Shute & Gawlick-Grendell, 1994; Shute et al., 1996)! " Provide contextual to the knowledge, and provide opportunities for practical applications (Neuman, Neuman, & Hood, 2011)! " Increase the interest level (Boeker, Andel, Vach, & Frankenschmidt, 2013; Neuman, Neuman, & Hood, 2011)! " Increase the motivation level, and increase engagement (Neuman, Neuman, & Hood, 2011)! " Promote short-term and long-term knowledge (Urquiza-Fuentes & Velazquez-Iturbide, 2013)! " Promote declarative knowledge and procedural knowledge (Shute, Gawlick-Grendell, 1994)! " Promote Bloom’s Analysis, Evaluate, Create knowledge (Urquiza-Fuentes & Velazquez-Iturbide, 2013; Siddique, Ling, Roberson, Xu, & Geng, 2013)! " Promote psychomotor skills, and decision making skills (Cook, McAloon, O’Neill, & Beggs, 2012).! " Decrease drop-out rate (Urquiza-Fuentes & Velazquez-Iturbide, 2013)! And we should be delivering these interactive experiences. Study after study illustrates the benefits of interactive learning modules.
  3. 3. We have to look no further than how many of us learned about Web 3D, from the amazing course on “Interactive 3D Graphics” by Eric Haines. This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) has taught tens of thousands of students about 3D graphics, using three.js and WebGL, on an innovative learning platform. MOOCs satisfy particular needs for skill upgrades, and give millions of students access to top-grade instruction. However, they are a supplement to learning, not a replacement. Representative of a broader trend to Hybrid (also known as Blended) learning, where some material is delivered in the classroom, supplemented with online modules. In 2012, about $600 million was invested into EdTech startups. Just in the second quarter of 2014, the EdTech industry raised just under $327 million in venture capital investments. [United States] http://educationblog.ncpa.org/ education-technology-shake-up How does EdTech compare to other industries? It is healthy and growing, as evidenced by VC funding. As boomers retire, millennial teachers move-in and are more apt to incorporate technology into their lessons.
  4. 4. This is an industry ripe for Web 3D:! ! " Students expect (and deserve) highly interactive materials! " Learning modules are increasingly being delivered online! " EdTech investment is available to support creative teams! ! ! How? How can we build interactive educational experiences? Interactive learning experiences are nothing new - we’ve been building these in Flash for years. What is different now is the ability to publish these experiences integrated with web content. When you have hundreds (or thousands) of learning modules, with a grading system and efficacy analytics behind them, you can’t deliver these as independent “apps”. This needs to be web content, and HTML5 + WebGL for the first time lets us do this.
  5. 5. Verold Studio is a web-based 3D authoring and publishing platform. You can import assets - models, animations, textures, audio and video - then define behaviour and interactions. Verold Studio: Showcase mode! For teachers and students! ! " Upload and share 3D models created using any DCC or 3D scanning solution! " Tell your story using 3D, audio, and video - no code required! " Publish to the Showcase Player, embeddable anywhere just like Youtube! ! ! Students and teachers can create impressive 3D experiences, without writing any code… e.g. Solar system! ! ! For example, a student can create a 3D solar system for a class project.
  6. 6. e.g. Virtual museum! ! ! A teacher could create a virtual museum using 3D-scanned sculptures and artifacts. Verold Studio: Custom App mode! For curriculum developers! ! " Familiar technologies (HTML/CSS/JavaScript), built on an open source stack - Verold Content Engine for three.js! " Powerful visual tools for scene layout and behaviour! " Seamlessly integrate interactive 3D in your web content, using the web framework and analytics of your choice! ! ! If you know JavaScript, you have full access to the three.js scene via a component-object system. This allows you to create highly- customized and interactive applications, as well as integrate your 3D content into a larger web app. e.g. Falling in Circles! ! ! http://demo.verold.com/falling-in-circles/ For example, “Falling in Circles” simulates the gravitational dynamics of Lagrange points using GPU processing.
  7. 7. e.g. Brained.io! ! ! http://brained.io Brained.io allows neuroscience researches to collaborate and share knowledge. Case Study: ! Pearson Education! ! ! Verold was recently accepted into Pearson Education’s Catalyst program - a tech incubator for startups working in education. 2004
 Frank Manis 2010
 Tech Refresh 2014
 Verold + REVEL Prototype 2005
 Pearson Licenses We were tasked with developing new visuals and improving the interactivity of “My Virtual Child”, an Early Childhood Development app that accompanies Pearson’s course material.
  8. 8. As students progress through the course, their virtual children grow up and students make parenting decisions. Students enjoy sharing the progress of their virtual children online. MVC is loved by students and faculty, and has no competitors! ! ! BUT! ! ! Flash! Not responsive! Legacy silo’d technology! No analytics! ! ! Moving to a web-platform, we can incorporate analytics, make it responsive and eliminate the need for plugins. This simplifies deployment since nothing needs to be installed. The next version of My Virtual Child will be built on HTML5 + WebGL as well as Pearson’s online learning platform: REVEL.
  9. 9. While REVEL currently has interactive learning modules, My Virtual Child will be the first 3D, WebGL module. When a student begins using My Virtual Child, they customize the look of their virtual child. Verold Studio:! Live Demo! ! !
  10. 10. Web 3D for Education Ian Kerr! Senior 3D Developer, Verold!