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A new social media app that has been called the “Instagram for doctors” provides a mobile platform for healthcare professionals and students to share and discuss raw photos of medical disorders, anomalies, traumatic injuries and downright disgusting cases.
The photo-sharing app Figure 1 was founded by Josh Landy, an intensive care specialist in Toronto, Canada, in hopes that healthcare professionals would be able to share photographs and information with the medical community for learning and diagnosis purposes.
About 150,000 healthcare professionals have taken to the app and uploaded thousands of photos. Many students in the medical field, including some in San Antonio and South Texas, use the app as a "living textbook."
The app, which does not allow the general public to post or comment, runs similar to Instagram and includes everything from easy-to-visually-digest X-rays to photos of extremely gashed fingers and protruding tear ducts.
All images posted must have a patient's consent and all identifying details, such as tattoos, removed because of privacy laws, according to the app's Frequently Asked Questions page.
“These are things healthcare professionals see throughout the day,” Landy said. “Not all cases are what the general public would find interesting – that’s fine with me.”
Though the photos posted may be nausea-inducing for most, it has become an innovative tool for future health care professionals, he said.
“In some ways, it’s a living textbook that’s growing and developing,” Landy said in describing the app.
That’s exactly how Kathryn Mayhan, a University of the Incarnate Word nursing student, is utilizing Figure 1.
“It gives you the history of the patient, which is like a case study that you get in class, so it’s great practice for school and the real world,” she said.
Sabrina Saenz, a Texas A&M Corpus Christi nursing student furthered Mayhan’s sentiment.
“It’s handy when I need to look up a particular syndrome or disease that I’m not familiar with, I can not only read about it, but (I can) see it,” she said. “Most are actual pictures in the hospital setting, more trustworthy than Google images."
About 30 percent of students are using the app, including Mayhan and Saenz, and the app was also recently launched in its 42nd and 43rd countries, India and Poland, Landy said.
All users can access the app free of charge and Landy says there are not any plans to charge in the future.
Saenz said the app has done a good job of adhering to privacy laws.
Although Figure 1 has been deemed the “Instagram for doctors,” the app, unlike the popular photo-sharing social media app, does not allow time stamps or locations to protect patients' privacy.
Landy said in an interview that photos, as well as comments, are moderated to ensure they provide educational purposes. Figure 1 verifies the accounts of licensed physicians, nurses and assistants and verified users receive a "digital badge" on their profile.
When registering, a user must select from a variety of titles in the medical field. If the user is not a healthcare professional, other options include "educator," "hospital administrator," "journalist" and "lawyer."
Verified users are allowed to upload photos and post comments and others can only browse the content.
Scrolling through the comments, it is clear that the comments are in stark contrast from those found in the depths of YouTube or Reddit.
For example, user digiti-minimi posted this comment in response to a photo of a stitched-laceration: “Nice closure. While I will throw a few vicryl stitches subq on a deep lac, I have yet to do a rubbing subcuticular for primary closure in the ER.”
Landy compares Figure 1 to a “teaching file,” which is a folder of photocopied examples of cases healthcare educators commonly use to teach. Teaching files were shared before online via email, a method that may not be privacy or archival safe.
Figure 1 is a resolution for both of those problems, he said.
"We created something that would safeguard and archive for educational purposes," he said. "We want to take that behavior, make it safe and use it to help other people."
Vineet Arora, MD, met the co-authors of her latest book on Twitter. She has received speaking invitations from people who read her blog. When she applies for NIH grants, she explains how she will disseminate her research on social media.
But she isn't advocating that all doctors necessarily do the same -- at least not immediately.ADVERTISEMENT
"You don't have to dive into the pool if you're here and you're just learning," Arora, an internist and director of Graduate Medical Education Clinical Learning Environment Innovation at the University of Chicago, told attendees at the American College of Physicians (ACP) annual meeting.
Arora said it took over a year for her to become comfortable transitioning from someone who consumed information on social media to someone who created it.
