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“A Gutenberg Moment”: New Tech Boosts Student Learning

"The more options you have as a learner, the better it is. There's a culture of that here at Geisel, where students are really working to promote their own learning and everyone else's learning at the same time," says Geisel medical student Aaron Steen.

Steen, a second-year student, received an iPad as part of the iPad pilot project (part of Geisel's overall curriculum redesign process) upon entering medical school in 2012. The goal of the pilot project is to provide a learning platform that allows all students and faculty to collaborate and innovate, as well as to be successful in a medical field that is rapidly changing with modern technology.

The pilot project is now in its second year, and faculty and students are finding that the technology extends beyond iPads in the classroom. "We're now recognizing that doing online learning also allows us to better learn as educators how people are learning . . . and then translate that back to our face-to-face teaching as well," says Dr. Leslie Fall, associate dean for faculty development at Geisel.

Fall spearheaded the pilot project, and is also the cofounder and executive medical director of MedU, an online learning platform that presents students with virtual patient cases. MedU has 150 virtual patient cases and is used by 25,000 medical students and thousands of educators teaching at schools globally.

"This is what stimulated a lot of our technology here at Geisel . . . a few pioneers and entrepreneurs," says Dr. Fall. "We're now kind of at a Gutenberg moment in education and technology."