Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Minneapolis high school students take e-field trip to the operating room

About a year ago I observed that 64% of the schools in this region have connectivity at 100 Mbit/s or greater to the K12HSN -- and in turn the Internet and Internet2. I shared a few thoughts on how this might be used to do some nifty things.

Today I came across a news item from the Internet2 web site, covering a high school in Minneapolis that, using an Internet2 connection, participated in a live knee surgery.

As the surgery progressed before them, the 30 juniors and seniors in John Redelsheimer's class reacted to crystal-clear images of sliced flesh and bone with predictable groans and urrrghs. They asked questions of the surgical staff, such as how long the implant might last, and how a full and partial knee replacement differ.

Students in the Robbinsdale Armstrong High School anatomy and physiology class observed Wednesday as a surgeon in Columbus, Ohio, performed total knee-replacement surgery on an 85-year-old woman. And they didn't even board a bus.

Students in the Robbinsdale district are among a select group for whom technological expertise and resources have aligned to allow them to take an e-field trip -- in this case, to Dr. Joel Politi's operating room. Other classes have been to the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minn., a classroom in Egypt and a village in Mozambique.

The session was sponsored by COSI, a science center in Columbus, Ohio. It was made possible by Web-driven video-conferencing technology via Internet2, a superfast network linking universities, industry and government. The basic technology -- the cameras and microphones -- isn't new, but schools haven't been able to use it fully until recently because most lack that fast, powerful connection.

Link to full article is here.

This is what I am talking about!

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