Thursday, January 17, 2008

Genome Island: An Experiment in Teaching Science at Second Life

I plan to go to this talk on Friday. It sounds really cool.
Genome Island was created at Second Life as a laboratory-intensive environment for teaching genetics online. Students or other visitors to the island will encounter a series of genetic objects. Most of the objects are interactive and will generate a data set according to basic principles of genetics. Genetic models on the island include Mendel’s peas, cats, rabbits, fruit flies and bacteria. One section of the site features the human genome. Data can be analyzed and used to test hypotheses suggested in the background information provided with each object. This semester one of my genetics classes helped me to test the island as a teaching environment. Come and hear about the pleasures and pitfalls of teaching science at Second Life.

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