Residents from the graduate Periodontology programs at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry and the University of California-San Francisco are conducting joint graduate one hour seminars each month in Second Life. Periodontal graduate seminars in PER 774 (a surgical seminar series) are being conducted in the conference room on the UK Second Life Island. Dr. Mark Thomas (Chair of Department of Oral Health Practice) and his UCSF counterpart, Dr. Mark Ryder, have developed the series with significant help from Ms. Sandy Challman, Director of Curriculum Development at the UK College of Dentistry. The monthly seminar series has featured a number of virtual case presentations of sophisticated regenerative procedures. The series has received high marks from faculty and residents. The use of SL has permitted residents at both schools access to cases and mentors that were otherwise inaccessible to them, due to geographic constraints. All participants have agreed that the use of avatars and the virtual conference setting has made for a much more interactive experience than alternative technologies (e.g., videoconference). The fact that SL is inexpensive is also of great importance in the current economic climate. Seminars are planned through the Spring Semester 2011. Observers are welcome.
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