What is the Digital Learning Center for Microbial Ecology? (DLC-ME)?
The goal of the DLC-ME and the Microbe Zoo is to help students
from 7 to 107 to learn about microbial ecology, the study of microbes in the
Creators of the DLC-ME
Purpose of the DLC-ME
Parts of the DLC-ME
Getting around the DLC-ME
The Digital Learning Center for Microbial Ecology (DLC-ME) is a science education project developed at Michigan State University. The DLC-ME was created by the Comm Tech Lab in collaboration with the Center for Microbial Ecology and the College of Education at Michigan State. The creation of the DLC-ME was partially sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The goal of the DLC-ME is to use computers and network technologies to provide students and teachers interested in microbiology and microbial ecology with resources that may aid their learning and teaching. Elements of the DLC-ME are distributed on line as a World-Wide Web (WWW) site and as a CD-ROM for use on personal computers. The multimedia software for use on personal computers was created with Macromedia Director, and will run on a Windows PC as well as on a Macintosh.
Microbial ecology is the study of ecosystems that are entirely composed of or profoundly influenced by microscopic organisms. Unlike medical microbiologists, who study disease-causing microbes, microbial ecologists are often concerned with communities of microorganisms responsible for processes that are helpful to or sometimes essential for the health and survival of humans on Earth. The goal of the DLC-ME project is to use computers and network technologies to help students and teachers learn about microbial ecology, and to help make educational resources concerning microbes readily available.
in the News
- news stories from the popular press related to microbial ecology and microbiology, with added commentary from scientists. Stories are grouped into four categories: Heroic, Dangerous, Ancient and Strange. Articles are listed in chronological order based on publication dates, as well as by groupings based on what newspaper or magazine they originally appeared in.
- meet scientists who study microbes and microbial ecology. Science is not merely a collection of facts; it is an activity and an occupation for many people. Find out more about the people behind the microbes. Scientists are listed two ways: grouped by their areas of expertise and listed alphabetically by name.
- a list of resources related to microbial ecology, microbiology, and biology of potential interest to students and teachers. Includes lists of World-Wide Web sites, CD-ROMs and other software, videotapes, books, periodicals, conferences, catalogs, science museums and other resources. Resources can be looked up based on title, author's name, or by media type (such as book, video, software, etc.).
The DLC-ME World-Wide Web site has some standard navigation features that can help you move around this site.
At the top of each page is the "Digital Learning Center for Microbial Ecology"
banner graphic, which looks like this:
Clicking on this at any time will return you to the DLC-ME Home Page/Main Menu.
In each major section of the DLC-ME site (the "Microbe Zoo", "Microbes in the
News", "Microbial Ecology Resources", or "Meet the Scientists"), the section
you are currently within is represented by a picture and text that appear immediately
below the DLC-ME banner. For example, in the "Microbe Zoo", the top of a page
looks like this:
Clicking on the "Microbe Zoo" picture or text on this graphic will immediately take you to the Microbe Zoo Home Page/Main Menu from anywhere within the Microbe Zoo. Similar graphics with equivalent functionality appear within the other major DLC-ME sections (Microbes in the News, etc.).
Major DLC-ME sections (such as the Microbe Zoo) have several sub-sections.
In the case of the Microbe Zoo, these include DirtLand, Animal Pavilion, Snack
Bar, Space Adventure, and Water World. Within each sub-section, the graphic
at the top of the page indicates both the major section and the sub-section,
This graphic indicates that we are in the DirtLand sub-section of the Microbe Zoo section of the DLC-ME. As before, clicking on the Microbe Zoo text or picture (on the left) takes you to the Microbe Zoo Home Page/Main Menu. Likewise, clicking on the DirtLand text or picture (on the right) takes you to the main DirtLand menu page from anywhere within the DirtLand sub-section. Other sub-sections, both wihin the Microbe Zoo and elsewhere in the DLC-ME, have similar graphics with equivalent functionality.
The sub-sections are also represented by a row of smaller buttons that appear
immediately below the previously mentioned graphics. In the Microbe Zoo, these
sub-section buttons look like this:
The entire page-top graphic in the Microbe Zoo (in this case, in the DirtLand
sub-section) looks like this:
Clicking on any of these sub-section buttons takes you to the main menu page of the corresponding sub-section. For instance, to go directly to Water World (without returning to the Microbe Zoo main menu page) from within DirtLand, you would click on the Water World button on the far right. Note that in this example graphic, the DirtLand button (far left) is slightly "grayed-out", which would indicate that we are within the DirtLand sub-section.
On long pages, a "go up to the top of the page" arrow graphic is sometimes included, usually along the right-hand edge of the page. Try this one out now!