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Fellows are using iPads 23/7, is it time to move them into the classroom?

Fellows are using iPads 23/7, is it time to move them into the classroom?

Critical Care Medicine Fellows are actively using their mobile devices in ways that suit their daily needs. iPads owners are reading journal articles, catching up on missed lectures, and listening to live webcasts when they cannot attend in person.

But what about using iPads in the classroom?

Overwhelming evidence suggests that deeper learning takes place when the learner is actively engaged in educational activities. Putting collaborative tools in the hands of the learner  in structured environments will enhance learning. Maybe another way to think about it, is that if we bring people together for an hour, what's the best thing they can be doing as a group?

In a recent survey of Adult CCM Fellows, Fellows voiced their opinions about using collaborative techniques for classroom learning. The results show very little negative inclinations towards collaborative learning in the classroom.

In the end, success centers on structured activities coordinated by the instructor. But at its simplest, screen sharing is a good way to get started. And there are plenty of apps available, at least for evaluating imaging, to get going. 

Examples for in-class use of iPads:

- Polling of learners to gauge understanding
- Instant research tools - access to the Health Sciences Library
- Collaborative screen sharing for problem solving
- Interactive image and data manipulation

Our curriculum is moving in the direction of more active engagement. We now have the tools, in the form of mobile devices, to make group time more collaborative.

Bottom line - the educational platform for is no longer the web, it's mobile.


I believe that it has both pros and cons. Having an iPad in the classroom may distract from the lesson but also gives opportunity to use the technology as a teaching tool. Even so, in my opionion, it is inevitable that these will appear in classrooms no matter what!

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