Using Technology To Support 3D Learning

Patricia Umhafer
PD Specialist
News on March 02 2021


3D learning strives to integrate the three dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards. Those dimensions include Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts. By integrating these three dimensions, science no longer becomes a series of facts, but rather a learning experience that encourages multifaceted thinking and problem-solving. 

As educators embark on the journey of 3D learning, technology can be an aid to bridge those three dimensions, and in turn, help promote student learning and outcomes. Let’s take a look at some forms of technology and how they can help classrooms lean into 3D learning.

Interactive flat panels (IFP)

An interactive flat panel (IFP) can be used to spark student interest and deliver interactive lessons. It can also be used to simply present any driving questions, facts about the current topic, and more. IFPs can also be used for students to present their work and findings, or to promote collaborative group work with the use of a whiteboard for brainstorming. Google Jamboard or SMART’s Shout It Out are great ways to do this.

Individualized instruction

In 3D learning, while collaborative group work is encouraged, students will still need individualized instruction – and technology can be a fantastic aid. The SMART Learning Suite Online (SLSO) is one example of a platform that can be used to achieve this goal. SLSO allows for teachers to have control over delivery of the lesson, but when needed or appropriate, the lesson can be set to student pace, which is a great tool for differentiation. SLSO also allows teachers to create hand-outs and monitor the collaborative workspaces that students are often participating in. In SLSO, teachers can also create interactive ClassLab games that can be used for “Do Now” activities, check-ins, assessments, polls, and exit tickets. 

Pear Deck and Nearpod are also two fantastic options for creating interactive individualized instruction. The goal here is to be able to engage students in learning, and for them to have voice and choice when it comes to how they are going to learn the material and be assessed on it. This is essential for 3D learning to be successful.


Google can be a powerful tool in 3D teaching and learning. Google Classroom is a great platform to use to disseminate information, collect assignments, and give feedback. Google Docs are known for their collaborative features — students can edit, comment, and share in one document. Google Drawings are also a great tool, as students can draw, annotate, add images, text, and brainstorm. By being able to easily share information and collaborate, as well as having research at their fingertips, students are able to work towards a solution. It becomes easier for students to make the connection to other scientific topics, and to investigate and ask questions about more complex topics, as well. 

Google also has several options for presenting information. For instance, Google Slides and Google Sites are simple-to-use tools where students can create powerful presentations to present their process and discoveries.


Incorporating multimedia into 3D learning not only makes the lesson more interactive and engaging, but it also appeals to students of all learning styles. Some great platforms for adding in multimedia to lesson delivery, and to share as a tool for your students to utilize, are:

  • YouTube
  • Flipgrid
  • Podcasts 
  • Padlet

Lastly, listed below are some great interactive websites. These have served to be especially valuable during remote and hybrid learning. They allow students to stimulate lab-like activities and conditions without physically being in the lab, thereby enabling students to explore scientific connections and build upon those core concepts.

As you are making the transition to 3D learning, technology can be an essential part of your teaching practices. By integrating technology, students will not only have a wealth of information at their fingertips, but they will be able to collaborate, learn, and learn from each other, in a more effective and dynamic way. 

For more tips, tricks, and tools for teaching in and out of the classroom, check out more articles on the Teq Talk blog.

We also offer virtual professional development, training, and remote learning support for educators with OTIS for educators. Explore the technology, tools, and strategies that can spark student success — no matter where teaching or learning are happening.