"I Think the 'Why' Is Very Important"
It's important for doctors to understand why they want to engage in social media and what their goals are, Arora said.
The "why" may be a moral impulse, as articulated by popular blogger Bryan Vartabedian, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.
Three out of five adults go online to research health information, and nearly half of those searches ultimately impacted patients' decisions about their care.
"There is a professionalism space here we can fill," Arora said. "One of the things we can do as a profession is counteract bad information," she added, referencing celebrity Jenny McCarthy's online anti-vaccine activism.
But one must pick and choose those battles, she added, noting that some audiences may be more receptive than others. Arora said she prefers to convey positive information, "because I don't know where they're getting their information from."
Echoing the sentiment was panelist Humayun Chaudhry, DO, an internist and president and CEO of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). "I think it's important to speak up, but do I have to respond every time a friend makes a medical comment?" he said.
When Chaudhry served as a health commissioner for Suffolk County in Long Island, N.Y., he was reluctant to establish a Twitter account. But "900 tweets later," he found that the medium was useful for pushing out accurate health information to the public.
The "why to engage on social media" can also have more of a personal focus, Arora added.
Informal relationships that grow out of social networking form "weak ties" that can provide fodder for new ideas or opportunities. "You're opening up your network to people who you may not have thought about before," Arora said.
"Pause Before You Send"
But with opportunity comes risk, cautioned panelist Janelle Rhyne, MD, an infectious disease specialist in Wilmington, N.C. and board chair of the FSMB.
"From a medical board perspective, we see the negatives," Rhyne said, citing examples of patient privacy violations, inappropriate contact with patients, misrepresentation of credentials, and inappropriate prescribing of medications.
Arora gave an example of an actual inappropriate tweet: "My DNR/DNI patient got intubated by pulmonary. Medical errors on multiple levels. This should not have happened."
Just like sending a handwritten letter, it is imperative for physicians to "pause before they send" information online, Chaudhry said. There can be difficulty in striking a balance between "harnessing the opportunities" of social media while "being aware of the challenges," he said.
Recognizing the need for guidance in this sphere, the ACP and FSMB put together best practice guidelines for online medical professionalism, published as a position paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2013.
Key guidelines included:Consistent application of ethical principles to preserve the relationship, confidentiality, privacy, and respect for patientsKeeping professional and social spheres separate onlineThe use of email only in an established patient-physician relationship and with patient consentPeriodic "self-auditing" by physicians to assess how they are portrayed onlineAwareness that online postings are permanent and can have professional implications
Chaudhry noted pushback by some physicians on what they perceived as rigidity of keeping professional and social spheres entirely separate. The guidelines on this point use "should" rather than "must," he added, acknowledging that gray areas exist.
One audience member mentioned his success in using social media to keep up with the latest medical literature. Rather than simply following journals on Twitter, "I'm following people who read journals with a discerning mind," said Michael Wagner, MD, an internist and ultrasound fellow at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia.
"With the proper setup and 'followers,' Twitter can serve as a constant journal club that helps you distill medical literature and stay current," he added in an email to MedPage Today.
Wagner, who will be ultrasound director for the university's internal medicine department starting in July, has been experimenting with new ways of teaching residents and medical students.
"Twitter can also be used to augment a flipped classroom curriculum by tweeting questions that reinforce online lectures," he said. "Tweets can be scheduled for the convenience of the teacher and can be completed when convenient for the learner in small aliquots."ADVERTISEMENT
Another audience member also wanted continuing medical education (CME), but for a somewhat different purpose.
He recalled that when he was a resident, he had a curriculum dedicated to answering the phone. "Is there CME online for how to do social media for old guys like me?" he asked.
