The featured paper is ‘Web 2.0 tools in medical and nursing school curricula’ by Tray Lemley and Judy Burnham and freely available here. This is a brief article outlining a study that looks at the effects that technology are having on medical and nursing education. The authors sent out a request to medical educators using an e-mail list as well as to the American College of Nursing Instructional Leadership Network and the Academic Health Sciences Libraries – asking them in turn to forward the request to the curriculum organisers in the relevant institution. From the figures this would imply that 1679 requests were sent out. However only 55 responses were received representing a 3% response rate. Given such a low response rate it is entirely possible that those that did respond did so because they were more likely to be using Web 2.0 technologies within their curricula or else were more familiar with the term. The figures from the returned surveys indicated that 53% of nursing school courses utilised web 2.0 technology and 45% of medical schools where this technology was used in both preclinical and clinical courses. There was no information on the characteristics of those that responded either and we are assuming that the respondents were responsible for organising the courses although there are many staff groups involved with this complex task. In summary this was a small study with methodological limitations which nevertheless offers some insight into the possible take-up of web 2.0 technology into nursing and medical curricula. After asking this question however there are many directions to take in the next stage. For instance, just how are these technologies incorporated into the curricula, is there any evidence that they improve training? What are the experiences of the students on the course? It will be interesting to see the results of further research in this area.
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