Aug. 2, 2016 | “Imagine your doctor is able to practice the operation they’re going to do on you tomorrow. How many people would like that?”
Everyone in the audience raised their hands.
“Exactly,” said T. Glenn Pait, M.D., professor of neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery at UAMS.
Pait was kicking off the 10th annual Teaching with Technology Symposium on July 21 with the presentation “Virtual Reality Anatomy for Health-Care Education.” About 150 people attended the two-day event, which featured talks, workshops, vendors and research posters offering educators new tools and ideas for making the most of technology.
Pait said virtual reality will help teachers get students’ attention, keep them engaged and make teaching abstract concepts more concrete.
In health care education, specifically, he said virtual reality will help train surgeons, giving them a chance to practice, develop spatial awareness and maintain their skills. Teaching anatomy and pathology will be greatly enhanced. Caregivers can practice patient interactions.
In addition to education, virtual reality will have direct use in treatment, he said, listing examples in exposure therapy, post-traumatic stress disorder, pain management, phantom limb syndrome, brain damage and weight loss.
“All this virtual reality stuff is a great way to learn. It’s fun; it’s exciting; and it’s going to make all of our lives better,” Pait said.
The symposium included 25 breakout sessions, 10 workshops, three vendor presentations and five lightning presentations. Eighteen research and educational posters were displayed.
Topics included making your own interactive textbook, working with students living in a digital world, video conferencing and increasing student engagement. Sessions also provided a broader view of issues and challenges surrounding the successful integration of technology in today’s curriculum. Participants learned how to give better presentations, whether in the classroom, on a webinar or delivered through a mobile device.
“We’ve got participants from all walks of life,” Wessinger said. “Everyone is involved in teaching, but we’ve got people from community colleges, from other Arkansas colleges and from all the different colleges at UAMS, so they’re bringing a whole host of interests in what they’re hoping to get out of this. Hopefully, there’s something here for all of them.”