I enjoyed reading (December)

reading outsideI’m going to try something new on this blog. At the end of every month I’ll write a short post highlighting the things I particularly enjoyed reading. I found that simply pushing them into a Twitter or Google+ feed would tend to obfuscate them among all of the other things that I wanted to point out to people. I guess this post is a way to say, “Of all the things I read this month, these are the ones I enjoyed the most”. I’m not trying to summarise everything I read, just present a small sampling. I’ll try it out for a few months and see if I like the process.

 

The web we lost (Anil Dash). A look back over the past 5-10 years of social media and how things have changed, usually not for the better. In many instances, we’re actually worse off now than we were before the rise of the new social platforms. He talks about how we’re progressively losing control of our online identities, of the content we create and share (and which makes those platforms as powerful as they are), and lost sight of the values that actually led to the development of the web in the first place. Here’s a quote from the end of the article:

I know that Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and LinkedIn and the rest are great sites, and they give their users a lot of value. They’re amazing achievements, from a pure software perspective. But they’re based on a few assumptions that aren’t necessarily correct. The primary fallacy that underpins many of their mistakes is that user flexibility and control necessarily lead to a user experience complexity that hurts growth. And the second, more grave fallacy, is the thinking that exerting extreme control over users is the best way to maximize the profitability and sustainability of their networks.

The first step to disabusing them of this notion is for the people creating the next generation of social applications to learn a little bit of history, to know your shit, whether that’s about Twitter’s business model or Google’s social features or anything else. We have to know what’s been tried and failed, what good ideas were simply ahead of their time, and what opportunities have been lost in the current generation of dominant social networks.

Update: Here’s a follow up post from Anil on Rebuilding the web we lost.

 

Mobile Learning, Non-Linearity, Meaning-Making (Michael Sean Gallagher). What I liked most about this post is the suggestion, presented below, that the true power of “mobile” is that it transforms every space into a potential learning space.

They refer to the ‘habi­tus’, the sit­u­at­ed locale of the indi­vid­ual. Yet the locale doesn’t define the learn­ing per se as the process of mobile learn­ing trans­forms the habi­tus into a learn­ing space. Tools, con­tent, and com­mu­ni­ty are recon­struct­ed to allow for meaning-making. Turn­ing the envi­ron­ment in which we hap­pen to find our­selves into an envi­ron­ment for learn­ing. Mobile tech­nol­o­gy assists in bring­ing these ele­ments into con­junc­tion, an orga­niz­ing agent in this process. But it is real­ly about the trans­for­ma­tion. From space to learn­ing space. From noise to mean­ing.

 

Arm Teachers? (Tom Whitby). When I first read about the suggestions to arm teachers, in the wake of the Newtown shooting, I dismissed it as ridiculous without even considering it. What I liked about this post from Tom is that instead of just dismissing the suggestion out of hand, he follows it through to some logical conclusions. I realised that his approach does far more to systematically dismantle the argument than simply rejecting it.

 

The demon-haunted world: Science as a candle in the dark (Carl Sagan). Carl Sagan is one of my heroes. Few people have done as much as he did to bring a sense of wonder about the world, to the public. This book is an exploration of scientific thinking over the past few centuries, highlighting the many areas where a lack of this critical approach to the world has led to a stumbling of our species. Think of the hysteria of witch-burning, UFO abductions, racism and all the other instances where a lack of critical thought has brought so much suffering and misunderstanding about the world. This book should be required reading for everyone.

 

The robot teachers (Stephen Downes). Stephen argues against the idea of universities and higher education in general as a system designed to maintain division between a cultural elite and everyone else. He suggests that the solution is not to open up those institutions (i.e. MIT, Harvard, etc.) but to build a better system outside of them.

