Scitable is an open online teaching/learning portal, which combines educational articles authored by editors at Nature Publishing Group with technology-based community features, all aimed at helping teachers, librarians and students.
Science + Citable
We spoke with Scitable’s publishing director, Vikram Savkar, about the online education content network and its academic influence. As more universities and high schools experiment with paperless textbooks and e-learning initiatives, Scitable provides a comprehensive network of interactive science-related tools that engage students.
Launched in January 2009, Scitable is built on the concept that students like to be social and like to learn from people, not just words. As well it engages students with different learning styles and seeks to make traditional educational content interactive and intuitive to the learner.
Scitable provides teachers will learning paths that help to walk student through the science education process.
Reputable and Educational
Drawing upon Nature Publishing Group's 140-year strength in scientific research publishing and years spent on college campuses listening to teachers, Scitable provides a library of authoritative educational information, ranging from introductory, media-rich online courses to advanced articles and commentary.
By providing faculty with a comprehensive suite of educational tools designed to immerse students in science as well as a collaborative network of scientists, teachers, journalists, students, and lifelong-learners, learning expands well beyond the classroom and students have many opportunities for discussion, mentorship and informal instruction.
Users can connect with a global network of science faculty and students.
Evolving Classroom Behaviors and Business Models
Savkar says that Scitable has provided traditional schools, not just those engaged in e-learning, a viable teaching solution and access to materials, content and information possibly not available in some environments.
Following what Savkar calls the NPR Model, the site is underwritten by four sponsors — Roche, Tata, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and New England Biolabs — who are allotted pages to gain exposure and highlight corporate values on the parts of the site they support.
By offering an educational network that is part learning content library, social network and personal learning tool. Faculty are drawn to it because of its extensive archive of scientific research, while students are captivated by tools that them digitally experiment and examine specimens and subjects.
With Sctiable's multimedia tools, students can build their own fly.
As Scitable expands, more content will be added to the vast genetic library that currently exists. Additionally, there are plans to go mobile, allowing students to engage within a mobile platform, which may make the site more accessible from countries with better mobile communication networks than internet access.