In April 2010, Apple released the iPad; a tablet/slate computer (a flat, touchscreen computer that one can hold in one's hand) for general use. As of Sept 25th, they have sold about 7.5 million iPads and the concept of a "slate" version of a tablet computer has taken off. Competition is ramping up in the form of the HP Slate, Acer, Asus Eee Pad [Windows 7], Dell Streak, NookColor, HTC, Samsung Galaxy [Android], and RIM Playbook [Blackberry]. Just as affordable and powerful computers now exist in a phone form, computers will soon be popular in a tablet format.
The tablet computer (especially in its slate version) is likely to first succeed in medical education as a replacement for paper textbooks. E-book textbooks can become lightweight, portable, indexed, searchable, hypertext learning environments. Schools will migrate from paper textbooks to e-books and use tablet computers as e-book readers [just as Kindle is replacing the standard book]. Potentially, in a few years, all students would have access to a tablet computer. How else can medical educators take advantage of this new technology?
This workshop offers attendees a chance to first get up to speed on this rapidly developing technology. Once the group has a common understanding, the group can identify and share ideas and ways this technology can enhance medical education beyond the simple e-book reader potential. Specific solutions will be sought for training in basic sciences, pre-clerkship training in clinical care [including the full range of competencies], clerkship training, and internship/residency.
The workshop will brainstorm ideas, define potential benefit and challenges for each, and identify possible implementation steps. Post-workshop, attendees can investigate the new technology, share ideas and experiences, and build solutions that can be shared broadly and are implemented widely.