Education in Virtual Worlds, Second Life

Open Wide: Dental Training in a Virtual World

The University of Maryland-Baltimore, the oldest dental school in the US, will be the first school to offer virtual training to dentists at its Baltimore Virtual Dental School, set to open later this year in Second Life, according to SLentrepreneur.

“We have developed a virtual world where students and faculty can collaborate and train,” Dr. Carroll-Ann Trotman, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, told SLE. “Second Life enables us to reach students around the world in ways that were practically impossible before. It is a global outreach.”

The new facility will be housed on three floors, compared to the nine floors of the facility in downtown Baltimore. It features classrooms, conference rooms, and student centers. The second floor houses the clinical area, where examination rooms – replete with those shudder-inducing dental instruments and the familiar reclining chairs – will be where avatars will train for eventual dental surgery on human teeth. The third floor will feature exhibits, artifacts and displays from the National Museum of Dentistry.

According to the article, the virtual space has three goals:

1 – Increased collaboration between students and faculty;
2 – Provide another – not a replacement – tool for teaching; and
3 – Simulate real life scenarios, such as diagnosing symptoms and dealing with disgruntled patients.

No word on whether the school will eventually tie in its continuing education curriculum to the virtual space, but this could be worth looking in to.

1 Comment

speak up

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site.

Subscribe to these comments.

*Required Fields

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.