Bringing Life to Medical Education with Social Media: A Journey of Discovery and Connection

Graphics of social media icons

The futuristic movies where humans experience a world with unlimited resources or fly in space have allowed us to imagine a world where most human needs are satisfied using technology. Applying those technologies to education has allowed us to break the boundaries of traditional classrooms and open a path to endless possibilities of the digital age. Imagine diving into a world where learning never stops; it has become our reality as social media transforms the landscape of medical education. This digital world is a meeting space where professionals and learners interact to exchange knowledge, experiences, and aspirations.

At the heart of it all, social media is a beacon of opportunity. It is not merely about staying updated on the latest product news or following trends; it is about actively engaging with a global community dedicated to learning, growing, and fostering professional identity development. Every reel, tweet, post, or video is a fiber of medical knowledge that connects us across cultures.

A person's hands touching a smart phone with a laptop open in the background.

Social media has brought about several advantages when it comes to learning. One of the key advantages is the ease with which we can access the latest research findings, medical breakthroughs, and clinical guidelines. With just a few clicks on a mobile device, we can connect with leading journals, organizations, and experts, breaking through geographical boundaries. Another benefit of social media for learning is that it allows us to personalize our educational journey. Through collected videos, online webinars, and discussion forums, we can engage with platforms designed for other purposes, such as YouTube, which has become a treasure trove of learning resources. From tutorials to case discussions, learning has become an engaging experience tailored to our individual needs. Finally, social media has enabled us to craft and share our professional identity on a digital platform. Our digital selves can connect with colleagues and mentors, opening doors to new opportunities and helping us to build a network that can support us throughout our careers.

At the core of this digital exploration of the world is the belief that learning is social and, therefore, a collaborative and dynamic process. Educational learning theories like constructivism and social learning remind us that knowledge grows through constant interaction, observation, and shared experiences within a community. Social media embodies this spirit, creating spaces where learning is not just about absorbing and retaining information but about engaging, questioning, and creating together. 

Some of the challenges on social media for learning have been widely shared, such as ensuring information accuracy, protecting privacy, and maintaining professional integrity. By engaging with social media thoughtfully, we pave the way for a learning environment that is inclusive, dynamic, and profoundly impactful. So, to our fellow educators, ophthalmologists, and curious minds across the globe, let us embark on this journey together! Join us in the Ophthalmology Foundation course as we explore, connect, and grow in this exciting digital age, shaping a future where education and technology unite to advance medical education.

To learn more why educators should use social media for teaching practices, watch a short video on “How to Teach Using Social Media.” The lecture belongs to Module 14 of the course Teaching Skills for Ophthalmic Educators Online Series. Take the full module and claim CME credits.

Screenshot of a YouTube video titled How to Teach Using Social Media