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Week 2: Technology for the Old Fashioned Student by Dayl Eccles
April 11, 2013
As I knocked lightly on the open office door to my primary preceptor’s office last week, I knew I would be greeted with a welcoming smile and an immediate, “How is everything going?” Karna Mapes, Director of Education, had papers with scrawled writing spread across her desk in neat piles. She had been searching for speakers to attend one of AACP’s Institutes, directed at helping new educators teach more effectively. During our conversation about how she finds speakers for meetings, she mentioned that she also searches outside of the pharmacy field. I remembered thinking how great of an idea it was for her to look toward kindergarten through 12th grade education; Karna had a very good point about how education has evolved even from when I was in K-12 just a few years ago, and incoming pharmacy students will have equally evolved expectations of their instructors.
I did not consider this further directly after our small chat, but her comment became more meaningful to me this week. Karna, Ruth, and I attended the Medbiquitous Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. The Conference focused on the advance of health professions through technology. I saw that advancement can be accomplished in a variety of ways; for example, by improving the flow of data between health professions, assessment and outcomes management tools, or use of technology in the classroom with simulations and gaming.
Being from the Seattle area, surrounded by technology gurus and small startup companies, I know that technology has the potential to advance the health professions. I also look back on my own childhood and know that I am the last generation that will remember elementary school without the use of computers, cell phones, or even CD players. However, even with being an avid adopter of these advances, I had never truly noticed how fast technology had been growing the last two decades. I felt so old fashioned with my memories of chalkboards and overhead projector lectures!
The conference made me realize that educators not only need to keep continually abreast of new developments in technology, but also remind themselves that the students coming into your classroom every passing decade are going to have different expectations of learning because of that new technology and today’s continually fast-paced and stimulating environment. Terms like “flipping the classroom” and having the students lead the learning through engagement are going to become more commonplace and even expected. Karna’s point about looking down toward your future pupils is just as important to me now as the more well-accepted value of looking up to your mentors.


Dayl Eccles, PharmD Student 2013
University of Washington


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