Kentucky College of Optometry wins innovative education award for virtual reality learning

Kentucky College of Optometry wins innovative education award for virtual reality learning
The Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU) recently gave the Innovational Educational Technology Award to Kentucky College of Optometry (KYCO) and the University of Pikesville information technology department with the for KYCO’s Interactive 3-D Virtual Science Initiative.
“Students don specially designed 3-D polarized glasses in class and see the words and illustrations in 3-D,” Assistant Clinical Professor Donnie Akers said. “This is especially important when teaching subjects like gross, ocular and neuro anatomy as the material involves three-dimensional structures and their relationships to surrounding structures. This is not just 3-D but interactive 3-D, so if a student has a specific question the professor can interact and manipulate the images to better answer the questions.”
Akers is working with national virtual reality education leader ViziTech on the technology, which is comparable to virtual reality technologies being used at Harvard University, Cornell University and the University of Chicago. Students using the technology are able to perform and practice dissections at their own pace, saving their work for viewing at home or repeating it until comfortable with the material.
“Dr. Akers’ incredible futuristic design of gross anatomy dissection, anatomy lecture presentation and classroom presentations of ocular anatomy will present life-like 3-D human spatial realities for the students to work on,” Vice President for Optometric Education Andrew Buzzelli, the founding dean of KYCO, said. “Dr. Akers’ creation of the cutting-edge virtual curriculum puts us in the league of the leading medical colleges in the United States.”

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University of Pikeville 147 Sycamore St Pikeville, KY 41501

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