As a biology educator, I never thought I would need to defend the use of microscopes in biology instruction. However, with the advent of the internet, it is now easy to find any desired microscopic image and project it for all students to view. Of course, these professional images will be far better than those obtained by looking through a classroom microscope, but that’s not really the point.

Even though many of our students won’t use a microscope in their future lives, and setting up and maintaining the scopes can be a bit of a hassle, and our technology-enveloped students may find the traditional microscope somewhat old-fashioned, there are many reasons why we should not abandon their use.

Despite any challenges, there are some important rationales for justifying microscope use at all levels of life science and biology teaching. Yes, it is useful for students to understand what a microscope...

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