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3-D in Education: Beyond What Meets the Eye

02 August 2017|Hannah Olson

What is your favorite 3-D movie of all time? Perhaps “How to train Your Dragon,” “Hugo,” or “Avatar”?

Do you recall the magic that took place when you put on the 3-D glasses to watch a 3-D movie for the first time? How, if you lifted the glasses up from your eyes, you could see the blurry and unappealing images on the screen, but once you put them back on you could only see perfectly clear images? How you felt immersed in the film when you wore them? How you forgot about life outside the theater as you were watching?

3-D glasses deliver a sharp image that allows us to become one with movies. In fact, it’s been proven that 3-D dramatically increases memory retention, which means that those glasses even help us remember more than if we had not worn them.

A similar thing happens with sound

Here, all day long we work toward one purpose: creating and optimizing classroom audio to help teachers thrive in their role and maximize student success. So, when I bumped into this quote from author Katie Kacvinsky, it spoke to me:

“Sounds are three-dimensional, just like images. They come at you from every direction.”

She made me see that one could draw great parallels, even if figurative, between sounds and images.

Inside a learning environment the number of sounds coming from every direction cause a “sound blurriness” that often translates into lack of student engagement, overworked teacher vocal cords, and lackluster academic performance.

The benign hum of a fan, the “brrrrr” of a pencil sharpener, the “zzzzz” of tube lights, the noises from the maker lab next door, and the musical chairs, become obstacles to the sound that should be crystal clear: the teacher’s voice (and the students’ voices when they convey information to the class).

Classroom voice amplification (aka classroom sound or soundfield) is to a learning environment what 3-D glasses are to a 3-D film. With a simple but powerful teacher microphone, teachers can instantly take students from a “blurry” classroom to a space where lessons are heard clearly. Without noticing, just like when we wear 3-D glasses to watch films, the use of a teacher microphone helps students focus more, engage more, and retain more.

To round out the in-class 3-D experience, a student microphone helps create a space where each voice is heard clearly, further encouraging student participation and engagement.

We have favorite films that come to mind when we think of 3-D, imagine students remembering lessons as clearly as we recall scenes.