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EDITORIAL Table of Contents   
Year : 2003  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 255-256
The paradigm shift in educational presentations

Joint Editor & Secretary, Indian Journal of Radiology and Imaging, India

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How to cite this article:
Kohli A. The paradigm shift in educational presentations. Indian J Radiol Imaging 2003;13:255-6

How to cite this URL:
Kohli A. The paradigm shift in educational presentations. Indian J Radiol Imaging [serial online] 2003 [cited 2020 Nov 28];13:255-6. Available from:
Another aspect of the digital age is making a profound impact on imaging, especially education. The digital camera. Over the last three years there has been a paradigm shift in educational presentations. I would like to retrace this journey from the past to the present. Educators of today and tomorrow will realize how hard those days were, just a short while back.

   Presentations in the Past Top

In the past and unfortunately still practiced by some today, Presentations were cumbersome and revolved around the usage of 35 mm slides. The material presented in most radiological presentations usually consisted of two components, text material and images. The text material was in the olden days typed, the typed sheet photographed and the 35-mm transparency was then colored, to make it presentable. Subsequently with the introduction of Microsoft Windows and the PC, the text was keyed into Powerpoint. The Powerpoint text slides were then Photographed either directly off the computer monitor or through a sophisticated device attached to the computer. This considerably improved the quality of presentations, with numerous different fonts, backgrounds and design templates. This essentially helped to liven up presentations and take the monotony away, though of course, not always successfully.

A routine SLR camera photographed the text slides. The image slides were photographed using negative black and white film and then these were converted to positives. Due to the 2-step process there was some loss of clarity and detail. Further if the photographer not being adept at shooting radiological images would end up shooting some under and some over, you would have to live with the quality of these images. So now the text slides and image slides were in place. To save on time as well try to reduce the level of monotony, radiologists essentially used dual projections. Often a text slide on one side and the image slide on the other, or any other suitable combination. There were of course radiologists who were of the firm belief that to reduce the monotony, an interlude was necessary. This was essentially a scene, archeological monument, flowers, then some more enterprising radiologists would insert cartoons and/or enchanting women/models/film actresses. In recent years with an increase in female residents in radiology, finally male hunks started appearing as interludes. The presentations were less drab, monotonous and more focussed.

There was significant problems. One of the main problems was the use of slides. They needed to be inserted into a carrousel, of course the right way up so that they did not project upside down. Inserting these quickly was almost an art. Then the slide mounts over the years had changed from glass to cardboard to plastic. Even the plastic ones were of varying thickness and flexibility depending from which part of the universe they came from; the best quality were said to be German and worst from Ulhasnagar. The fact that the thickness of these mounts varied resulted in slides getting jammed in the projector and worse often the projector like a hungry rat would eat up the slide. I have seen at times slides just evaporating in front of my eyes on the screen. Then after a tiring presentation the slides needed to be removed one by one and placed back in order in the plastic sheaves. This was a tiring physical process, if one did not dash off and immediately rescue the slides often the projectionist would just flip over the carousel and dump the slides, since he needed to give someone else the carousel. That would mean the whole process of resorting and rearranging the slides would need to be done again.

   Presentations Today Top

Life has sure changed

We now do our presentations directly from a computer file. The file is in a Powerpoint file, directly from a laptop or saved on a CD and played in a computer. The laptop or computer is attached to a LCD projector, which beams the image on the computer or laptop screen onto a large screen for audience viewing.

Material: The material again essentially consists of the same text and images. The text slides are similar to of the bygone days, only they do not need to be photographed. Further within the text slides, images can be incorporated to provide for a more meaningful slide. Now comes to the major shift and that is importing images from film or slide into the computer and consequently into your Powerpoint file. Essentially the images have to be digitized and saved as a JPEG, bmp or GIF file. Tiff files become too large to handle.

There are many ways to do this. Either scan the image or shoot the image with a digital camera. Prior to the era of digital cameras, the best means was a scanner. These scanners were flat bed scanners, most often of an 8.5 x 11-inch size. Larger scanners to scan 14x7-inch film were available but much more costly. These scanners were essentially used to scan documents, i.e. printed material. To scan films you need a transparency adapter to make both sides of the scanner translucent. The images from these scanners were of moderate quality; the advantage was with software programs these could be modified, brightness contrast adjusted. Many radiologists get stumped because they would like to use their old slides in today's presentation. These slides can also be scanned using a flat bed scanner with a transparency or with a slide adapter. The quality of these is not so great. To provide high-resolution digitized images of slides it was ideal to have a dedicated slide scanner. This would provide extremely high resolution images.

But today frankly all these are redundant when it comes to making presentations a good digital camera is all that one needs. A good digital camera should be 3.34 mega pixels with a macro capability. The high-end cameras go so close to the object in the macro mode that slides placed on a flat view box can be easily photographed. Thus old slides can in a jiffy be made digital and used in new computer presentations. There are also slide adapters for digital cameras, but these are not required with high-end cameras. So once we have digitized our images these can be incorporated into Powerpoint files either to use them with text or multiple images on a slide. The images can be touched up, annotated and cropped. so as to effectively communicate the message. This lends a lot of luster to the presentations. Educators of today have gone a step further, they are introducing avi files with short movies as interludes.

The advantage in this shift, is the saving in terms of money, no more slides need to be shot, as well as savings in terms of time as there is no wastage of time arranging slides, inserting and removal of carousels. No need to remember who you last lent your slides to. Now just email them a copy of your slide. The real benefit however is actually for the audience rather than the educators. Presentations today are of a superior quality, image clearity is superior, images can be annotated, more images can be displayed in a shorter time, as a result the educator is able to deliver more content in a more lucid manner.

Correspondence Address:
Anirudh Kohli
Joint Editor & Secretary, Indian Journal of Radiology and Imaging
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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