I googled myself the other day and it was un-interesting to say the least. As I mentioned in my previous blog entry, I have a fairly muted social media presence despite using social media (a lot … and more than I care to admit). This week’s ‘homework’ assignment for the class was to sign up for Twitter, follow our instructors and classmates and tweet about social media in health professions education using #htech and I was it since this is pushing me to contribute to the online community and extend myself beyond my comfort zone of consuming content. Furthermore, like others in class, I also have some reservations about having my health professional persona online. However, I decided that in order to learn about educational technology and how to use it AND get a good grade, I had to tweet. And so I did.
After tweeting this past week, I learned a few things:
- Tweeting is kind of fun and easy when I got the hang of it. Using hashtag #htech16, I found it really easy to find my classmates on Twitter and quickly see the conversations that were already happening then quickly jump into the conversation. It was also simple to find I was able to find other individuals such as Andre Picard who regularly tweet about health and medicine and started following them. Now my feed is full of tweets about health, medicine and medical education and I am reading tweets and interesting articles that I would have never otherwise found. It really brings home that message of learning through connectivism as discussed in the Siemens (2004) article. I also think that even though I am not continuously actively tweeting on Twitter, by expanding my network and following other professionals I am exposed to their thoughts, opinions and questions, which will stimulate my own learning.
2. There are many online resources on how to cultivate a professional online presence. Part of my hesitation with a more vibrant online presence was around issues of what was the most appropriate way to represent myself as a professional and what potential risks there are for engaging with the online community, public, my employer and patients. After a quick search online I found the following resources:
CRTO Social Media Policy – My college released a social media policy to guide members to guide their members professional identity online
Ventola (2014) – This article talks about the benefits and risks of social media use by health professions and discusses best practices as discussed in the literature. Best practices influence many things we do in health care and now it can also provide guidelines on cultivating a social media presence.
A 12 word policy on social media – This blog post from the Mayo Clinic is great because it’s catchy! 12 words, I can remember that! This blog is also a great resource because the Mayo Clinic, is a leader in social media use for health institutions, in health care, for patients and practitioners.
3. Educational technology in medical education is here to stay. Based on the literature and our discussions on Pepper, I think many of us agree that educational technology cannot replace face to face interactions and teaching, but a blended model can allow us to integrate the benefits of online and face to face interactions and enhance learning and education. Twitter, especially seems to be gaining more solid footing in medical education. Again, through a quick online search I was able to find two short, great resources about the why and how of twitter in medical education:
Infographic on a Medical Educator’s Guide to #MedEd – I love consuming information through infographics. It might be a passing trend, but there is a definite appeal to me in presenting comprehensive and resources in a condensed fashion.