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Communication Software

Written by Dave Houldershaw, Ian Tickle,Huub Driessen and Clare Sansom

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Introduction to Communication Tools

During this course, we will be using a variety of communication tools to interact with each other as well as the visualisation tools we use to explore protein structure. The most important of these is the Instant Messenger tool Jabber which we will be using for our interactive tutorials. We also run a blog in which we link recent developments in research into protein structure and allied disciplines with the course material. Many of the posts are linked to talks in the Birkbeck Department of Biological Sciences including those given during Birkbeck Science Week and as part of the regular seminar programme that is run jointly with life science departments at University College London.

We will be using email discussion lists regularly throughout the course. There are two of these: the general list and the tutors' list. More details of these lists are available here.

We will discuss blogs, wikis and other "social software" communication tools at much more length in section 4 of the course, when we also discuss the scientific literature and how it is accessed and used. In the mean time, if you use Twitter at all, you might like to consider following the account for the Birkbeck College School of Science

You might also be interested to know that before we used the Instant Messenger tool for tutorials, tutors and students used to meet in a MUD - a Multi-User Dimension, or a text-based, real-time virtual world. When the PPS course started at the end of the 1990s we used BioMOO, or 'the biologists' virtual meeting place' and this was later replaced by a simpler MUD run at Birkbeck. Both these systems are now obsolete.

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