Should we be using social media in medical education?

The #UKmeded chat tonight, 31 January 2013, will look at whether we should be using social media in medical education.

On the #UKmeded GDoc asking for suggestions for chat topics Anne Marie Cunningham has written:

I see lots of talk about this on Twitter, but I’m not sure how other students feel about this. Would it feel like a deluge? My past experiments to get students to engage in social media have not had a very big take-up so I think that often we need to get staff on board first. And we have to talk to people realistically about time management because for many the biggest worry is getting swamped with information.

Undergraduate students in most medical schools form their own Facebook groups but they see this very much as their own social space, even though they might share information about clinical attachments and share revision tips and resources etc around exam time.  Surveys I’ve read and conversations with students at my own school would seem to indicate that there’s generally a 50-50 split between students who don’t want medical schools interacting with them on Facebook and those that think we should because they dont like the VLE.

So are there other social media channels we should be using to support medical education at undergraduate and postgraduate level?  There are those, who are perhaps still relatively early adopters, using the likes of Twitter to support medical education but we are still in the minority.  Some staff are wary of using social media channels because of concerns about digital professionalism.  Also the assumption that all students are already making good use of technology and social media to support their learning is misplaced.  Yet those in engaging with social media and the whole free open access medical education #FOAMed movement recognise the potential for social media to support life long learning.

With all this in mind here are a few things to think about and stimulate discussion for tonight’s chat:

  • Should we be using social media to support medical education?
  • Do we need to be embedding the use of social media in the curriculum so that students are introduced to the benefits of social media and can see how these tools can be used to support learning as well as raise awareness of individuals’ digital footprints and professionalism?
  • Does using social media just add to the expectation that students expect instant responses to questions etc and make it more difficult for staff to switch off from work and add further blur to the work – personal divide?
  • How would medical students and trainees like to see social media used to support their learning?

Join the discussion at 9.

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  1. #1 by mchisolm1 on January 31, 2013 - 8:53 pm

    This is a great topic and I share your experiences and concerns about student uptake…

  1. Should we be using social media in medical education? | Education for Everybody | Scoop.it

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