We must develop the educational system outside the traditional system because the traditional system is designed to support the position of the wealthy and powerful. Everything about it – from the limitation of access, to the employment of financial barriers, to the creation of exclusive institutions and private clubs, to the system of measuring impact and performance according to economic criteria, serves to support that model. Reforming the educational system isn’t about opening the doors of Harvard or MIT or Cambridge to everyone – it’s about making access to these institutions irrelevant. About making them an anachronism, like a symphony orchestra, or a gentleman’s club, or a whites only golf course, and replaced with something we own and build for everyone, like punk music, a skateboard park, or the public park.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-05-21

  • @RonaldArendse nice, who made it? #
  • RT @engadget: Neuroscientists develop game for stroke rehabilitation, give the Wii a run for its money http://t.co/TX6Un7bB #
  • Giving iPad PowerPoint Presentations Just Got a Lot Better http://t.co/YLBI0WLM via @zite #
  • Knowledge Graph A Great New Service from Google http://t.co/EskrzxDU via @zite #
  • @RonaldArendse congrats on your mention in the paper. Good work with cellphones for T&L in large classes 🙂 #
  • @RonaldArendse where’s the link? #
  • TED: Brené Brown: Listening to shame (2012) http://t.co/Amo1VBwm. Great follow up to the 2010 talk #
  • @HENNAWP U can export the map as an image & embed it / link to it, u can also link to the Cmap file & allow others to download it #checet #
  • “Information” is fragmented, “knowledge” is integrated. Concept mapping helps to turn information into knowledge #checet #
  • @sam_a19 initially it would take some time but thereafter it only requires refinement #checet #
  • @AatikaValentyn The Cmap file can be emailed. It only needs the software to be installed on the machine you use to open the file #checet #
  • Using concept maps to articulate & externalise conceptual understanding can also improve essay writing #checet #
  • Here is the presentation i gave this morning on PLEs http://t.co/TBDrR8ke #checet #
  • @KarienJooste you can embed a twitter feed (from a person, hashtag, or search) into a wiki #checet #
  • David Gelernter: Time to start taking the Internet seriously http://t.co/lDR62M5K. Great piece that changed my thinking #checet #
  • @dgachago17 “getting the story out there” also a process, no emphasis on product. If product is “poor”, has learning happened? #checet #
  • @dgachago17 the “purpose is to give students a voice”…isn’t that a process…the “giving” of the voice? #checet #
  • @IvalaEunice The devices are mobile, and because it’s wireless the students can respond from anywhere? #checet #
  • @waldoweimers Switch to pencil & paper. It’ll save on the “battery” concern, but cost you time #checet #
  • @jpbosman talks about using cellphones & wireless for audience response systems, instead of clickers which are expensive #checet #
  • @AatikaValentyn U can argue that digital literacy is as NB as reading & writing. And, they are an aspect of digital communication #checet #
  • Ethical aspects of recording and sharing encounters, while relevant, are not prohibitive. Obtain informed consent from participants #checet #
  • @dgachago17 I think that “process” is way more valuable than “product” 🙂 #checet #
  • @JonathanMarks3 “Learning the technology” should be an essential component of learning in a connected society #checet #
  • Vodcasting requires students to draw on / develop multiple skillsets that are not necessarily a formal part of the curriculum #checet #
  • @Phudsical backchannels are easier if you have an assistant who is familiar with the course to manage the background conversation #checet #
  • @waldoweimers Twitter constrains you by limiting the message to 140 characters. So, shorter, more concise expressions than blogging #checet #
  • @drekpo Thank you, hopefully today will also be useful 🙂 #
  • Students using vodcasts at Pollsmoor Prison to document their fieldwork skills and submit for assessment in Social Work degree #checet #
  • Neal Henderson talks about his students using video podcasts: visual experience / communication adds value to the assessment #checet #
  • RT @NicSpaull: When I read CS Lewis quotes I imagine him sitting in an old armchair smiling, and chuckling lightly just before he says it… #
  • RT @NatGeo: What makes us human? http://t.co/QEa9e2hn (via @NatGeoEducation) #
  • “Lurking” = listening to the background conversation without actively contributing = a form of legitimate peripheral participation #checet #
  • Think of a hashtag as a record of the background thoughts and feelings of an event like #checet #
  • @dgachago17 kicks it off at #checet integrating Twitter into practice, “the distance between people becomes smaller” #

AMEE conference (day 2)

These are the notes I took on the second day of AMEE. One of the things I noticed is that in most of the presentations the speakers talk about “doctors”, and that little is said about “health professionals”. There seem to be few people here who understand that effective healthcare can only be delivered by teams. They may speak about multi-disciplinary teams but I doubt that they would accept that they are “on the same level” as others on the team. The traditional heirarchy is still very clear, even if it is only implicit. I’ve substituted “doctor” with “health professional” in my notes.

