3D VIRTUAL MODELS FOR AN EARLY EDUCATION SERIOUS GAMING APPLICATION
Visualization and conceptualisation of 3D objects are complex cognitive processes which are regarded essential from pre-school education to develop abilities linked to spatial and 3D thinking. The focus of this paper is to discuss the use of a virtual 3D environment as a pedagogical serious gaming platform that may help intensify learning processes. Recently, serious games are gaining popularity not only as games, but as promising educational tools too. This paper presents the creation of a simple ‘serious game’ where several tasks can be constructed that promote the 3D spatial thinking in pre-school education. Specifically, the creation of the virtual environment from a pre-school’s indoor and outdoor environment was performed using geodetic and terrestrial laser scanning techniques. To increase the geospatial sense of pre-school children within the virtual environment, an application was developed with simple educational tasks within the 3D environment. The templates, for each section of the gaming application, have been developed using HTML5 and CSS3, in order that they are interactive and accessible to all smart devices. The paper concludes with a discussion on the experience gained towards supporting spatial thinking for pre-school children.