Social media has enabled information, communication and reach for health professionals. There are clear benefits to patients and consumers when health information is broadcast. But there are unanswered questions on professionalism, education, and the complex mentoring relationship between doctor and student. This personal perspective raises a number of questions: What is online medical professionalism? Can online medical professionalism be taught? Can online medical professionalism be enforced? Is an online presence necessary to achieve the highest level of clinical excellence? Is there evidence that social media is superior to traditional methods of teaching in medical education? Does social media encourage multitasking and impairment of the learning process? Are there downsides to the perfunctory laconic nature of social media? Does social media waste time that is better spent attaining clinical skills?
As Faust, seated in his arched, Gothic chamber, begins his great tragedy, he is restless, confused and probably dispirited (“The Project Gutenberg eBook of Faust, by von Goethe,” n.d.). This is clear from his first words:
“I’ve studied now Philosophy
And Jurisprudence, Medicine,—
And even, alas! Theology,—
From end to end, with labor keen;
And here, poor fool! with all my lore
I stand, no wiser than before”
This is how I feel despite many years devoted to social media and medicine. From the launch my blog AllergyNet Australia in January 1998, almost certainly the first medical blog in the world, to the posting of over 10,000 tweets in six years, and culminating in a rigorous approach to study this topic as a PhD student, I, like Faust, remain restless and confused about this topic.
How can a believer feel this way when Dr Kevin Pho, founder of KevinMD.com, which Forbes hails as a ‘must-read’ blog, and whose opinion pieces appear in multiple traditional and online media sites, says “We need to show our colleagues the value of social media…”? (“Must-Read Health Blogs – Forbes,” n.d.)
How can we doubt the value of social media in health care when the Mayo Clinic offers social media residencies? (“Social Media Residency | Social Media Health Network,” n.d.)
How can we disregard widespread advice, such as from the Editor of the Journal of the Kentucky Medical Association that “Social media can make you a better doctor”? (“Doctors and Social Media — It’s time to embrace change.,” n.d.)
There is no argument that the Internet is unsurpassed when it comes to information, communication and reach. But is public interaction via digital media, inherent in any definition of social media, necessary in medical practice? I feel that there are problems that the avid proponents of social media must solve. These involve overlapping problems of professionalism, education and tutorialism (Figure 1).
While professionalism in medical practice is clearly important, I would go so far as to suggest it is the sine qua non of medical practice. But there are unanswered questions about professionalism even without introducing social media as an additional variable.
What is medical professionalism?
Medical professionalism, whether online or not, is impossible to define. Yet everyone seems to know what it is. It is analogous to the definition of pornography that Justice Potter Stewart of the United States Supreme Court described in 1964: “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [“hard-core pornography”], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it…” (“I know it when I see it – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,” n.d.)
The problem of defining professionalism is three-fold. Firstly, inherent is assessing professionalism is an ethical construct. Secondly, this assessment varies with the cultural proclivities of the discussants. Finally, there are multiple domains of professionalism. Attempts to define professionalism, such as “A general standard of all round proficiency and accountability” presuppose a clear understanding of the terms “general standard”, “proficiency” and “accountability” (Kerridge, Lowe, & Stewart, 2013)
Transposing clinical professionalism to online professionalism magnifies the opportunity to divert from professionalism however defined. While not in itself an insurmountable block to social media engagement, it nevertheless is a source of anxiety from registration boards down to individual practitioners.
A further problem is the tendency to ‘reinvent the wheel’ during discussions on professionalism and social media. Whether it’s Hippocrates or Osler or Facebook, the guidelines should be the same. But it’s not seen that way by many.
For example, a joint initiative of the Australian Medical Association Council of Doctors-in-Training, the New Zealand Medical Association Doctors-in-Training Council, the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association and the Australian Medical Students’ Association has produced a document called Social Media and the Medical Profession (“Social media and the medical profession | Medical Journal of Australia,” n.d.). The advice includes, inter alia, this statement:
“Our perceptions and regulations regarding professional behaviour must evolve to encompass these new forms of media” (my italics)
I would argue that perceptions and regulations of professionalism, once properly espoused and documented, should be applied universally, in any day and age, and for any circumstance or technology. This is declared, for example, in the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Position Statement “Psychiatry, online presence and social media” where, although there are specific allusions to social media behaviour in the document, there is an over-riding clause that clearly states:
“… they must ensure their social media use and Internet presence upholds the ethical and practice standards required for Fellowship of the College” (RANZCP, 2012)
Others argue that social media is somehow different. After all, it has immediacy and reach and permanency. I cannot accept that a smart, well-educated student who has achieved entry to medical school does not know these properties of social media.
