The Bear at Bay

Second grade students from Alta Vista School, in San Francisco, teaching each other 3D modelling with 3DBear.

Second grade students from Alta Vista School, in San Francisco, teaching each other 3D modelling with 3DBear.

Our journey has been quite spectacular so far – in just a half a year our startup, 3DBear, has brought empowering pedagogic tools to the classroom, and combined them with the use of modern technologies such as 3D-printing, augmented reality, and virtual reality. We have taken gadgets, and integrated them into the, problem-solving centered, learning environments of the future.

Having co-developed our learning platform with the best educational system of the world – the schools in Finland – we are now proud to begin international expansion. In the future, all the children in the world will learn 21st century skills using our platform.  

We have now set up operations in states of New York, New Jersey and California in the USA. In March, we piloted our solution in the San Francisco Bay area schools.

 

3DBear is all set in New Traditions Elementary School, San Francisco

3DBear is all set in New Traditions Elementary School, San Francisco

The experiences from our first US users have been overwhelmingly positive; as the demand for smart digital teaching content for K-12 curriculum is high. Traditional school book publishers have been, basically, scanning old school books into a digital form. Needless to say, that is not the way forward. Online courses are too advanced for K-12. Educational games on the market contain too much game and too little education. Hardware without learning content, are just gadgets. This is indeed the sweet spot for smart educational solutions that will transform education.

Fifth grade students from Alta Vista School, SF, sharing their 3DBear classroom design with the rest of the class.

Fifth grade students from Alta Vista School, SF, sharing their 3DBear classroom design with the rest of the class.

In the Alta Vista School, in San Francisco, we spent a whole day doing demos with four different classes. In the second grade, students used the 3D connect the dots application we developed. With the application, they learnt about number series, (which are the basis of computer programming), spatial geometry, and scales. You can take a look how this works here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-juibeOEnM

Students taught each other to use the application on tablets, and they did it in our virtual reality app as well. Using the connect the dots app, they did problem solving in groups.

In New Traditions Elementary School, San Francisco, we had two intensive demo days. The fifth grade students 3D designed their own house, and shared their designs with each other. While doing so, they learned about scales, interior design, and areas. Students were given a design challenge in which they developed smart solutions by solving problems together. Take a look how this works here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SliGyOouUQQ

Students doing problem solving in groups with 3DBear, in the Alta Vista school, SF

Students doing problem solving in groups with 3DBear, in the Alta Vista school, SF

Personally, I have been really happy to see that our solution truly helps children to learn the skills that will be needed in the future, and their study results have only improved. I wish that I could have had access to tools like this when I was in school! I’ve also learned a lot. We’ve included pedagogic techniques such as the flipped class, overarching study, kinesthetic learning, and self-assessment into our solution. It’s been a pleasure to co-develop these with the best teachers in the world. I’ve also come to understand, that you do need 3D, in order to learn 3D. After all, we live in a three-dimensional world.

We will continue our journey, making every child in the world a creator and a designer. The bear will not be kept at bay.

Author: Jussi Kajala, COO of 3DBear

Author: Jussi Kajala, COO of 3DBear

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