The BioMediaLab formed in 2004, as part of the School of Biology and Ecology, to serve as a Web-focused support center for SBE faculty and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture. Prior to formation, the founders, Mary Tyler and Ron Kozlowski, produced a series of educational materials that incorporated technology that was pushing the boundaries of what had been done before in science education. The hallmark of their work was Vade Mecum, an interactive CD published by Sinauer Associates that accompanied Mary’s Developmental Biology laboratory manual and Scott Gilbert’s Development Biology texbook.

In the beginning, the BioMediaLab focused mainly on Web sites that highlighted faculty research labs. However, a small handful of faculty were experimenting with ways of enriching their live courses with online materials. The tools available at the time did not handle quizzes, movies, and audio playback in a way that was most beneficial to the students and easy to access. In order to find a solution, Ron Kozlowski was asked to build a series of specialized sites that would accommodate their specific needs.

Over the years we have worked hard to give students and professors the tools that they feel advance their courses. Our goal is not to replace live instruction, but to supplement it. In doing so, we have collaborated with many professors, all with their own unique ideas, and we have incorporated feedback from thousands of students. We hope that you find Synapse an exciting addition to your course.