Over February half term members of the Technology-Enhanced Learning team at Leeds Institute of Medical Education went along to Operation Ouch at the National Science and Media Museum, Bradford. We took part in the event’s STEM Area with stands showcasing kid-friendly science and technology projects by academics, businesses and charities. The event was a massive success with over 27,000 people attending over 9 days.
In the days the TEL Team attended, we were able to showcase our innovative and experimental medical education technologies to over 3,000 parents and kids. From examining a virtual reality patient using the Microsoft HoloLens, exploring the human body with an augmented-reality t-shirt Virtuali-Tee, and looking around a working histopathology lab in VR, it was clear that children found these interactive medical teaching technologies really engaging. Not only this, but children were able to get to grips with these complex technologies immediately.
The affinity shown by such a large number of children for these new educational technologies shows us that we’re on the right track with devoting time and resources to developing them. By the time these children get to University, the tools they use to learn will have moved on in ways we cannot even imagine. The recently released Topol Report recommends that medical education be flexible and personalised and technology will have an even more central role to play in educating this next generation of healthcare professionals.