Monday, 07 October 2019 11:20

La Trobe Uni students pilot digital tech learning for anatomy studies

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Anatomy students at La Trobe University are putting aside their text books and piloting the use of digital technologies - Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) - to learn about the human body, with the university conducting the pilot program to teach the second-year anatomy subject.

The university says use of the technology is designed to help improve spatial awareness, explorative learning and accessibility.

The University has also made the technology available for all other Year 2 and 3 anatomy students at its Melbourne (Bundoora), Bendigo and Albury-Wodonga campuses, including students studying Allied Health and Science degrees such as physiotherapy, orthotics, prosthetics, podiatry and biomedicine.

Head of the university’s Anatomy Discipline Dr Aaron McDonald said the AR technology in particular gave students affordable and convenient 24-hour access to highly detailed 3D anatomy images via their phone, iPad or computer. VR is used on campus with headsets provided.

“La Trobe anatomy students learn from working with skeletons, models, VR, human specimens and AR. The beauty of AR is that students can take it anywhere,” Dr McDonald said.

“Augmented Reality allows students to visualise and manipulate anatomical structures and develop a deep understanding. You can superimpose anatomical structures over a peer who can perform movements along with the app, to better understand muscle function. It is a great resource for both team work and self-directed learning.”

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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