When I initially reflected on these questions, I didn’t think there was much from my own experience that constituted “good” use of technology in the (medical) science classroom. Most of the technology used in our classroom (which is actually a lecture theatre) is powerpoint, LMS, vodcasts etc. Though this has increased accessibility to lecture material and allows students to learn in different environments and at their convenience, it’s still a didactic process and doesn’t fit with constructivist learning theories. But, medical education goes beyond the lecture theatre. Students and instructors are now using social media, high and low fidelity simulators, apps and games, as well as google docs to create collaborative pieces of work. When I consider these technologies, I feel that it is an effective tool in medical education. When I think about “good” use of digital technology, I always refer back to Chickering’s 7 principles. I can’t remember them all but some of these principles include student collaboration, active learning, and interactions between faculty and students. Social media, simulators, apps/games, as well as google docs all promote at least one of these seven principles.
When considering medical education, especially at the pre clerkship level the greatest challenge that I perceive is the large class sizes. At my institution, one class has approximately 160 students. To promote the use of chickering’s 7 principles in the context of digital technologies, it may require more small group work and facilitation of sessions by multiple faculty (as opposed to one lecturer). This model also presents a challenge as finding multiple faculty members is difficult considering that many teaching faculty in medicine are either part time or full time clinicians.