Supporting Scottish dental education through collaborative development and sharing of digital teaching and learning resources
D Dewhurst

Scottish dentail students had little engagement with mainstream e-learning

Low level of e-learning experience or readiness (among students or staff?)

3 year project to:

  • Provide support
  • Develop digital resources
  • Empower learners and teachers:
  • Effective engagement with academics / clinicians
  • Create resources
  • Maintain a community and encourage participation
  • Share resources in a wider community

People developing resources were not concerned with taking 3rd party content off the web, included personally identifiable information

An electronic lexicon in obstetrics
Athol Kent

For deep learning to occur, students must make meaning from the information we give them. But, we make assumptions about what students understand about our professional culture, which includes an entirely new language.

The project is to create an online electronic lexicon of common O&G common terms and phrases

When the student feels ready, they are assessed on their knowledge of 100 of the 800 words in the lexicon

Students enjoy being seen as “intelligent but uninformed”

Students are able to add their own content to the lexicon

Would you consider making this valuable resource available to the global community? Yes, the database can be made available to other institutions on request

The literature as a means of distance learning in a PG course of family health
A Dahmer

Why does Brazil need large-scale training? Enormous population spread out over an area more than half the size of South America

One of the biggest problems in DE is maintaining motivation among students

Created a fictional city that accurately reflects the kind of places that medical students are expected to work in, down to the political structure of the city, Neighbourhood descriptions

Used virtual teams with individual characteristics

Used comic books, newspapers, podcasts and blogs

Using Moodle to create the learning environment, fits into the university infrastructure

Mimic social problems as well, which the students have to deal with

Humanises the work for students, approximated reality using distance learning

Did you consider using something like Second Life for creating the city? Yes, decided against it because infrastructure is a problem, as well as internet access for students

Virtual clinical encounters for developing and assessing interpersonal and transcultural competence with traumatised patients
Solvig Ekblad

Medical competence:

  • Clinical
  • Interprofessional
  • Cultural

Cultural compentence is the ability of the clinician to overcome cultural difference to build effective relationships with patients, exploring the patient’s values and beliefs

Virtual clinical encounter = an interactive computer simulation of real-life scenarios for the purpose of healthcare and medical training, education or assessment (Ellaway et al, 2008)

Patient information in the VCE is very comprehensive

The intervention is scalable, generalisable, the assessment tool can be summative or formative, works as a controlled environment where medical students can work safely

Implementing the future of medical education in Canada
G Moineau

Recommendations:

  • Address individual and community needs (speaks to social accountability)
  • Enhance admissions processes (cognitive and non-cognitive considerations, interviews, autobiography)
  • Build on the scientific basis of medicine
  • Promote prevention and public health
  • Address the hidden curriculum (learning environment must explicitly promote appropriate professional attributes)
  • Diversity learning contexts (community based, preceptor programme, rural environments mandatory rotation)
  • Value generalism (value primary care specialities / family medicine)
  • Advance inter- and intra-professional practice (participate as part of a team)
  • Adopt a competency-based approach (used CANMeds framework)
  • The physician is a clinician, communicator, collaborator, professional, advocate, scholar, person, manager
  • Electornic portfolio on core competencies → reflective practive, longitudinal over duration of course, pass / fail assessment
  • Foster medical leadership (integrated into curriculum)

An anatomy course on “Human evolution: the fossil evidence”
Netta Notzer

About 130 students attend annually, a 3rd of them non-medical

Information for the course came from lecturers (e.g. their teaching philosophy), other faculty members’ opinions, observations in the class, the curriculum and syllabus, students’ web-sites

Scientific theory can be contradicted by new evidence and be argued. There is no superior authority in science, it is governed by factual evidence

Course is different from traditional anatomy courses, in that it is:

  • Conceptually complex
  • Intelllectually demanding
  • Scientifically dynamic

Course presented in lecture hall, but instructor uses analogy, open discussion and explanation rather than memorisation

Course demonstrates that students from different faculties can learn together

GIMMICS: an educational game for final year pharmacy students and GPs in family practice
Pascale Petit

