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Second Life a first for UH department of health and human performance
Date:7/25/2008

of the left ventricle to demonstrate how blood flow is altered by disease," McFarlin said. "I want to be mindful of what students want. It's about them and trying to give them a better learning experience." He anticipates the SL section of his course will be offered in spring 2009.

The Texas Obesity Research Center (TORC), housed in the department, will move some of its research to SL in hopes of using its international reach to promote healthful dietary habits and physical activity. TORC was the winner of the Network Culture Project contest, sponsored by the University of Southern California-Annenberg School for Communication. The contest solicited proposals from around the world for ways to use SL to promote the public good. TORC received 300,000 Linden, the currency of SL, for its proposal to use the medium to prevent and treat obesity through education, skills training and outreach.

"We hope to develop multi-national collaborations in SL to increase awareness, knowledge, skills and support for healthy living," Rebecca Lee, TORC director and associate professor, said. "Reducing obesity is an international priority, and SL provides a portal to an international community." The program will emphasize learning and virtual sampling of healthful lifestyle habits. Lee's study will enroll 500 resident avatars and invite them to participate in educational games and activities to help them learn to adopt a healthier lifestyle in real life.

"Technology presents many opportunities to creatively use new venues to improve the way we live and learn," Layne said. "UH and our department want to be at the forefront of those opportunities so that we can make a positive contribution to our community and world."


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Contact: Marisa Ramirez
mrcannon@uh.edu
713-295-0712
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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