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  Slice of Life Project History


History Overview:

Slice of Life is a non-profit project based at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Its primary purpose is to encourage the development and sharing of educational multimedia applications and the integration of complementary teaching and learning technologies in health sciences and medical education.

The project began in 1986 when a videodisc was created containing 12,839 images from the combined visual resources of the University of Utah's Departments of Pathology, Radiology, Neuroanatomy, Anatomy, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, and the Medical Examiner's Office for the state of Utah. The videodisc became a "one-stop resource" for educators and students alike to access and review high quality images related to the health sciences. Numerous copies of the first edition were made available in the University's Eccles Health Sciences Library.

The design strategy behind the original videodisc was to create a visual databank of images that could be used and reused by faculty and students. The videodisc was a "generic resource pool" from which images could be "re-purposed" depending on the educational needs, learning agendas, and software development taking place at the University of Utah, and later, hundreds of other institutions and departments around the world.

Many editions of the Slice of Life have been created in a 10-year period of time since its first version, each new videodisc adding to the growing number of images and contributors. The latest (and last) edition is number seven. It contains more than 44,000 still images and 65 motion sequences related to human medicine, nursing, dentistry and allied health education. SOL VII represents contributions from 63 institutions, two professional societies, a pharmaceutical company, and 240 individuals throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe and Australia. Subject areas on Slice of Life include: cardiology, cytology, embryology, gross anatomy, hematology, histology, microbiology, neuroanatomy, parasitology, pathology, radiology, gastric endoscopy, colonoscopy, dermatology, and ophthalmology. See ABOUT THE SLICE OF LIFE VII VIDEODISC.

A sister project of the Slice of Life is the Slice of Brain videodisc, a two-sided encyclopedia of stills (20,779) and motion sequences (151) assembled as a resource for neuroscience education. This disc represents the contributions of 35 institutions, one professional society, and 119 individuals. See ABOUT THE SLICE OF BRAIN I VIDEODISC.

Since the beginning of the project in 1986, Slice of Life has seen multimedia tools evolve from the original analog laserdiscs. Interactive software, self-contained CD-ROM programs and Web-based access to educational courseware not even imagined a few years ago have emerged. Today the laserdisc still serves as a rich image resource for problem-based learning. Over the years, however, Slice of Life has evolved from just a videodisc product to an international network of health science educators and software developers mixing practical technology with education.

To that end, the project encourages individuals and institutions to participate in the annual SLICE OF LIFE WORKSHOP. These workshops offer a unique opportunity for interested parties to come together to share their ideas and expertise within all areas of multimedia and interactive computer instruction in the health sciences. The workshop offers opportunities for hands-on teaching and learning in the form of seminars, presentations, demonstrations and discussion sessions.

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