Using social media in medical education

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Brief review of theories of learning and knowledge. …

Brief review of theories of learning and knowledge.
Models for use of social media for (medical) education based on these frameworks.

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  • Recent events:US Congressman had to resign due to posting of inappropriate messages on TwitterMixed metaphor: Recognize that Social Media (SoMe) can be a very useful tool – don’t discard due to the bad press
  • Information Processing Theory – Compare brain to a computer – encoding information in working memory into long term memory and how to retrieve it quickly.
  • Learning is reconstruction of knowledge
  • Sharing with the world and receiving feedback
  • Specially relevant in the age of the WWW
  • User generated content, comments, tags, rankings (meta data)
  • We will next consider various examples of use of these social media in learning/education. Keep the various theories in mind when reviewing these examples.
  • Reflect, create, share = Social Constructionism,
  • Example of a Blog – You can read opinions of thought leaders
  • And interact with them – Remember the point made by Tapscot on Talk of the Nation?Why will students want to sit in a lecture hall to listen to a teaching assistant when they can exchange ideas and learn from the thought leaders themselves.
  • A comment made on G+ helps me connect with a person with interest in eLearning
  • And have a rich conversation – amazed at his insights – he nails the models used in EHR adoption and possible problems with them.
  • Impression of most non-users about an average Twitter user – narcissistic personalities tweeting about meaningless issues.
  • Twitchats are live events open to any user – use of a hashtag (e.g. #meded) helps maintain the thread of the conversation. Can get pretty chaotic but usually one can get some new ideas and build connections and enlarge your networks
  • Khan Academy – 2400 videos – how a 6th grader sees a video each day and then blogs about what she has learned. Example of social constructionism.
  • Hangout: a feature of Google+ - recently Newt Gingrich held an impromptu hangout session, taped it and posted the recording on YouTube. Multiple possibilities in medical education – small group discussions, vodcasts, discuss hypothetical/animated cases on YouTube screened during a hangout session.
  • Stephen Downes co-founder of connectivism – announces his hangout sessions on G+ exactly like office hours in a university.
  • Use Google Readerselectively share articles with social learning network  Usually with comments OR Write a blog  share with SLN. View others posting similar tweets and blog posts and learn from that .
  • Patients will be increasingly leveraging their social networks to help find answers to their health questions. Our physicians of tomorrow need to be comfortable in this space.


  • 1. Using Social Media in Medical Education
    The SoMe waters may be murky but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
    Assumption: You understand Professionalism issues and are ready to move beyond them.
    Neil Mehta, MBBS, MS, FACP
    Associate Professor of Medicine and
    Director Education Technology
    Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at
    Case Western Reserve University
  • 2. Outline
  • 3. Quick review of some theories of learning and knowledge
    (somewhat oversimplified for purpose of this presentation)
    As you read these think how some of them apply to various Social Media tools that you are familiar with.
  • 4. Behaviorism
    The teaching machine – delivered programmed instruction
    (from Wikipedia)
    Learning is transmission of knowledge
    Essentially a passive process for the learner.
  • 5. Cognitivism
    Memory systems are active organized processors of information
  • 6. Constructivism
    Learner actively constructs new concepts based upon current and past knowledge or experience
    A personal endeavor to explain the real world with internalized concepts/rules/principles
  • 7. Social Constructivism
    Learning occurs when individuals engage socially with others (talk, activity) around shared tasks/problems
  • 8. Social Constructionism
    Learning is most effective when the learner’s experience includes constructing a meaningful object
  • 9. Connectivism
    Knowledge exists in the world rather than in the head of an individual!
    Learning is a process of creating connections and developing a network
    In Connectivismlearning is a property of the system, something that happens all the time, and is not therefore the subject of intentional activity
    George Siemens and Stephen Downes
  • 10. Social Media
    Web 1.0 – static web pages – Flipping pages of an online book
    Web 2.0
    Social Media (As opposed to Print Media)
  • 11.
  • 12. The Net Generation
    "Why would I sit there and listen to a [teaching assistant] talking to 300 of us," Tapscott recalls him saying, "when I can go online with a real-time Peter Drucker?“
    “All these kids that have grown up collaborating and thinking differently walk into a university and they're asked to sit there and passively listen to someone talking.“
    Don Tapscot – NPR Talk of the Nation 7/14/2011
  • 13. Blogs
    Can be a rich discussion
    (no wine though)
    A reflective journal
    But open to the world!
  • 14. George Siemens’ Blog
  • 15.
  • 16.
  • 17.
  • 18. Twitter
    I ate breakfast
    Now I am at work!
  • 19. What is Twitter
    140 character messages
    You follow people – their messages show up on your stream
    Others follow you
    Can mention specific people using @Twitter_handle, reply to their posts
    Can tag with content #topic
    Done in Public space (can be pvt too)
  • 20. Models for Twitter
    Chats and journal clubs
    Recent #meded chat about competency based education (facilitated by Dr. Ryan Madanick in USA)
    Recent #Twitjc on use of check lists to improve patient safety (link to Dr. Anne Marie Cunningham’s blog post)
    Suzzette Woodard
    Also used as case discussions - #micro140 (Dr. Nick Bennet= @peds_id_doc)
  • 21. Blogs and YouTube for self-directed learning
    From the Khan Academy
  • 22. Hanging Out
    Public or private
    Web chat with up to 10 users simultaneously
    Can tape it and post discussion on YouTube to share
    Newt Gingrich
  • 23. Office Hours Anyone?
  • 24. The Learning Cycle
  • 25. Examples of how this works
    A twitter discussion becomes a Blog post that is retweeted.
    A blog post shared on G+ generates a discussion
  • 26. Where is this going?
    How Facebook saved my son’s life!
    Slate article
    The iConsult App (on YouTube)
  • 27. Conclusion
    Our school and college students are comfortable in the Online space.
    As they enter the medical profession, while they need to learn about professionalism, lets not scare them away from a potentially very useful and powerful tool for their learning and practice.
    Our educators need to keep an open mind and experience this medium before passing judgement.