GIMMICS = teaching game in a controlled academic setting, focus on communication skills

First introduced in 2001, operational in 2003

Teaching goals:

  • prepare for tasks as pharmacists
  • improve quality of care
  • address heterogeneity
  • help student reflect and error-correct

Game is web-based, consists of a virtual pharmacy, is open for others to follow, covers all aspects of the profession

University remodels actual rooms to mimic game interface

Also makes use of reflective journals

Activities within the game are scored

Also used for communication between students and pharmacists

Game is a structured mix of all kinds of activities e.g. consultations, interruptions, home visits, prescription

No evaluation, focus is on learning

Can take a long time to introduce minor concepts to students

See Bertram (Chip) Bruce – University of Illinois

The impact of PDAs on the millenial medical student
Monica Hoy

We need to move the conversation away from the idea that a certain generation of students is more “technologically savvy” by virtue of the fact that they were born during a certain period of time

To determine if the stage of training plays a role in attitudes towards the use of newer technologies for learning

Determine baseline prevalence of PDA use among medical studnets

To determine preference among students towards more traditional adjuncts to learning

Students feel that PDAs are more useful as they progress through the curriculum, and derive more value from them when they’re actually practicing, rather than when they’re in the pre-clinical stages

Students are NOT doing it for themselves: the use of m-learning in a minimally supported environment
K Masters

“Use of handheld devices is crucial for modern healthcare delivery” ← really?

Should be encouraging self-learning activities

Students purchase own hardware and software, no advice from staff, no encouragement, no expectation, etc. i.e. no support at all

Second presenter in this session giving information on what type of mobile device (e.g. iPhone, etc.) that students are using…is this important?

Uses deviced for taking notes, accessing medical websites, emails, reference tools, lecture notes, research, videos

Drop in use as sophistication of use increases

Many of the activities that are important for medical education are not accessed by students on mobile devices

Students talk about anywhere, anytime access, and ease of use. However, they also complain of small screen sizes, cost, technical difficulties and lack of support (14% saw this as a problem → but students only use devices for simple activities e.g. email, so high levels of support not necessary)

International medical education
Plenary (David Wilkinson, Madalena Patricio, Stefan Lindgren, Pablo Pulido, Emmanuel G Cassimatis)

Is the globalisation / internationalisation of medical education just another form of colonialism?

What are the:
Models
Opportunities
Challenges

Higher education is a global industry, a globally traded commodity as demand soars

“Constantly inspired by students”

What is the difference between globalisation and internationalisation?

Global medicine:

  • Medicine and disease are global e.g. HIV. Influeza, TB
  • Medical professionals are highly mobile
  • Medical tourism as an emerging industry
  • Medical migration (in some countries, more than half of professionals were trained in other countries)
  • Expansion of agencies and institutions

The international / visiting teacher is becoming less common, but the virtual teacher is increasing (is this happening fast enough?)

Models of international medical education:

  • Outbound / inbound student mobility e.g. electives
  • Staff mobility and sabbatical e.g. conferences, formal exchange
  • Academic partnering
  • Offshore campus
  • “Franchised” curriculum
  • International schools
  • Institutional partnerships

Shift from student numbers to a global strategy for recruiting, supporting students

International students are one of Australia’s biggest earners

Transnational medical education:

  • Global faculty and curriculum (recruit offshore whenever possible)
  • Global students → diversity
  • Global student exchange
  • Key partnerships
  • Global projects
  • Global presence

Huge opportunity for the virutal international teacher

In a global medical programme how would you manage:

  • Accreditation?
  • Registration?
  • Cost-effectiveness?

In 2001: will medicine and medical education escape the impact of globalisation…no

Medical students should be involved in global endeavours? Most salient reason in moral obligation, students want to “help others”

Students the skills to work in an international context, and an understanding of the values of the global citizen

“To grow is to understand that we are very small…”

Understanding difference is part of being a competent health professional

“Different…but not indifferent”

Quality standards:

  • Degrees
  • Licensure
  • Accreditation
  • …and others

Transition from process-based to outcomes-based education

Increasing emphasis on life-long education and regulation for health care professionals

Should look at harmonising quality of education, rather than standardisation

Accreditation must be local, but should be based on an awareness of a global context