Cellular Storytelling

UMW Biology professor Steve Gallik has dreamed up a very cool approach for students in his Histology lab to share and comment on what’s under the microscope. Rather than purchasing expensive camera-ready digital microscopes, he worked with the UMW Teaching Center to purchase a few cheap digital cameras that can upload images quickly to the web so students can post them to a course site.

The resulting course site designed by the inimitable Tim Owens is a highly attractive, intensely visual course space on UMW Blogs that streamlines posting for students thanks to the Gravity Forms plugin (which is premium—what is happening to us!). What I love about this experiment is how beautiful the images of these mammal cells are, and how the students’ brief description coupled with the gorgeous images tell a story about the life and death of cells. Not only that, but it reinforces the idea that new approaches to storytelling with media cuts across all disciplines—it’s not an exclusive a concern of the humanities.

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3 Responses to Cellular Storytelling

  1. scottlo says:

    Thanks for pointing this project out Jim. The images, as you say, are stunning.

    I’m kind of smelling a possible ds106 assignment here. All the images I looked at had a copyright symbol and were listed as “all rights reserved” by the student. It would be awesome if they were offered under something like a Creative Commons license.

    Do you think it would be worth leaving a comment on the site requesting such? Or perhaps one of your little birds could whisper a sweat song of sharing into Prof. Gallick’s ear.

  2. Tim Owens says:

    As much as I would love to take credit for the design I only organized the site itself. The site uses the gorgeous Autofocus theme demoed here: http://fthrwght.com/autofocus/prodemo/ and really makes photo-heavy sites shine.

  3. Steve Gallik says:

    I’m not sure how the copyright for these images was initially established. As course instructor, I consider everything on histologyolm.umwblogs.org as licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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