For the first time, Leica Microsystems in North America offers a custom slide scanning and image hosting service for teachers, which makes it possible to share images within the classroom and to expand learning outside the classroom.
Glass slides sent to a scanning center are processed to create high resolution digital image files, which then can be accessed online from a hosted server via any standard internet browser for study by students any time, anywhere. Offering these teaching tools, the company partners with Leica Biosystems, using their Aperio ePathology Solutions which have an established record for providing similar solutions for training doctors in human pathology and disease diagnosis.
“The slide scanning service and image hosting Leica Microsystems offers gives teachers and students more flexibility to work and learn together. Teachers use microscopes to facilitate the teaching and learning of biomedical concepts. Now they can also set virtual assignments and students can work on these even after they left the teaching laboratory. At the same time, access to high resolution images from any internet location heightens involvement by providing a learning environment akin to social media. This is a learning experience teachers and students can enjoy and will benefit from,” says Vince Vaccarelli, Education Product Manager for Leica Microsystems.
Document multiple specimen slides in high resolution
Digitizing slides allows teachers to extend the educational value of specimens by making them available to students inside or outside the teaching laboratory. To create a collection of virtual slides, educators simply send their specimen slides to the scanning center. The slides are digitized according to the teacher-specified magnification using the same slide scanning technology used by pathologists worldwide for collaboration and slide discussions. After scanning, the glass slides are returned to their owner while the resulting digital eSlides can either be downloaded by teachers for local storage or uploaded to a service hosted by Leica Microsystems.
Many students can share an interactive learning experience
The image hosting service combines pioneering slide scanning and image streaming technologies to create a platform for interactive assignments without requiring local IT support. Many students can simultaneously access and study the stored high resolution images from anywhere at any time using the web-based environment. Their involvement with the subject matter creates an exciting learning experience. Teachers can create their own library, making images available to a restricted group of students, or make images publicly available, thereby facilitating exchange within larger user groups. The technology that supports image display also allows interactive navigation, for instance students can simultaneously annotate images and email these annotations to their teacher who can immediately evaluate the students’ work and give feedback.