Can medical professionalism be taught?
Many medical schools provide courses in medical professionalism, but there is a strong argument that it cannot be taught, only enforced (vide infra). Thomas Huddle has argued: “As attractive as it may be to view professionalism as expertise or as a competence, I will contend that in asking for professionalism, that is, for just, altruistic, conscientious, and compassionate physicians and trainees, medical educators are asking for morality” and he concludes “although medical educators can teach professionalism, especially during internship and residency, we are mistaken to suppose that we can do so as readily as we teach clinical medicine” (Huddle, 2005). I find Huddle’s arguments persuasive.
The immediate corollary is that online professionalism may be as difficult to teach as clinical professionalism, if not impossible in some students. This will be of concern to many physicians.
Can medical professionalism be enforced?
Here the problem is different. Yes, in principle, rules and regulations are enforceable. But in this case we must admit that maintenance of the same standards on social media is more complex than in real life. Not by behaviour, or definitions, or standards, which are the same in both spheres. But it is more complex because of publicity and reach.
Let me provide an example. In 2014, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency attempted to introduce new social media guidelines that included:
“A practitioner must take reasonable steps to have any testimonials associated with their health service or business removed when they become aware of them, even if they appear on a website that is not directly associated and/or under the direct control or administration of that health practitioner..” (“AHPRA Updates the Rules: Testimonials and Social Media are in the Regulator’s Sights,” n.d.)
The Australian health Twittersphere went into meltdown. Opponents of this proposed regulation, including myself, convinced AHPRA, because of publicity and reach, to modify and effectively reverse it.
While this can be seen as a good outcome in this instance, what if many experienced health professionals saw a proposed legislation as highly desirable, but the public and significant numbers of professionals opposed it. Can an outcome in this instance be democratic? Indeed, should an outcome be democratic?
The concepts of privacy are integral to procuring general agreement in the principles outlined above. Privacy boundaries are clear to physicians who were brought up in the pre-social media era, but are blurred in a significant number of current active users. A cross-sectional survey of the use of Facebook by recent medical graduates found a quarter of the doctors did not use the privacy options, allowing public access to the information they posted (MacDonald, Sohn, & Ellis, 2010). Some of the posts included photographs or descriptions of offensive behaviour, drunkenness, or inappropriate personal information or views. Clearly, growing up with social media seems to produce a perception in a minority of supposedly intelligent and educated health professionals that privacy is in some way a restriction of freedom. I argue that this attitudinal change may be difficult to reverse. But breaches of privacy can certainly be enforced.
Is an online presence necessary to achieve the highest level of clinical excellence?
Clinical excellence, like medical professionalism, is difficult, perhaps impossible to define, yet many professional bodies have adopted criteria for excellence. Indeed, professionalism is usually included as one of the domains of excellence.
The Miller-Coulson Academy (“The Miller-Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence,” n.d.) has developed strong domains with which to judge clinical excellence: communication and interpersonal skills, professionalism and humanism, diagnostic acumen, skilful negotiation of the health care system, knowledge, scholarly approach to clinical practice, passion for clinical medicine, and reputation for clinical excellence. An online presence may contribute to any of these domains, especially to communication, but is not essential. Of course, I cannot discount the possibility that, when clinical excellence is analysed in a similar way in the future, an effective social media presence might be considered a marker per se of clinical excellence. Currently, however, there is no evidence that a good virtual doctor is a good real doctor.
