Many college students started learning from chalkboards and overhead projectors. If they were lucky their instructors moved on to PowerPoint presentations, but only a few have ever gone the way of these two doctors.
3D holographic animation appears to be a giant step forward in education. Rather than using static images, their lectures truly come to life through HAMLET (Holography-Assisted Medical Lecturing and E-Tutoring) and offer a 3D way to view and interact with the information being presented, specifically medical in this case. Additionally, it was easy to create the graphics using 2D images and text, so it is not out of reach for most educators to learn.
The doctors are currently comparing their 3D presentation against a standard PowerPoint to discover if it made a difference in engagement and understanding. Dr. Sugand, one of the two responsible for HAMLET stated, “Whereas the average attention span is up to 30 minutes in a standard one-hour lecture, we are using educational theory to construct dynamic animations to simplify abstract concepts, and stimulate and prolong attention spans.” Basically, they are attempting to make it more interesting and valuable through improved graphics.
While this route likely isn’t cheap, and is clearly not common at this point, I expect the results to show valuable education opportunities for students and schools. Additionally, I hope to see it appear in other educational settings. Just think of the potential of combining 3D lectures with hand motion technology to online students.