Tech and Health Professional Education

By Jonathan Sherbino (@sherbino)

Technology and health professional education is a perennial hot topic.  I suspect that the invention of papyrus was a big step forward for Hippocrates and his followers. 2400 years later (i.e. 2014) the International Conference on Residency Education (the largest conference in the world focusing on residency education / graduate medical education) is addressing “Residency Education and Care in the Digital Age.”

Of course, there is always the danger in health professional education of buying into Marshall McLuhan’s notable quotation “the medium is the message.”  Too often, the theory and principles of effective teaching and learning are pushed aside by the next big interactive-cloud based-social networking-free ware-asynchronous-multi media platform.

As an example, in my second year of medical school, a fantastic neuroanatomy wet lab that use small group prosection with one-on-one tutoring was replaced by an “on-line course.” It was 1997 and web design at that time was pretty lousy, so the website mainly consisted of a series of stills taken from a neuroanatomy textbook.  My message from that medium = “I (still) have no understanding of neuroanatomy.”

Heeding the warning to map technology to the instructional design, let me share with you the C4PLTs (Centre for Performance and Learning Technologies  – a website with annual visits > 2M) 2013 Top Tools for Learning.  Compiled by 500+ learning professionals in 48+ countries, the list may introduce you to new tools that you can (appropriately) integrate into your teaching practice or curricula.  Here are entries that I found interesting:

  • #2 – Google drive / docs: I love this site for real time collaboration on a text document.  This platform informs you when changes have been made and allows multiple people to simultaneously edit.  No more multiple versions of documents!
  • #6 – Evernote: A cloud-based archive that accepts every form of media. Clip a webpage, embed a jpeg, sync handwritten notes from a tablet etc.  Searchable – even with pdfs and drawings!
  • #15 – Prezi: Does anyone actually like using this presentation software?  It gives me motion sickness.
  • #68  iMovie: This movie editing software from Apple is amazing.  Simple to use, the templates take your video presentation from low budget to semi-pro.

And the #1 learning tool for 2013… Twitter, who knew?

(Thanks to Felix Ankel (@felixankel) –  for sharing this website with me… via… wait for it… Twitter.)

Image courtesy of Kittisak /