Kirkpatrick’s four level model of criteria to assess learning outcomes, as adapted by Praslova, provide a validated tool to study education in higher institutions (Praslova, 2010). Briefly, these criteria are reaction (students’ affective reaction to learning), learning (direct measures of learning outcomes), behaviour (evidence that students use knowledge and skills), and results (career success and service to society). Many equate the first criterion (reaction) with success in education. When students are happy, excited, involved, and, critically, ‘not bored’ by teaching using social media, the teacher might well be satisfied. But the other three criteria must also be fulfilled to determine educational success, and important questions remain to be answered.
Is there evidence that social media is superior to traditional methods of teaching in medical education?
Social media allows access to knowledge. But does it make you think? Is thinking important in clinical practice?
I recently enjoyed watching a lecture by Dr Samuel Gershon, a clinician well-known to readers of this journal (“Prof Samuel Gershon: The Psychopharmacological Specificity of the Lithium Ion,” n.d.) At the time he was receiving the Curtin Medal for Excellence in Medical Research at the Australian National University on 16th August 2010. He was then the Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. I enjoyed his relaxed presentation of research in Melbourne during the 1950s. He alluded to John Cade’s discovery of lithium, and discussed his own collaboration with Edward Troutner of measurement of lithium levels. I pricked up my ears when he revealed that the research was done in the laboratories of Professor Roy Douglas Wright, a brilliant, ambitious and passionate researcher and teacher. I was fortunate to receive lectures from Professor Wright as a second-year medical student in 1967. Wright espoused the Oxford Tutorial approach (Oxford, n.d.). Today this would be called the inverted or flipped classroom. Several thousand years ago it was a Socratic debate. The flipped classroom is excitedly called a revolution in teaching. It is not.
That is the first problem when analyzing social media for teaching – does a change in technology actually mean a different outcome to teaching? Is a YouTube lecture actually intrinsically different to a “live” lecture? Does online interaction between students actually differ in attaining knowledge and understanding compared to a feisty discussion over beer and pizza? Yes, I understand about communication and reach, but I argue that new technology is not the same as better teaching. We need evidence, not just by a demonstration of better marks, but over a generation of these “new” doctors.
The first systematic review of social media for medical education analysed 14 studies through September 2011 (Cheston, Flickinger, & Chisolm, 2013). While most studies were heterogeneous and not of high quality, the authors noted “it is encouraging to see that several relatively rigorous studies have emerged so early” and that “this systematic review offers a foundation for future research and guidance for incorporating social media tools into medical curricula”
My disquiet therefore occurs because, while the academic community slowly collects rigorous data, many online proponents confuse technology with teaching, social media with skills, and access to knowledge with the ability to think.
Does social media encourage multitasking and impairment of the learning process?
Media multitasking is the consumption of more than one item or stream of content at the same time. Heavy media multitaskers are more susceptible to interference from irrelevant environmental stimuli and from irrelevant representations in memory (Ophir, Nass, & Wagner, 2009). Many studies have examined this and other phenomena. Even when laptops are used solely to take notes, thus not fulfilling the criterion of media multitasking, they may still be impairing learning because their use results in shallower processing (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014)
As both a teacher, and recently as a student again, I view the inexorable march to device-driven rather than brain-driven learning with concern. The former results in the inefficient accumulation of facts, the latter promotes analysis and understanding.
I have used this term for many years and I admit that it is a neologism, albeit I would argue a useful one. The term has appeared in occasional blogs, not in the manner in which I use it, and remains officially undefined. A definition would involve concepts of guardianship, protection and teaching, but in a specific medical sense. It might be the consultant and registrar, or the attending and the resident, or the senior consultant and the junior consultant, but the interaction is always the same. It’s frank but nurturing, instructive but caring, and is often complex and difficult. I would define tutorialism thus: “A traditional relationship between the doctor as guardian and the student as apprentice where the doctor transfers knowledge, skills and mentorship by ongoing often complex interactions”. Can social media provide tutorialism? This question does need to be teased out.
