April 16, 2016

Digitizing ROGeR: Creating a Recommended Osteology Guide for e-Readers

Today at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists conference in Atlanta, three of my grad students are presenting the work they've been doing for nearly a year -- Digitizing ROGeR: Creating a Recommended Osteology Guide for e-Readers.

When I started teaching Human Osteology at UWF, I quickly realized that students weren't coming to lab during the hours it was open to study.  Sure, some of it could be chalked up to study habits, but most of our students are also commuters who don't live near campus.  To help with this, I put a plastic skeleton on reserve at the campus library that they could check out for two hours at a time.  (Yes, you too can do this if you ask your librarian!)  The library staff decided to call it Roger, and the name stuck over the years. Having a plastic skeleton at the library might help students on weekends, for example, when the osteology lab is closed.  But again, since many are commuters, accessing the library can also be problematic.

Over the past year, Mariana Zechini, Jane Holmstrom, and Madde Voas have been digitizing a number of real bones from our teaching collection, with the idea to make the models available online for students.  Most of the bones come from the same individual, and they've also scanned some pathological bone as well.  Mariana and Jane figured out how to import the 3D models into Sketchfab and annotate them -- they put in all the major features of the bone that I quiz students on in Human Osteology.  You can browse the models in Sketchfab on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. The models are downloadable as .STL (so you can print them).  Do note, however, that we're releasing them under a CC-BY-NC 4.0 license.  Use them for teaching, but please credit us if possible.

Here's their poster on how and why they created this resource.  If you're still at the AAPAs, please stop by to see them and their 3D prints!


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