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MANUSCRIPT: Web 2.0 and Social Media in Education and Research

The use of technology has become ever more pervasive over the past decade, particularly in relation to information management and in facilitating communication, networking and collaboration. Improvements in communication and the accessibility of information have in  part been driven by the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies (also referred to as the read,  write web) that enable individuals not only to consume content but also to participate in the creation, sharing and remixing of information. Social media tools such as blogs, wikis, media  sharing and social networking sites have done away with the need for individuals to know  how to code and supported increased web accessibility and usability and ultimately growing  engagement with technology. These tools are also being adopted in education and  healthcare where they are supporting innovation and engagement with stakeholders. There  are, however, also some risks associated with using these new technologies that are  particularly pertinent in the healthcare setting. As a result access to these tools and  websites is often restricted and for those healthcare professionals in NHS settings and for  those involved in teaching and for students on NHS clinical attachments this can prove both  limiting and frustrating.
This paper  provides an overview of how Web 2.0 technologies are being used to support  teaching, learning and research in higher education highlights some of the risks associated with the use of social media in relation to  NHS staff and to propose that training could raise awareness of these risks as well  the potential benefits details common problems with NHS IT hardware and software faced by staff with a  role in higher education and concludes with a summary overview of common Web 2.0 and social media tools and  their potential benefits, risks and suggested  recommendations for access. 0SoMEinEdResearch_May2013_final.pdf

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Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

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