A JOURNEY THROUGH
The average person in the United States now spends 2 hours per day on social media - or 30 days per year. Millenials spend even more; some up to 9 hours per day! Why on earth would we not hijack some of that time for education?! We must be at least as smart as the marketers of Silicon Valley. We need to find ways to reach students where they are, because many spend more time on social media than in the classroom.
Our students are already out there, getting news and advice, sharing ideas, and learning from online medical resources. It seems irresponsible of us - educators who have made it our life's work to teach the next generation of medical providers - to not help guide students to the best resources, integrate the vast array of knowledge on the web, demonstrate responsible use, and help build knowledge in a way that meets our core competencies. Social media is a powerful tool. It has the potential to crowd source information and filter the best resources. It's a forum for innovative ideas and creating new social connections students would not have made otherwise. It facilitates instruction on multiple different platforms, and drives student engagement in learning higher than ever before. FOAM continues to explode, with more students discovering it every day. But what resources are they using? How did they find them? Is anyone content letting Google decide?
If we want to guide and nurture this already exploding area of medical education, we should develop expectations, goals, and objectives, and strategies to meet them. A barrier we too often face is the failure of medical education leadership to recognize the importance of social media and FOAM. These are unlikely to be on their priority list and dedicated time in the "real curriculum" is tough to come by. How do we direct students to good resources, show them how to get what they need from FOAM, or teach responsible social media practices, when there is no time allotted to do so? Word of mouth? Email? The class Facebook page? For us, it is all of the above, and more. But we do not have the clear answer here. We need to hear your thoughts!
Developing your institutional goals and objectives comes first. Linking your student body in the next step. But how best to link is up in the air. Twitter? Slack? Facebook? This blog could be one platform! We communicate with our students via email and Facebook. We've started a student interest group for technology in medical education to engage students and develop new ideas. We are introducing a lecture/workshop series covering a wide range of topics related to tech in med ed. We hope to connect everyone via Twitter, as well as a platform like Slack, where topics can be discussed safely, resources shared, and education pushed forward.
It is an exciting time in medical education and we are ready to join the movement. Now to just get buy in from leadership and the rest of the faculty...
By Mike Schick
Harnessing the power of technology to teach the next generation of physicians and health professionals.