Are there downsides to the perfunctory laconic nature of social media?
Information on social media is usually fast and short. This is terrific for letting the world know about an impending disaster. But is speed and brevity conducive to tutorialism? I would argue that it is not.
The social media platforms that could mount a difficult or long argument usually engage in censorship with respect to length. We are told that people get bored with a blog that is over 300-600 words (“How Long Should Your Blog Post Be? A Writer’s Guide,” n.d.) and the ideal length for a video (with few exceptions) should be 90 seconds to 3 minutes (“Online Video Attention Span – How long should a video production be?,” n.d.). Nevertheless, one or two useful facts can be broadcast in that way. I find that useful. But can a complex scenario be discussed in any meaningful way using public comments after the piece? The brevity that is inherent in social media breeds dogmatic and angry responses. In my blog, 80% of comments were insulting, abusive, or motherhood statements, or computer-generated. I finally deleted the ability to comment. You only need to google this problem to realize its extent.
On the other hand, a long and complex blog piece will drive cyber-bullies away but may bore readers silly, because there is no to and fro during the piece, but only comments and replies at the end. Social media is by definition interactive, but not in the tutorialism sense. Tutorialism is a conversation, not a lecture followed by comments and questions. This is a contentious issue, and if this paper were an online blog, the comments section would indeed be long and angry.
Let us examine the common and much-lauded social media activity of live-tweeting from a medical conference (“Healthcare Conferences,” n.d.). Its popularity is engagement. Physicians might feel happy because the snippets that go around the world are comforting in their familiarity. Health consumers might enjoy the headlining fragments about their particular ailment. But this is not tutorialism, and not education. I argue that a physician cannot improve their knowledge from reading a live-tweet stream. A physician needs to read papers in detail, discuss issues at length with colleagues, learn or improve skills with practice. I argue that a health consumer cannot improve their well being by reading a live-tweet stream. They are merely a source of insubstantive fragmented news of doubtful significance. Others have aired similar opinions (“The problem with live tweeting medical conferences,” n.d.). I would extend this argument to all online discussion groups. They are great for networking, some, such as Reddit, are very good for information, but discussions (as opposed to broadcasts with links) on a platform such as Twitter are generally hopeless.
In summary, social media, because of brevity and inability to discuss complex issues, certainly does not lend itself to any form of tutorialism, and has limitations with the tranfer of knowledge with understanding.
Does social media waste time that is better spent attaining clinical skills?
I raise this point because it is the most often criticism I hear from other physicians who are not using social media. A broad debate entitled “Social media: the way forward or a waste of time for physicians?” is just that – a debate offering two opposing viewpoints (“Social media: the way forward or a waste of time for physicians? | Health Care Social Media Monitor on WordPress.com,” n.d.) Elsewhere Dr Dike Drummond writes as a comment to his own blog piece on why social media may not be worth it for doctors: “On your death bed, what do you think your biggest regret will be? … that you didn’t TWEET ENOUGH?” (“Why social media may not be worth it for doctors,” n.d.)
There is no replacement for clinical skills. Social media can waste a lot of time. The judicious use of social media is a fine art. I have reduced my volume of social media by 50% in the last 12 months. I see “waste of time” as a legitimate criticism for excessive interaction. That time is usually better spent in a tutorialism relationship.
Different platforms do complement each other. A tweet can point to a post that can link to a Facebook page. This is useful if broadcasting only. It all depends on why a physician spends time on social media. Multiple platforms promote reach, one platform allows a large amount of interaction, if so desired, and a specialized platform, such as ResearchGate, supports occasional yet effective use. I feel that physicians should be highly selective. I disapprove of those whose criticize “lurkers”, a term for those who follow or join but do not interact. Also, those who criticize physicians who are not on social media unsettle me.
