In terms of student achievement, fourth graders who previously had struggled in math experienced two-and-a-half times the gains on informal post-test measures than other students, suggesting that 3D lessons might help close persistent achievement gaps, Scrogan said. And the AP Biology teacher saw an 11-percent achievement bump in the essay portion of a test on cell parts and active/passive transport, he said—although there was no significant difference in how students answered multiple-choice questions.

Scrogan believes students who have experienced 3D lessons are retaining the information longer, even after they’ve taken a test on the subject. Student surveys have revealed a phenomenon that he calls “mental reconstruction,” in which “kids are rebuilding the learning in their mind,” sometimes weeks after seeing the concepts depicted in three dimensions.

He also said teachers have reported a high degree of what he calls “learning replay,” in which students are shown a lesson in 3D, and they ask: “Can we see that again?”

For more news about 3D in education, see:

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3D content for education on the rise

eSN Special Report: Learning in 3D

Students want to see another facet of the image that they didn’t catch before, Scrogan explained, adding: “You don’t get that with other forms of multimedia in schools.”

Perhaps the most encouraging findings occurred at Halcyon Middle-High School, BVSD’s day-treatment facility, where students often have trouble sitting through a 40-minute class period.

“Our special-education population was able to maintain interest in the content for a full 40 minutes, which is extremely rare,” Scrogan said. “Forty minutes of uninterrupted science instruction with no behavioral incidents … is significant. This really pulls kids in and prevents distraction.”

For more information about BVSD’s use of 3D content, see Scrogan’s blog.