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VRML - A new tool in biomedical education

Keywords: Biology , Cellular function , Cellular structure , Education , Medicine , Simulation , Software , Visualization , VRML

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Abstract:

VRML (Virtual Reality Modelling Language) represents a fully interactive multimedia learning environment in the virtual 3D space. It has a unique advantage that its files are about 100x smaller in size than the corresponding video clips. This software is free, platform independent and can be observed with a web browser. By applying this technology many educational projects do not need to be distributed on CD ROMs anymore. Because of their small file size (typically about 3 MB) they can be downloaded from the web. We use VRML to show the structures and functions of biological systems for the educational purposes in the secondary and high schools. Such three-dimensional worlds allow the user to travel in their virtual space, learning the principles of biological systems in a fast, effective and pleasant way. Therefore we believe that this technique will play in future a role in biological publications as important as today are the illustrations added to text. Many of our creations can be observed on our web page http://verbena.fe.uni-lj.si/~tomaz/VRML/

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