Connected Digital Petrography: ZEISS Digital Classroom

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Dr. Matthew Andrew
Dr. Matthew Andrew Technology Expert, ZEISS X-ray Microscopy

One of the best known quotes about the practical geosciences is “The best geologist is [the one] who has seen the most rocks” (H. H. Read, 1940). In the context of learning optical petrography this translates to having seen (and been instructed) across the broadest examples of geological phenomena. The efficient practice of geological instruction, however, is often challenged by the inefficient practicality of having to teach complicated interpretation through the shared eyepiece of a single teaching microscope.

ZEISS Digital Classroom enables teaches and students to collaboratively interact with an integrated teaching laboratory of linked digital microscopes. An instructor can directly view each of the microscope cameras through a networked ipad application, allowing for rapid evaluation and resolution of student issues and a more efficient teaching experience. The ability to control the microscope through the application also allows for peer-to-peer learning within the classroom and direct quantitative measurements to be made on captured images. Once images have been acquired they can be transferred to a student specific network location, enabling students to build up a personal library of thin section images for reports, coursework or out-of-classroom learning.

Teaching within a digital classroom can be complemented by fully digitized light microscope data from automated petrographic systems such as the Axioscan.Z1. Once digitized, data can be either downloaded or accessed via an online portal

An example of such a portal can be found here:
https://www.zeiss.com/microscopy/int/cmp/rwm/20/zeiss-axio-scan-digital-archive/zeissadapts-download.html

This allows for students to learn optical petrography even when access to teaching laboratories or collections is not available.


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