Scitable Goes Mobile

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Scitable: Essentials of Genetics

Last week, Scitable, the online science resource and social network for students, launched the mobile version of its open-access library. Now the content is available through the iPad, Android, BlackBerry, as well as basic-feature phones.

Scitable exemplifies the Web 2.0 experience in the education space. Users can peruse the rich library of scientific research and overviews, collaborate online with other students, teachers, and scientists, and publish their own findings on the website.

Teachers can build virtual classrooms for their students by adding videos, articles, and research information on a wide range of science topics. They can customize packaged e-books, and can conduct live discussion groups.

Vikram Savkar, senior vice president and publishing director at nature publishing explained the premise behind the site to Social Times.

To a large extent, the idea for a collaborative science education community came right out of the way science itself works. Science isn’t an isolated discipline — it’s inherently social. All scientists pick up data and conclusions from peers and extend them with new insight of their own; and most scientists directly collaborate with peers when developing their theories or designing experiments. We realized that a powerful solution for training scientists has to foster some degree of this collaboration. Otherwise it’s only educating students about the facts, not the process, of science.