The Digital Learning Environment of the Future: Teaching the Next Generation

Presented by J.B. McGee on April 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm

In the words of Marshall McLuhan, “We are shaped by what our technology enables us to do, see, experience and…communicate.” The current and future generations of healthcare professional students are shaped by an entirely new set of technologies, very different from the technology (print, telephone, radio, television) of their teachers. In particular, Internet-based communication tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and their ability to you connected to the world 24/7 have had a direct effect on the Millennial generation – especially the way they interact with their peers, family and society. Immediate access to vastly greater amount of data than previous generations has had both positive and negative effects on learning and further complicates the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills for healthcare.

This session will outline important differences between traditional approaches and the expectations of modern learners. We will review and discuss successful, innovative uses of new technology for learning. Finally, we will highlight the critical ingredients of effective education/learning, regardless of technology, and construct an integrated approach to teaching the next generation of healthcare providers.

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Presenter Bios

Dr. McGee is currently the Assistant Dean for Medical Education Technology and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine where he directs the Laboratory for Educational Technology and maintains a clinical practice in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. His academic focus is on the design, development, implementation and assessment of technologies to advance medical education throughout the health science continuum.

His lab consists of eight education and technical specialists responsible for the creation of original programs for the School of Medicine, including: 1) the Navigator digital curriculum, 2) Virtual Patient clinical simulations, 3) online Collaborative Learning Portfolios for mentored student projects, and 4) personalized point-of-care learning modules. Students, faculty, and trainees have adopted these programs as part of their daily curricular activities at the medical center. Continuing education from the University of Pittsburgh and the American Gastroenterological Association also use these technologies. Support for these initiatives relies on a balance of institutional funding and external educational grants from the NIH, CDC, foundations and industry.

Dr. McGee holds leadership positions as Editor for Web-based Education for the American Gastroenterological Association, Co-Chair of the Virtual Patient Working Group at MedBiquitous (a medical education standards-developing organization) and editorial board member for AAMC�s MedEdPortal.

His current research and development work is in virtual patient simulation, online collaborative learning for students and mentors, and incorporating social networking into a web-based curriculum. Dr. McGee maintains an active schedule as a tertiary referral gastroenterologist. He teaches and mentors students and trainees and is the Course Director for Innovations in Medical Education, part of the Masters in Medical Education curriculum.

J.B. McGeeDr. McGee graduated from Louisiana State University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at the University of Florida where he also served as Chief Medical Resident. He completed advanced endoscopy training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. While in his endoscopy training, the new Harvard-Beth Israel Institute for Education and Research invited him to head their computer-based learning initiatives. There he pioneered virtual patient simulation funded by a $1.6 million grant from the Macy Foundation. In 2001, after five years on the Harvard faculty, the University of Pittsburgh recruited him to establish his own Laboratory for Educational Technology at the School of Medicine.