Presentations available

Posted by Peter on June 28th, 2007

The conference presentation made by ‘krew’ members Margaret Hansen, Scott Erdley and Peter Murray is available. The file is in two formats:
1. the original Powerpoint file (3.3MB) final.ppt
2. a smaller PDF file (1.2MB) final.pdf

The presentation files from Bill Perry and Peter Murray’s post-conference workshop have also been uploaded to:

After Rutgers2007

Posted by Peter on June 18th, 2007

This year’s conference has been and gone all too quickly. If you have comments – especially if you were at the event – feel free to post them, or to email me on peterjmurray[at] and I will upload them. We would like to know how people felt about the event.

The date and venue for the 2008 conference have yet to be decided.

Diane Skiba on predicting the future

Posted by Peter on June 18th, 2007

The closing keynote session for the conference was delivered by Diane Skiba, from University of Colorado at Denver, and titled ‘Exploring the present and predicting the future’. Before Diane started, the poster winners were announced, and awards were given to posters on using sing-along techniques for learning pharmacology, and the potential of using Second Life for nursing and education purposes.

In her session, she aimed to look at current health informatics trends, and project the topics that might be covered in Rutgers conferences in the next 10-25 years. Diane says the key theme is ‘transformation’, and began with a YouTube video on the early days of learning to use ‘the book’.

Diane says we are in the fourth wave of computing, with a changing digital landscape, including Web 2.0 and converging forces, as well as government initiatives on, for example, electronic records. She says many technologies Internet, web etc) are disruptive – which may be good or bad. She explored the ‘Digital Landscape’, which includes digital refugees, voyeurs, immigrants and natives.

At this point, the fire alarm went off and we started to evacuate – trust Diane to arrange something like that ;-))) – it seems it was a false alarm.

Diane started be explaining Web 2.0 and the ‘wisdom of crowds’, and how many Web 2.0 tools focus on collaboration, communication and interactivity, through social networks. For social bookmarking, she introduced, and (the latter for researchers). She presented some ideas around blogs and wikis as communities through harnessing collective intelligence. Second Life was mentioned, and the fact that since its foundation in 2003, it has attracted over 5 million ‘residents’. She showed how CDC and Harvard Law School are using Second Life.

She then moved on to think about Rutgers’ next decade, 2008-2018 and suggested trends such as:
– computer power growing by disappearing and pervasive/ubiquitous computing;
– increasing use of biometrics for access and security control;
– electronic perception technologies for interfaces (instead of keystrokes);
– technology to be smart and always connected, and context-aware devices to assimilate information to support decision making;
– moving beyond Web 2.0 and towards the Semantic Web;
– massive amounts of data and new techniques beyond data mining;
– changing and reshaping the Internet with increased sharing intellectual capital;
the growth of robotics.

On the future of healthcare, she says we will need to talk about Personal Health Records, convergence of devices for storing/accessing health data, mobile health (M-health) technologies, increasingly personalized health, linked into genomic profiles and the emergence of designer drugs. She sees future knowledge workers using smart spaces mediated through pervasive computing. She demonstrated a video of a new virtual touch screen (that looks a bit like the computer interaction shown in ‘Minority Report’). Wearable computing, which includes sensors built into fabrics, will facilitate personal health systems (intelligent biomedical/health clothing). The human genome, Diane says, will allow development of many new novel biotechnologies, and will form part of bio-informatics. Nanotechnology will also allow different ways to deliver drugs direct to cells where they are needed, implantable cameras and diagnostic testing, and other forms of targettable personalized technologies.

Other aspects she touched on included convergence of technologies, and cognitive informatics.

Scaffolding to create web-based learning

Posted by Peter on June 18th, 2007

Cathy Dearman, from University of South Alabama College of Nursing, presented on ‘Using scaffolding to create effective web-based learning’. By ‘scaffolding’, she refers to an instructional design technique that has eight characteristics, including clear directions to the student, clarifying of purpose and expectations, reduces uncertainties and creates efficiency and creates momentum. The benefits, according to Cathy, are fostering of critical thinking, transfer of information to new situations, and enhanced retention, through techniques that enhance connectivity of new information to that previously learned.

