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The MIT Media Lab today announced the creation of the Laboratory for Social Machines (LSM), funded by a five-year, $10 million commitment from Twitter. As part of the new program, Twitter will also provide full access to its real-time, public stream of tweets, as well as the archive of every tweet dating back to the first.
In light of these predictions, it’s not surprising that Twitter is contemplating some big changes to how it handles content and discourse. Twitter has always been notable for avoiding the algorithmic approach favored by Facebook and other social media. The hierarchy of information on Twitter is clear: the most recent tweets are always at the top, and when you log in to your timeline, the majority of your attention is focused on a constantly refreshing portrait of the moment. Content that is regularly retweeted by people you follow is more likely to appear in any time snapshot you view, and thus retweets are a way of maintaining visibility even as the hierarchy stays time-based.
An Education in Facebook? examines and critiques the role of Facebook in the evolving landscape of higher education. At times a mandated part of classroom use and at others an informal network for students, Facebook has become an inevitable component of college life, acting alternately as an advertising, recruit-ment, and learning tool. But what happens when educators use a corporate product, which exists outside of the control of universities, to educate students?
Edusocial has been developed by The Education Foundation in partnership with Facebook UK
In 2013, The Education Foundation and Facebook teamed up to write the Facebook Guide for Educators to help support educators in the positive use of social media for good in schools and other education institutions.
Once the guide went live we had lots of amazing educators from across the UK and globally contact us asking for more “hands on” information about what works in this space, how to get started using social media and to find out who else was using Facebook and other social media for learning.
At the end of September, I had the opportunity to attend and present a poster at the 2013 Medicine 2.0 Conference. It was definitely a completely different kind of conference – instead of asking attendees to turn off their phones, we were encouraged to use them and discuss sessions through the Twitter hashtag, #med2. Our badges (see above) had QR codes that linked directly to our Med2.0 profiles and encouraged further discussion and collaboration even after the two-day event concluded. Another interesting aspect of the conference was being able to meet individuals in real life that I had interacted with only through social media sites.
All of this leads me to the main topic of this post: medical students and social media. While there isn’t a consensus on the percentage of medical students that use social media sites, I can confidently guess that at least 90% (if not closer to 100%) of medical students use at least one site. I must make a distinction at this point – although most of us use these sites, the number of us that use it for some sort of healthcare purpose definitely isn’t as high. I’d venture to say that all of us that use sites like Facebook and Twitter, originally made our accounts with the intent of using it to share information on our personal lives with friends and family. But the reality stands that someday we will be medical doctors and our patients will turn to Google to find out more about us; eventually, they’ll stumble upon one of our public social media accounts and discover our most recent musings. This, in combination with institutional policies, leads many medical students to change privacy settings, their account names or delete the accounts altogether. But, is that really necessary?
Since starting my personal blog the summer before my M1 year, I have learned a lot about how powerful social networking sites can be for education, discussion and networking. The Internet is a portal for all of us to connect with individuals we wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to. But engaging in online social networking can also be risky if one does not use their professional judgment before posting. For example, posting photos of a drunken post-exam party – while this does not violate laws like HIPAA, it may violate your institution’s policy and may also negatively impact your career in the future if a patient stumbles across the photo. When posting online, all of us need to really consider the ramifications of our words and photos since every single update adds to our digital footprint, which cannot be undone.
Our generation grew up with social sharing and most of us do it without a second thought. But sometimes, it isn’t worth sharing every single moment of your life – the most important thing is that you are aware that what you produce on the Internet may end up resurfacing at an inopportune time.
BACKGROUND: The provision of excellent patient care is a goal shared by all doctors. The role of social media (SM) in helping medical students and doctors achieve clinical excellence is unknown. Social media may help facilitate the achievement of clinical excellence
PURPOSE: This report aimed to identify examples of how SM may be used to help promote the achievement of clinical excellence in medical learners.
METHODS: Three of the authors previously conducted a systematic review of the published literature on SM use in undergraduate, graduate and continuing medical education. Two authors re-examined the 14 evaluative studies to identify any examples of SM use that may facilitate the achievement of clinical excellence and to consider whether there were any aspects of clinical excellence for which no studies had been performed, and, if so, whether SM was relevant to these domains.
RESULTS: Each study touched on one or more of the following domains of clinical excellence: communication and interpersonal skills; professionalism and humanism; knowledge; diagnostic acumen; exhibiting a passion for patient care; a scholarly approach to clinical practice; and explicitly modelling expertise to medical trainees. No study addressed the role of SM to promote the skillful negotiation of the health care system, and in collaboration with investigators to advance science and discovery; however, additional evidence suggested that SM may play an adjunctive role in promoting the achievement of these aspects of clinical excellence.
CONCLUSION: This report supports the hypothesis that SM may help facilitate the achievement of clinical excellence; however, further research is needed into the role of SM in promoting the achievement of clinical excellence.