What do patients actually want in their physician? Patients want eye contact, partnership, communication, and time (Stone, 2003) I would add reflection not precipitancy, knowledge not guesswork, and skills not ineptness. The jury is still out on whether patients need, rather than want, their physician to be on social media.
As an early adopter, my personal reflection on social media is finely balanced. The benefits of knowledge, communication and reach are clear. But the nebulous areas of professionalism, clinical excellence, content, time, distractions and need confuse me. And I do not see a role of social media in what I have defined as tutorialism. I admit it may be an age-thing. In my 67th year, I do understand, like Faust “Tis vain, this empty brooding here”, but I am optimistic that some, perhaps not all, of the questions I posed may be answered in the next generation.
I don’t have time to finish my curriculum and now you want me to learn WHAT? 3D Printing?
This is a common complaint that I have heard many times over my 30 years in the classroom. My own version went something like this: “You want me to become a better swimmer – but I just want to keep treading water so that I don’t drown”. Every teacher will understand and perhaps relate to this statement.
When one is dedicated to their students and to their profession, teaching is a very difficult job. It can be quite overwhelming learning new attendance systems, new grading systems, new presentation systems and new technologies. Adding to the stress of it all, there are also many changes teachers have to contend with such as new standards, new evaluation protocols and changing attitudes about teachers.
Over the years, I have seen many technologies come and go, change and improve. Early on I remember mimeograph machines, VHS tapes, laser disks, Net TV’s and then all the new computer and presentation systems that came and went over the years. All of this was necessary to my skillset and had to be learned on my own time.
Now that I am retired and working as a consultant and professional development provider, I find myself on the other side of the fence. I find myself saying to lots of teachers: “I know how difficult your job is, how little time you have, how stressed out you are, but here I am to make your job more enjoyable, more productive and more relevant to your students and their future career paths.” Now, I am training teachers to accept, enjoy and master 3D digital design, scanning and printing as a useful and very promising teaching tool that they need to learn.
I am convinced that 3D printing is as important to current educational methods as the internet and the computer is and that the career paths it can promote are real and worth pursuing. I see the same old anguish on the teachers’ faces. Many are unsure how they will it as part of their curriculum and within their classroom. How will they find time to incorporate this new method of instruction? When will they learn the skills they need to become proficient at it so that they can teach their students with confidence and clarity?
I have always had an affinity for interdisciplinary projects, but I was always concerned about the shortage of planning time that enabled these kinds of experiences to occur naturally and comfortably. As a teacher of a Regents Science class, it was always a struggle to find new and exciting ideas that I could squeeze into the curriculum without sacrificing time for a required topic that had to be covered thoroughly for the all important exam at the end of the year.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
The Maker Movement is a technological and creative revolution underway around the world. Fortunately for educators, the Maker Movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power of learning by doing. Embracing the lessons of the Maker Movement holds the keys to reanimating the best, but oft-forgotten learner-centered teaching practices. New tools and technology, such as 3D printing, robotics, microprocessors, wearable computing, e-textiles, “smart” materials, and new programming languages are being invented at an unprecedented pace. The Maker Movement creates affordable — even free — versions of these inventions, and shares tools and ideas online, creating a vibrant, collaborative community of global problem-solvers.
Via John Evans
The following article was created for my virtual presentation “Global Trends in the eLearning Industry” at the International Congress on eLearning 2013 organized by the Philippine eLearning Society. (Good read about Trends and Technologies in the...
|Rescooped by Clarence from Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks|
“We’re here because our superintendent said we’re going one-to-one with tablets next year,” the technology director of a Midwestern school district told me during a tour of technology-savvy Miami-Dade Public Schools.
Why the switch?
“Because a neighboring district just got tablets,” Bob said, “and, by golly, our district was not going to be outdone by them.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard stories like Bob’s. Technology initiatives created to keep up with the Joneses, to buy the latest and greatest silver bullet, or to make a statement.
