The MLA Educational Media
& Technologies Section: A Twenty-Five Year History
EMTS and NLM
Despite earlier disagreements
over the direction and future of AVline, NLM has moved into a true leadership
role with information technologies and multimedia funding and development. We
all know that NLM took over the loan operations of the National Medical Audiovisual
Center in Atlanta (NMAC) many years ago. And, of course, they created a Learning
Resource Laboratory at NLM's Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications.
They have conducted studies of the efficacy of computer-assisted-instruction,
and contributed vast amounts of information to medical education through the publication
of their own videodisc projects. Much of this information has been made available
to the wider community (to the benefit of those of us in EMTS) through their multimedia
outreach intiative, ETnet. The attitude of the mid-1970's had obviously changed.
In fact, NLM established itself as a pioneer in the multimedia field.
A report of the first NLM
videodisc project which began in 1982 with field testing was reported in the
Jan.-Feb. 1984 issue of the NLM News . The videodisc, "Basic Medical Pathology,"
was accompanied by software. Other early projects included topics on radiology
and dental simulations. Certainly, today, the most well-known and widely utilized
of the NLM supported media projects is "The Visible Human Project" which was
originally offered on the internet. It required total commitment of a mainframe
computer for two weeks of downloading time! Now available on videodisc and in
subsets on commercial CDs, its potential is boundless.