Sunday, February 24, 2013

Imagine the Future - My Digital Artifact

Take a moment and imagine the future with me.  Don’t think about what you have to get done for tomorrow.  Ponder how medicine might change in your lifetime. 

I saw Neil Armstrong take the first steps on the moon.  “That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind".  I was watching the TV with my grandfather.  He remembered when the Wright brothers had first flown a plane and the wonder of the first radio broadcasts- amazing technological advances in a lifetime.

In the history of medicine, the first vaccination was developed 100 years ago.   Penicillin was discovered 85 years ago, the CAT scan was developed 40 years ago and the human genome was sequenced 12 years ago.  Information that used to be looked up in reference books (and published every 3 years) is now available and updated almost instantly through the web.  
What scientific advances do you think might occur?  What might be the impact on patient privacy and discrimination, on equity and access? How will patients and health care teams communicate with each other in the future?  
To stimulate your thinking about the future, read a view (but certainly not the only view) of medicine in the future from The Atlantic   What are your thoughts about this view of the future and the role of the doctor?

What do you think the future of medicine will be like?  What do you value? How will you participate?

End of digital artifact
Self-reflections on the creation of my digital artifact
I had originally thought that the most challenging part of creating a digital artifact would be using new technologies as my prior experience was limited.  Instead, I struggled more with choosing the audience and the intent for my digital artifact.

Ultimately I decided to do a blog for medical students who are considering going into pediatrics. One of my roles is to teach students pediatrics during their clinical years.   There were so many different ideas from EDC MOOC that applied to medicine. Initially I developed a Power Point that touched on different aspects of the impact of evolving technology on medical care - a format that was familiar for me.  But then I realized that I didn’t want to tell students things, I wanted to give them an opportunity to reflect and discuss.   So I cut out most of what I had originally planned to include and condensed it to a single message “As technology changes medicine- what will be your role?”
I decided to use a blog as my digital artifact as a way to include both a visual piece to encourage reflection and links to more information.  I created a short video using Aminoto and then imbedded the video in my blog.  I included links in the to the New England Journal of Medicine timeline so that students could get a sense of how quickly medicine has changed.  I also linked to a recent article in The Atlantic that questions what the role of physicians will be as computers become more sophisticated in their ability to process and analyze information.  The Atlantic article is one that I thought many would find controversial especially in thinking about whether physicians healing role extends beyond their medical knowledge.

I don’t know if this digital artifact/blog post will be effective.  I plan to see if a colleague who actually has a blog for medical students would like to use it as a guest post.  I enjoyed the act of creating the video (and certainly learned a lot) but I’m not sure that it will encourage reflection more than a written blog would.  Is the response to the video different than the response to reading the post?  Since my intent was to stimulate reflection and discussion, I also wonder about the effectiveness of this post without a planned way to discuss the issues (in person, on twitter etc.).   As I have learned from EDC MOOC, much of my learning has occurred through interactions with others.
Let me know what you think.  I welcome your comments and suggestions-


Friday, February 15, 2013

Is the future teacher a computer or a human? Conversation with my daughter #edcmooc

My daughter is a first year student at university and came home to visit after doing a day hike on the Appalachian Trial with her hiking club.

"What are you doing mom?"

"I'm on a twitter chat for the on-line class I'm taking.  We're discussing the question - Is the future teacher a computer or a human?"

"I think that would depend on what is being taught.  If you are want to learn outdoor skills, then it has to be a human.  Who else could teach about the wonder of nature, could show you how to rock climb, could calm you when you're scared?"

"I think you're right"

My daughter did take me indoor climbing for the first time a couple months ago.   I'm scared of heights and she got me to the top of wall by having me focus on the next step I had to take- not looking up or down.  She knew how to get me to trust her and how to move me past my fears.

Part of being a teacher, whether you use technology or not, is encouraging people to believe they can learn,  creating a relationship of respect and trust, sharing your enthusiasm about the topic, and helping people see both the big picture and the next steps.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Finding my voice 1 tweet, 1 blog at a time #edcmooc

Finding my voice.  Is it important that I am listened to?  Am I raising my voice together with others in a chorus of questions and observations? Will blogging be a quiet space to give voice to my thoughts?

So many ideas to think about in the past couple of weeks of the E-learning and Digital Culture MOOC:  the role of community and of technology in learning: issues of privacy, privilege and access.   How will what I am learning, influence how I teach and how I learn?

And so I cautiously begin to blog and offer an occasional tweet.  Finding my voice.  Looking at technology and asking- who is left out of this conversation and how can they have a voice as well?