Some examples of scaffolding she referred to include: and

Online documentation and training needs

Posted by Peter on June 18th, 2007

Jo Anne Thompson, from Shore Health System in eastern Maryland, presented on ‘Online documentation: meeting the challenges of educating’. She described the phased roll-out of clinical documentation across the nursing units in various facilities, and the importance they found in the training component of the whole process. The scope of the training tasks included all the RN staff and nursing techs, as well as students from 3 schools of nursing. Wireless technologies throughout the facilities, and mobile point of care devices, with related changes in work flow around real-time documentation added challenges. Subsequent to cost-benefit analyses comparing classroom versus online learning, they went for the option of essentially online with a small amount of classroom review time, which helped to ensure consistency of training for all staff.

Bill and Peter Show

Posted by Peter on June 17th, 2007

Sunday afternoon saw a dozen participants staying on for the “Bill and Peter Show” post-conference workshop. Formally titled ‘Developing multiple media materials to accommodate different learning styles’, we covered a wide range of free and freely available tools that educators can use with their students, and for showing ‘proof of concept’ ideas to try and get support from their institutions for further work. As well as many of the items we had dicussed in previous years, we introduced a range of Web 2.0 applications that many participants felt offered ways around some of the road blocks they often face in their own institutions.

We must have been doing something right as we over-ran our three hour session by nearly an hour. many thanks to all who attended and participated. This years and previous workshops are and will be available from:

Saturday photos

Posted by Peter on June 17th, 2007

I think Scott has already said about all there needs to be said about the Saturday networking dinner. Photos will be available shortly – the site is here:

Sunday is the final day and here already. The conference closes at lunchtime with a keynote by Diane Skiba, and then Bill Perry and I have our traditional ‘Bill and Peter Show’ post-conference workshop. More later.

Saturday evening dinner

Posted by scott on June 17th, 2007

I had the opportunity to attend this networking dinner, a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the conference, Gayle Pearson’s work as well as a wonderful chance to network with colleagues and others. Held in the Bank of America building, Carnelian Room, on the 52nd floor, the dinner was marvelous as was the view. A history of the conference was recounted by Dr. Virginia Saba, with the assistance of other luminaries, incorporating a presentation and marvelous interesting little anecdotes and stories from over the years. The food & drink were just a delicious as the setting and attendees.

Thank you, Gayle, for not only inviting myself but also for growing this conference over the past quarter century. I will share other thoughts as they pop up ;’)

Saturday afternoon – session 2

Posted by scott on June 17th, 2007

Effective learning through technology: Linking learning styles to technology
Speaker: Dr. Catherine Dearman

Again entering this presentation after the first 10” of time – my apologies. Dr. Dearman stressing responsibility of learning rests with the student, therefore self-directedness is critical. She also talked about constructivism as helping students to be self-directed. By constructivism she means how learners construct own meaning and knowledge from previous experiences; supports compentency development, teacher facilitates learning and promotes experiential learning, self-directedness and so forth. Tried to match learning activities with minimal success. So, suggested trying to match/mismatch learning activities (strengths vs weaknesses, likes vs dislikes, active vs passive, and so forth).

She then offers some examples of teaching styles and learning means. One is a web quest via directions and criteria on the course syllabus. Benefits to broadening learning styles include student satisfaction and or buy-in; maximizing learning; consstuct skill sets for lifelong learning; improved skills / grades as well as opportunities for reflection. Barriers include faculty time & planning consideration; faculty ‘break’ from preferred style; spotlights student contribution to educative environment, and frustrations by both faculty & students. Outcomes are balance, diversity in learning styles, opportunities to learn in different ways, and flexibility in approaches to teaching & learning.

A relatively succinct presentation by Dr. Dearman. Plenty of time for Q&A, too.

RSS and Pageflakes

Posted by Peter on June 16th, 2007

Bill Perry, from Kettering Health at Dayton, Ohio, talked about ‘Developing specialty specific Internet resource pages using RSS and Pageflakes’. He explained the usefulness of RSS in delivering user-specified, and self-updating content and resources.

He introduced the iGoogle personalized homepage (which is free) and the ease of use of adding widgets and RSS feeds from a variety of journals to automatically update the iGoogle page. He demonstrated the ‘RSS in plain English’ video as an explanation of how RSS feeds work (

Bill talked about, and demonstrated subscribing with, Google Reader, Bloglines and various other readers and aggregators. He also mentioned for deriving RSS from HTML.

In starting to thinking about customising content and webpages, he moved on to look at Pageflakes, Netvibes and similar tools. Pageflakes ( allows the addition of a range of content types.