The Whirl Network: On-line resource on Biology, Health

The Whirl Network: On-line resource on Biology, Health

The Whirl Network: On-line resource on Biology, Health and Environment information for Brazilian Northeast Universities Paulo Paes de Andrade, Marcia de Almeida Melo and Antnio Carlos da Silva Mendes Department of Genetics, Federal University of Pernambuco, Av. Moraes Rego n/n, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil. [email protected] Unit of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Campina Grande, Campus Patos, Patos, Paraba, Brazil. [email protected] Associao Educacional e Cultural Arcoris, School. R. Mendes Martins, 92, Vrzea, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil. [email protected] Some preliminary explanations

Watermill, grinding machine for ideas redemoinho website The Whirl Network: On-line resource on Biology, Health and Environment information for Brazilian Northeast Universities Focus and sponsorship What do we mean by Northeast Universities? First area of interest: The Brazilian

Northeast Region Total= 9 states Main target = 9 states Large and small teaching institutions: universities and private institutes 6.7% 9.1% 10,9%

6,2% Rio Grande do Norte Paraba Pernambuco Alagoas Sergipe 6,4 % Total = 397 Neighboring Northeast states Rio Grande do Norte Paraba

Pernambuco Alagoas Sergipe Uni or Inst. 44 81 187 55 30 Public 4 5

12 6 2 % of public 9,1 6,2 6,4 10,9 6,7 Clustering of universities at the seaside, with some satellites Climate + economic reasons Where are the small teaching institutions (institutes)?

Rationale . The isolation and the lack of libraries push professors from small teaching institutions to an increasing dependence on internet information and on other non reliable sources. . In this search for information there is not an appropriate guidance from more skilled professors. . Therefore, the teaching themes are frequently distorted and permeated by trash information coming from these unreliable sources. . This is especially acute when the professor tries to innovate and to jump out of the regular subjects enlisted in didactic books, usually as an answer to

hot themes. Rationale (ctn) . A support facility (online, in the present case) designed to help the isolated professors consider the low frequency of real meetings with large universities peers. . The use of internet resources, therefore, is wholly justified: efficient and cost effective - keep a constant information flux + reduces the need for personal contacts. . Why Biology, Environment and Biotechnology? Contents innovation is a critical issue in biology and, within this area, in genetics and biotechnology. . Answers to many questions are frequently polarized due

to ideological bias, without any concern to their fundamental scientific basis. Aims . NOT to construct yet another distance learning website. . The Whirl Network, in contrast, is an interactive website and directed to professors as its main clients. . It is a free service, with special emphasis on peer-topeer services. . It also envisages the periodical publication of data generated within the network, which will serve as an updated source of themes for classrooms. . Its sustainability, as a non-profit service, will depend on its media visibility.

How it works . The website is divided in a framework of actions aimed at the isolated professor. . Both clients and specialists, will have to register to gain full access to the website services. . Specialists will be selected from volunteers, enlisted by special public calls or by personal indication. . The website will offer many of the Moodle distance learning applications, keeping however its emphasis on the professor assistance. The basic actions Text Trampoline A webpage aimed at the posting of texts related to learning, education and sciences

(with the special focus of this network). It will also present comments and suggestions of new themes. Every two weeks a new text will be elected as the main study subject. Ask me now! A webpage to target questions and answers to specialists and users (professors). Some questions may remain initially confidential and be later released (with the corresponding answers) to the public, without an user identification. Others may enter the public area immediately, depending on the moderator decision. The basic actions (ctn) How did I do it? A webpage for experiments,

success and frustrations, updated every month. For further discussion, questions can be posted to the specialist responsible for the experiment. Questions and answers may be posted back on the webpage. Can you solve this quiz? A webpage with monthly updated challenges. The users can also suggest new challenges to the moderator. Face to face with the World The webpage will present themes for discussion and will operate in close similarity to a blog. Themes will be renewed every month and will be taken from burning issues on genetics, biotechnology, environment and health. The basic actions (end)

And so it was - A webpage on postings commenting on past activities, containing pictures, movies, etc. related to early educational practices. A space for interactive thinking of teaching and learning practices. Maktub! periodical publication (every one or two years) containing the most discussed texts from the Text Trampoline web pages, both in printed and pdf form. When does it start to operate? . Hopefully in March 2010 . Invitation for participation via CNPq, CAPES, scientific societies, etc.

. New book every two years . Notebooks/ palmtops for the 7 top contributors Thanks for your patience and attention Paulo Paes de Andrade [email protected]

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