The SLENZ Update – No 110, July 07, 2009

Oldest US dental school to become first dental school in Second LifeUMDentalSchool_007

The United States’ oldest dental school – at the University of Maryland-Baltimore – is set to become, later this year, the first school to offer dental training in Second Life.

“We have developed a virtual world where students and faculty can collaborate and train,” Dr Carroll-Ann Trotman, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at UMB, told Emmett Burnett of SLEntrepreneurMagazine last month.

“Second Life enables us to reach students around the world in ways that were practically impossible before,” she said. “It is a global outreach.”

“But virtual dental training is an additional educational tool, one of many,” Dr Trotman told Burnett. “It is not a substitute for real classrooms.”

Students at virtual UM Dental School will be able to study and train at the new virtual campus which will offer consultations, case studies, classes, lectures and training.

It is the brainchild of Julie Gilliam, – instrumental in the online school’s technical development – and Dean Christian S. Stohler, Dean of UMB, who, according to SLEntrepreneurMagazine, is credited with the foresight in funding the virtual site’s development.

UMDentalSchool_001UM Dental School campus replicated in many ways.

The virtual UM Dental School in many ways replicates the real life campus. It has classrooms, conference areas and student centers as well as clinical areas.

It has three goals: Allow more collaboration between students and faculty; provide another tool for teaching, with emphasis on ‘another,’ not a substitute for traditional training; simulate real life scenarios with case studies and role playing opportunities, giving avatars hands on training in activities ranging from diagnosing symptoms to dealing with disgruntled patients.

The virtual campus also houses exhibits from the National Museum of Dentistry.

UMDentalSchool_008National Museum of Dentistry … from the historic to the unusual.

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