Last month I visited a hi-tech middle school class to teach middle schoolers some anatomy. We dissected sheep hearts, just like many of you have done in your own studies. What made this experience different was that we used video cameras, iPads, PCs, and smartboards to run the lesson. I had a lot of fun, but I was also intrigued by the agility with which the technology made it easy to differentiate or tier lesson plans. This concept that students' individual needs may each be met at the same time and in the same space has been championed mostly by elementary and secondary school educators. But it seems to me that it is a perfect educational philosophy to embrace for medical education - especially resident education.
Every Wednesday, I sit in a large room with my peers. There are all levels of EM residents present. The third years know more than the second years who know more than I do. We all listen to the same lectures. But I feel over my head at times, and I'm sure the third years feel board some of the times. Tiering lesson plans is a concept that enables all levels of learners to get the most they they can get out of a lesson while sharing the same space and time.
Technology has made it possible to easily differentiate lesson plans. Perhaps medical education can learn from early education, and get on board with the logic behind the process.
Check it out: Time-for-Kids magazine visited the classroom on the day that I was teaching and produced an on-line video-article about a public middle-school classroom that blows any residency classroom away: http://www.timeforkids.com/photos-video/video/high-tech-classroom-27391. If they can do it, why can't we?
- Teach, MD