In contrast, Miami-Dade had received the prestigious 2012 Broad Prize for Urban Education for its work improving student achievement and is a model of a thoughtful and effective technology initiative. That’s why I and a group of school and technology leaders were visiting. We wanted to see what they had done and gather information we could use in our own work.
How does a school district leverage its investments in broadband and digital learning to improve student outcomes? What separates the success stories from the still too common failures? What lessons can we learn from each?
These questions are important for schools, communities and to us at Cable Impacts. As the cable industry’s foundation dedicated to social responsibility, we spend a lot of time exploring how broadband and digital content can advance education. As the nation’s largest provider of high-speed broadband connections, cable is the internet service provider to many schools and districts, and cable programmers are creating a rich collection of exciting, interactive, digital content for education. For the past three decades, the cable industry has had a significant commitment to education, providing advanced technology, media, content, and teaching materials to schools. From the start, we’ve been exploring how these tools can best be used for teaching and learning.
That’s why we were delighted to fund Wired for Learning: K-12 Students in the Digital Classroom, released today in Washington, DC. In this report, America’s Promise Alliance explores digital learning as a strategy for improving student success. Looking in depth at five school districts, the report finds common elements that contain valuable guidance for any school district or community investing in digital learning.
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|Rescooped by Clarence from Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks|
There are millions of teachers on social media right now. They discuss professional, personal, and cultural things on a daily basis. But what are the best ways to make the most of your time on social networks?
There are some great ways to really grow your professional learning network, discover new lesson ideas, and take your teaching to the next level.
However, there are more than a few ways to incorrectly use social media if you’re a teacher (or any professional for that matter). Below are just a few best practices to keep in mind as you embrace the brave new world of social media for teachers.
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After 33 wonderful years of science teaching, I now find myself retired and busier than ever. What keeps me so busy you ask?
Last year I started up Creative 3D Printing with a very talented engineer named Jon Monath who I met through a “Meetup” I organized on Long Island, N.Y. We both have a frenzied passion for 3D printing and scanning, as well as an affinity for working with kids, teachers and tech enthusiasts.
Over the last few months we have started selling 3D printers, as well as providing “open the box” set-up, training workshops, and educational demonstrations. Training workshops include the all- important Professional Development courses for teachers and librarians. There is tremendous interest in developing “Makerspaces” in schools and libraries and we are becoming specialized in this arena.
Some of my favorite memories from my teaching career in Great Neck Schools involved the many different local and global projects that I developed for my students and for my school at large.
Many of these projects grew out of an idea that emerged from my Earth Science curriculum. This desire to build a project that transcended a lesson plan in order to bring about a larger and more dramatic learning experience has been part of me forever. I am part teacher, part showman and part publicist. This same mindset has followed me into my new 3D printing business with fantastic results.
Last year, while surfing the internet looking for interesting projects to offer to our clients, I came across Michiel van der Kley’s Project Egg website. It immediately resonated with me as an amazing opportunity to create a 3D printing global, collaborative, educational project.
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According to Martinez and Stager, the Maker Movement, a technological and creative learning revolution underway around the globe, has exciting and vast implications for the world of education. New tools and technology, such as 3D printing, robotics, microprocessors, wearable computing, e-textiles, ‘smart’ materials, and programming languages are being invented at an unprecedented pace. The Maker Movement creates affordable versions of these inventions, while sharing tools and ideas online to create an innovative, collaborative community of global problem seekers and solvers. The Maker Movement in education is built upon the foundation of constructionism, which is the philosophy of hands-on learning through building things. The key message from spending hours in this book was that the Maker Movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power of learning by doing. By embracing the lessons of the Maker Movement, educators can revamp the best student-centered teaching practices to engage learners of all ages.
The internet increasingly pervades our lives, delivering information to us no matter where we are. It takes a complex system of cables, servers, towers, and other infrastructure, developed over decades, to allow us to stay in touch with our friends and family so effortlessly. Here are 40 maps that will help you better understand the internet — where it came from, how it works, and how it's used by people around the world.