What did I learn from #FOAMed yesterday

I loved this series of tweets that appeared in my Twitter timeline this morning from Nick Smith.  Great to see #FOAMed in action and a super example to refer to and quote in workshops on #FOAMed and the role of social media in supporting and enhancing medical education.

Many thanks to Nick for sharing his #FOAMed learning points.  Vive la FOAM!!

Trends in medical education in the digital age

This is a presentation I gave when I visited Galway Medical School in March at a session of the Galway Area Medical Education group.  I’ve been meaning to post it up to Slideshare for a while and been prompted to upload it by Tom O’Neill’s tweet earlier today asking if anyone has screenshots or slides showing examples of Twitter in medical education. So here it is. In the session I gave an overview and considered some of the emerging trends in using technology in medical education and approaches to their implementation and rferred to some examples from across the continuum of medical education.

Posterous users flock to WordPress: Technology shelf life

shelf life — after by theogeo, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  theogeo 

So WordPress saw a 250% increase in imports from Posterous within 24 hours of the announcement that it had been acquired by Twitter.  Only 18 months ago, in August 2010, Posterous was announcing that WordPress was a dying platform.  It was quite aggressively encouraging bloggers to use its import tool to move over to Posterous and I blogged about this at the time.  Now Posterous users are worried it’s going to die because it’s been bought over by Twitter.

It seems so many tools that get widely adopted seem to have a short shelf life.  I never did get into Friendfeed, but once it was taken over by Facebook, further development stopped and those that liked using it became concerned about its long term viability and started to look for alternatives.  I took a look at Amplify and that’s another service that recently without warning very suddenly closed down.  Amplify users have been directed to Clipboard but they’ve lost access to their content and there’s no guarantee that their content will be migrated over at a future date.

There was a significant cafuffle when it was announced that Yahoo was closing down Delicious, people migrated to  Diigo, Zootool, Pinboard and others.  I felt quite smug at the time because I saved my bookmarks to Diigo and had them autoposting to Delicious, so I had a back-up already.  Then Delicious was bought over and relaunched and users weren’t happy with the new look and feel.

More recently I’ve been using to curate content, sometime I make use of the autoposting function and cross post to Tumblr so a few things are backed up there but not everything.  Google+ and Pinterest are also new flavours of the month.  I’ve resisted Pinterest but am trying to give Google+ a go.

Sometimes I think I dip in and out of too many tools.  But as Alan Cann always wisely reminds us it’s about building networks not destinations.  So if one of the tools or platforms I use closes down I can still connect with people.  That’s good but if I lose my content that’s still a big deal.  Sometimes it seems like we have to constantly keep our ears to the ground to make sure we don’t get caught out by one of our favourite tools dying overnight or being bought over by a bigger fish in the sea and then killed off.  This is exactly what Posterous users are worried about, the concern being Twitter has bought it for the talent that developed Posterous rather than the platform itself.

It’s a pity technology doesn’t come with a best before date stamped on it.

Tweeting surgery

I came across this clip of Gray’s anatomy via Jane Hart’s C4LPT blog.  I’ve seen a few twitter channels broadcasting live surgery from the States, this piece in the Digital Journal gives links to Twitter streams at the Swedish Hospital in Seattle who tweeted a live kidney operation last year.  This episode of Gray’s Anatomy has sparked off a discussion thread on Linked In and there aren’t many voices in support of it.

I can see that there could be educational value in this, but is Twitter the most appropriate tool for this?  Wouldn’t a private channel be more appropriate than a public broadcast via Twitter.   Whilst I think Twitter can be used in teaching I’m not sure that I’ll be pushing for it to be used to tweet live surgery.

Doctor Bailey introduces Twitter as a learning tool to broadcast surgeries over the internet. The chief on the other hand, is not very happy about the idea. At least not at first.

Can I take a screenshot of your tweet?

This evening I got an email telling me about Lazyscope a new immersive twitter desktop client. I downloaded the beta release and gave it a go and have to say I like the way that you get a preview of the urls that peeps include in their tweets and in the right-hand column you can actually read the site.  There’s also an option allowing you to subscribe to a site if it has an RSS feed. The pop up notifications also include the url preview and you can see at a glance whether the link might be of interest without having to click and wait to for your browser to load.

I posted a few tweets about Lazyscope and thought I’d take a screenshot and tweet this and then remembered reading on ReadWriteWeb yesterday about new Twitter guidelines. One section of the article looked at how you could now refer to tweets without needing to consult your lawyer.  It seems that we’re not supposed to use screenshots of other people’s tweets unless we have their permission.  Checking the guidelines on the Twitter help centre confirms this.  I then tweeted this and a couple of people tweeted back saying they hadn’t heard about this before and that it seemed a bit silly.  As I haven’t asked them if I can display their tweets I can’t show you them here.

In some respects it’s nice that someone might ask you for permission to take a screenshot of one of your tweets, but is this Twitter guideline a bit over the top?  Tweets are in the public domain, they are also googleable so does someone really need to to ask my permission to take a shot of my tweet.  Many of us working in education frequently take screenshots of applications and websites to use in educational resources and we also make screencasts showing people how to use various tools including Twitter.  Does this now mean that if we want to make a screencast for our students or colleagues that we need to get permission form everyone that’s tweeted into our Twitter stream whilst we were recording!!!

So what do you think?

As for Lazyscope it’s worth giving it a try.  Here’s a screenshot, which is a bit cropped and only shows one of my tweets, but hopefully it will give you an idea of how you can view links in tweets.

Twitter bug

I set up a Twitter account back in March after seeing it featured on the BBCs technology programme Click.  Having created an account I couldn’t really see the point of it and didn’t look at Twitter again for several months.  I’ve dipped into it from time to time since then over the past few months and still been left thinking what’s all the fuss about.  I’ve not been alone in feeling this way but recently I’ve noticed that a number of Twitter sceptics have now got the Twitter bug.  I’m reading an increasing number of blog posts which say that individuals now see the benefits of using Twitter. What’s also been interesting is to read more about the use of Twitter in Higher Education and some of the benefits it can bring.

I started twittering today and will see how this develops.  It will be interesting to see how Twitter helps me connect with people with similar interests in the application of e-learning in medical education.  I’m also keen to find out more about how Twitter is being used in Higher Education and whether it’s being used by anyone as a tool to support student reflection.