(this is a continuation from yesterday’s article about barriers to using social media in education) The first step towards applying social media into education starts with empowering teachers by giving them freedom to use social media to engage with students and giving them the freedom to come-up with innovative ways of teaching using technology. On …
danah boyd (she doesn’t capitalize her name) is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and a Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center, where she looks at how young people use social media as part of their everyday lives. She has a new book out called It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, and she’s made it available as a free PDF. On her website she writes, “I didn’t write this book to make money. I wrote this book to reach as wide of an audience as I possibly could.
The survey’s findings point to the importance of universities becoming more aware of the benefits and risks associated with their faculty members using social media as part of their work. While harnessing the power of social media successfully can be a great advantage for individual academics and the universities for which they work, the possible negative aspects need to be identified and managed by individuals and their institutions.
Imagine you’re at a friend’s party in your neighbourhood. You recognise a few of your patients. As you join the conversation you continuously blurt out phrases like: “Make sure you vaccinate your kids,” “Our practice has opened a skin clinic; it is important to get an annual skin check,” and “Here’s a copy of our latest newsletter.” When one of your patients tries to start a friendly conversation you say: “Sorry, I don’t befriend patients,” and you walk away to chat with a colleague.
You would make a complete fool of yourself.
Still, that’s how many health practitioners behave online. We often use our professional websites and social media accounts as promotional channels and we’re told not to accept patient friend requests on Facebook. When receiving positive feedback from our patients we have to be careful not to share or re-tweet it as this could be interpreted as a patient testimonial by AHPRA.
At the same time there is an unstoppable digital patient movement happening. Health consumers are getting smarter and better organised. TheePatientis empowered by digital technology and social networks. Their disease-specific knowledge matches that of health practitioners – and is often superior. Powerful peer-to-peer networks help consumers to make better decisions about their health care.
And this is only the beginning.
Ignoring digital technologies is not going to help. This will create a digital divide between consumers and health care services. We have to find a way to accommodate participatory healthcare. I don’t believe this means that health consumers should e.g. have the ability to remove or hide information from their electronic health records – but if they want they should be given access and, together with clinicians, take responsibility for their care and the quality of their healthcare data.
We must get over our social media fear so we can start to listen to health consumers online and take part in discussions.
We’re trained to deliver care in the one-on-one situation, but in the near future health practitioners will also engage with online communities. An attitude change towards digital technologies is needed. E-health should improve the interaction between clinicians and consumers. This requires their input at all levels of development.
And, instead of warning students and clinicians about the dangers of social media, they need to be trained to integrate these networks in their day-to-day work.
Figure 1, the photo and information sharing service for the medical profession, is taking the next step in its evolution to become an image-based social network for physicians.
Yesterday the company quietly launched a new version of its photo and information sharing service, which gives users the ability to create more robust profiles of themselves and create groups around institutions or interests.
The updates to the app reflect a huge increase in user adoption since the company launched a bit more than a year ago. Currently there are roughly 3.5 medical images viewed per second on the site, Levey says. And earlier this week the company hit roughly 50 million images viewed.
Toronto-based Figure 1 is akin to Instagram but for doctors. The company’s founders take great pains to ensure that there is no identifying information about patients that appears on the photo sharing app. Rather the idea is for doctors to share interesting cases among themselves.
Figure 1 was born out of concerns company co-founder Dr. Joshua Landy had when looking at how doctors and medical students were using smart phones in hospitals and research universities. What the group found was that physicians and students were using social media to share information about patients and were doing it in a way that didn’t protect the patient’s privacy or store the records in a meaningful and secure way.
“Tens of thousands of times a day patient records and educational images are transferred from healthcare provider to healthcare provider,” Dr. Landy says. “We were thinking of a way to try and preserve and protect that information in an archive that’s searchable and useful.”
The co-founders: Landy, Gregory Levey and Richard Penner, launched the app in May 2013 and it’s now available on both iOS and Android platforms.
For doctors, it’s a way to share knowledge virtually with other physicians around the globe. A simple photo and a comment about a unique case can lead to collaboration and the creation of new bodies of knowledge with doctors worlds away, Dr. Landy says.
“We really have two valuable things,” says Levey. “We are concentrating on the product and growth and moving a little bit from educational information to more practical ways we can be used by care groups and other professional organizations.
The app already has drawn users from over 10% of all of the medical school students in the U.S. “If you look at the app, it’s great from an education point of view. Now we’re pushing for care groups, different medical practices and hospitals to adopt it and that’s where it will have real utility.”
With the new release, users have the ability to follow cases, and collaborate with doctors around the world. The newest iteration of the Figure 1 product also includes more robust biographies, taking the app from anonymous messaging to a more robust social networking function, Levey says. Doctors log in to the service through an API with physician-focused networking service, Doximity.
Ultimately, the company sees itself as part of a group of new applications like Doximity and HealthTap, which are bringing the social networking tools for consumers and adding the features that medical professionals may need to do their jobs better.