Back in 2010, UC Irvine began a learning initiative called iMedEd, which furnished first-year medical students with an iPad that came equipped with everything they would need for their first year of coursework.
The program, which aimed to reinvent how medicine was taught, included the development of a comprehensive, iPad-based curriculum. Three years later, it looks like iMedEd is a wild success.
As of today, Apple has deemed iMedEd an “Apple Distinguished Program,” which UC Irvine announced this morning. In the press release, UC Irvine School of Medicine dean Dr. Ralph V. Clayman said that iMedEd was awarded the title for serving as a “digital-based educational platform that conforms to the 21st century learning styles and needs of students throughout the world.” He also had this to say about the program:
At UC Irvine’s School of Medicine, we see each of our talented students as having a unique style of learning. It’s our challenge and responsibility to provide a broad array of educational opportunities so that every student can master the knowledge essential to becoming an outstanding healthcare provider.
The digital platform has enabled us to effectively respond to this responsibility in a manner heretofore unimaginable. By having all aspects of our medical school curriculum on iPad, learning becomes a 24/7 opportunity no longer tied to the classroom or a desk. We believe our students are learning better than they have in the past.
The iPads that were doled out to students included hundreds of medical applications, note-taking and recording capabilities, along with the ability to view short, topical lectures via podcasts for interactive and self-directed learning. Students also had access to audio and video libraries and patient data along with digital stethoscopes and handheld ultrasound units.
Students who participated in iMedEd ended up performing much better on their national exams. The students scored an impressive 23 percent higher than students in previous classes, who learned using more traditional methods.
Both students in the iMedEd program and students in previous years had similar GPAs and MCAT scores when entering medical school, indicating that the iPad is the sole reason for the significant performance improvement.
According to UC Irvine, some of the students that are participating in the iMedEd program have joined up to form the iMedEd Innovator’s Group, which is focused on finding new ways for technology to be used in the school’s curriculum in the future.