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PATHWAYS TOWARD BUILDING A SUPERCOURSE OF SCIENCE. AAAS Annual Meeting 15 Feb 2008 “Science and Technology in a Global Perspective” Gilbert S. Omenn , M.D., Ph.D. Center for Computational Medicine & Biology University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

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pathways toward building a supercourse of science
PATHWAYS TOWARD BUILDING A SUPERCOURSE OF SCIENCE

AAAS Annual Meeting 15 Feb 2008

“Science and Technology in a Global Perspective”

Gilbert S. Omenn, M.D., Ph.D.

Center for Computational Medicine

& Biology

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI, USA

power of the internet to facilitate science education and networking the supercourse
POWER OF THE INTERNET TO FACILITATE SCIENCE EDUCATION AND NETWORKING: THE SUPERCOURSE
  • Gil Omenn, Univ of Michigan
  • Ron LaPorte, Univ of Pittsburgh
  • Ismail Serageldin, Bibliotheca Alexandrina,

Alexandria, Egypt

  • Faina Linkov, University of Pittsburgh
  • Panelists from four AAAS Sections

Listed/sponsored by 10 AAAS Sections (p.161)

the need for science education globally
The Need for Science Education Globally
  • There are generally long delays in moving new knowledge to textbooks and classrooms.
  • A close relationship between higher education and advanced research is a hallmark of countries with economic progress.  
  • A tension between specialization of individual research and the need for multidisciplinary team research, especially for society’s Grand Challenges (the theme of my AAAS Presidential Address in 2006...see SCIENCE 15 Dec 2006).
  • Busy teachers need assistance in building teaching materials/lectures for their own use.  
large scale experiments in science education
Large-Scale Experiments in Science Education
  • AAAS Project 2061, for the K-12 years
  • Numerous efforts by field (computer sciences) or institutions (Boston Museum of Science; MIT) highlighted at AAAS meetings
  • Prototype Internet-based PowerPoint lectures: the SuperCourse in Global Health, for higher education and continuing education
slide7
Provide a library of lectures & slides by discipline and by theme

Create a resource to be utilized and adapted by teachers at multiple levels

Make resources available globally

Facilitate adaptation via translation and mirror servers

Generate a substrate for education about science and engineering--recall welcome statement from director of Boston Museum of Science Mioullis about the importance of technology in our lives

Supercourse

drivers responses
Drivers & Responses
  • Students and faculty often comment, aftera spectacular lecture, that “It would be wonderful if everyone could hear or see that lecture, or learn what was presented”.  
  • How much is the content?
  • How much is the visual/live impression?
  • Varies with the lecturer and the content
  • We have used PowerPoints; others are using videos
drivers and responses
Drivers and Responses
  • Producing quality lectures in a survey course of 30 sessions is a daunting task.  
  • Journal articles are increasingly dense and soon may be outdated.  
  • The Epidemiology/Prevention/Global Health SuperCourse has demonstrated an impressive willingness of prominent, active scientists to share their PowerPoint lectures (now 3378).
  • Teachers around the world (44,000) have downloaded these lectures from the Internet, studied the material, and adapted the slides and concepts to their own lecture needs.  
  • It is a remarkably lively, two-way process (LaPorte).
features of the supercourse
Features of the SuperCourse
  • Rapid sharing of outstanding lectures to scientists and educators globally
  • Empowering teachers with credible template lectures readily adapted to their circumstances.
  • Ease of usage, minimal cost to users, high-quality content.
  • Translated into multiple languages
  • Downloading facilitated by mirror servers
  • Suitable for expansion
quality assurance
Quality Assurance
  • There is considerable skepticism about the uniformity and quality of a broad collection of lectures.
  • We will present findings and plans for quality assurance (Linkov).
  • The Google method of user-determined ranking of lectures seems to be working (LaPorte).
meeting needs in the developing world
Meeting Needs in the Developing World
  • Fits the 2008 AAAS theme of Science and Technology in Global Perspective
  • Spectacular partner in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Serageldin)
  • Remarkable efforts in various countries to establish mirror servers (much faster downloads) and translate large numbers of SuperCourse lectures (Chinese, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Arabic)
bringing expertise from the developing world to the global community
Bringing Expertise from the Developing World to the Global Community
  • Top Anthrax lecture in the SuperCourse had been sent in from Peru before the 2001 episode in the U.S.
  • Tsunami in Asia triggered emergency PowerPoint response within 48 hrs from a global network
  • Real-time PowerPoints as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita came up the Florida coast were coordinated in Novosibirsk and Tehran
pathways to expand from global health to many or most fields of science eng g
Pathways to Expand from Global Health to Many or Most Fields of Science & Eng’g
  • Collect individual lecturers from luminaries—Nobel Laureates, NAS/NAE/IOM members, AAAS Fellows
  • Engage individual disciplines, some of whom already have suitable libraries of open-source lectures for which reciprocal links might be appropriate
  • Stimulate AAAS sections to identify annual meeting lectures and individuals to invite lectures from them
scientific and engineering disciplines versus societal problems or themes
Scientific and Engineering Disciplines versus Societal Problems or Themes
  • Grand Challenges themes like energy/environment/sustainability, water, global health, and economic development could be organizing foci for lectures
  • Disciplines should be natural base
  • AAAS sections combine both approaches
  • SuperCourse on Epidemiology and Global Health represents such a combination, with cross-categorization of lectures
today s program
Today’s Program
  • The existing, rapidly growing SuperCourse of Global Health
  • The remarkable capabilities of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina
  • Analyses of peer review and quality assurance
  • Questions and suggestions from AAAS Section officers
  • Active discussion of the possibilities and nominations of lectures
contact information
Contact Information
  • SuperCourse: www.pitt.edu/~super1
  • Followup:

ronaldlaporte@gmail.com, faina.linkov@gmail.com

gomenn@umich.edu

We will visit additional section meetings,

accompanied by colleagues from Egypt, Russia, Mexico, Pitt/India, Pitt/Ukraine

Make suggestions to Council and Program Committee for 2009 this Sunday.