Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dental school videos drawing worldwide interest on Web

View the videos at the School of Dentistry's YouTube Channel, or access them from the university's YouTube Channel.
You can download the videos to a video iPod from U-M's iTunes U portal.

More than 650 videos from the School of Dentistry’s learning resources archives are drawing considerable interest worldwide since becoming available for free viewing on the Internet.

The school, which launched its YouTube Channel in March, recently was the second most-viewed educational channel on the popular Web site, topped only by Stanford.

Using her iPhone, Emily Springfield, an instructional technology designer, can view videos on the School of Dentistry’s YouTube Channel. (Photo by Dan Bruell, School of Dentristry)

The dental school’s videos are included on the university’s new YouTube Channel that was launched in September. The university’s portal includes videos focusing on special speakers and events, classroom lectures, and other highlights.

The School of Dentistry’s videos are the result of an effort that began several years ago to digitize more than 1,200 videotapes created in the school’s television studios in the 1970s. Ana Iacob, a Dental Informatics research associate, has been working on this project from the start and each week adds more items to the digital archive.

Dr. Lynn Johnson, professor of dentistry and assistant dean for informatics and innovation, says the videos are a part of the Open.Michigan initiative, an effort designed to create and share the university’s and the school’s knowledge, resources and research with the global learning community.

School of Dentistry videos that are available include those dealing with occlusion (78), anatomy (69), oral surgery (52) and prosthodontics (22).

“We’re adding between 15 and 20 videos a week, so I would encourage oral health care professionals to visit our Web site frequently,” Johnson says. “My hope is that by the end of the year we will have more than 1,000 videos from the dental school available for viewing.”

The channel currently averages about 4,500 hits a day, and the average increases every week, says Emily Springfield, an instructional technology designer with the School of Dentistry who played a major role in ensuring content from the videos could be transferred from the videotapes for viewing on the Web.

“Our videos have been viewed more than 360,000 times to date,” Springfield says.

Although knowledge about the oral cavity has grown significantly since the 1970s, its physical structure and elements have not changed.

“That’s what makes our videos timeless,” Johnson says, “because a dentist in Asia or Europe or Africa can use what they see in our videos and apply that knowledge in their clinical environment.”

However, Johnson was quick to note that those in the United States who view the videos will see how regulations have changed. For example, when the videos were created in the ’70s, dental students and faculty members did not wear glasses, facemasks or gloves when treating patients. A note advising viewers about those and other regulatory changes appears at the beginning of those videos.