Free Interactive Resources From the University of Georgia
Whether you’re a veterinary student trying to learn a difficult concept or a practitioner who could use a refresher, these resources from the University of Georgia are informative, interactive, and free!
At the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, the Educational Resources team is a 7-person department comprised of 3 medical illustrators, a photographer/videographer, a 3D modeler/animator, a software developer, and a veterinarian. This small team has supported the educational focus of the veterinary college for over 4 decades by creating graphs, photographs, and simple illustrations for college faculty to use in their various publications, textbook chapters, and presentations.
But things changed in mid-2015 when the team jumped feet first into electronic media, hoping to engage today’s veterinary students, recent graduates, and the animal-owning public.
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This jump was facilitated by the release of iBooks Author, a free program from Apple that allows users to create interactive iBooks. But it also coincided with the development of a 1-year postgraduate program introducing newly graduated medical illustrators to veterinary education. Collectively, the Educational Resources team recognized iBooks Author as a game changer, as it has given them a way to incorporate realistic illustrations, animations, 3-D models, video segments, photographs, and audio tracks into interactive iBooks that the public can use to learn or review specific topics.
The first obvious question that arose: What topics should these iBooks address?
Initially, the team asked faculty members to identify concepts that veterinary students were struggling to master in their courses—a perfectly reasonable approach, which yielded the basis for several iBooks. However, the team also recognized that veterinary students were so adept at memorizing detailed material for exams that it could be difficult to identify the most troublesome concepts.
Their focus then shifted to asking veterinary students, interns, and residents directly, causing the list to quickly expand to include other concepts, such as heartworm disease, small animal dentistry, patent ductus arteriosus, electrocardiography, the abomasum, ovariohysterectomy in dogs and cats, osteoarthritis in dogs, the equine paranasal sinuses, and leukogram patterns.
To date, the Educational Resources team has created more than 40 iBooks, which are available for free download to anyone with an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. More than 30,000 copies have been downloaded worldwide to-date, with 24,000 copies in the United States and Canada and others in countries like Latvia, Costa Rica, and Chile.
While most of the iBooks address topics and concepts related directly to veterinary medicine, the team has also made a handful of iBooks aimed at younger audiences. Two of these, The Heart and Lungs: El Corazon y Los Pulmones and How We Move: Como Nos Movemos, are also bilingual. The team is currently developing an iBook on the urinary system for fourth graders called "Urine Charge."
If you have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac and want to download any of the iBooks for free, visit the Apple iBooks store.