SLICE is a biomedical Image Bank. It allows BEST members to contribute their thoughts to a discussion on virtual histology slides and images of diseases; It allows them to learn from peers and share their insights with colleagues and students, and practically, bring SLICE resources to life!

SLICE includes tools for looking at the images and understanding what they are – tools for discussing, annotating, and collaboratively enriching SLICE images with more insights and information.

How can all this be used for teaching?

There are several ways we can think of using slice in teaching. The most obvious one, is use SLICE as a multi-headed microscope:

It’s a physical microscope, with several “heads”, allowing a group of people to look at the same sample, placed under the microscope. This is done through simple optics. Tubes, mirrors and lenses that duplicate the image and make it available through each of the microscope “heads”.

The problem is that a multi-headed microscope has many limitations. It is expensive, it takes a lot of space, and it can be used by no more than half a dozen people at a time. As a teaching tool, it is very hard to work with, as although all participants look at the same sample, there is no way of telling what they actually see… or what they think they see…

Slice is a multi-headed microscope on steroids. The link to the image for example, can be viewed by tens of thousands of viewers, simultaneously! forming a virtual multi-headed microscope, with no limits!

Click the image to see view it on SLICE

Teachers can now share links to images and ask their students to identify features on the slide; Experts can share digital images and ask each other to diagnose features on a slide or give their second opinion; Best members can share links to their own annotations with each other for the purposes of learning or working together etc. Participants in this trial, who are logged on as BEST members can view slides, annotate them (add regions and features), and share links to those annotations with anyone.

One of the objectives of this trial is to explore the teaching methods these tools can provide us with. Just as an example – we started this twitter feed, so each of you could share links to some annotations created, that all of us can review and discuss, to learn how to identify features on a slide, what we do wrong, and how we can improve that.

Each of you can use your student email account, (that is going to stay with you forever), to start a twitter account www.twitter.com, and tweet to this feed. All you have to do is add #UNSW-Trial6 to any tweet you make, and it will automatically appear on the live feed below.

You can annotate an image and use the share button at the top right to tweet a link to your annotation.