How we use social media to supplement a novel curriculum in medical education

Med Teach. 2012;34(6):439-44. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.668245. Epub 2012 Mar 27.


Background: The millennial learner is reliant on technology to gain knowledge. Social media in the form of Twitter and Facebook provide a unique way to reach these learners.

Aims: To demonstrate a supplement to a curriculum using "push technology" via Twitter and Facebook to deliver educational content to mobile devices.

Methods: A curriculum consisting of high-yield ultrasound concepts was developed and posted to Twitter @EDUltrasound daily. Followers received tweets "pushed" directly to their mobile devices. Following the year-long program, followers were surveyed regarding the program's effectiveness. To determine the ways in which tweets were reaching users, followers were categorized demographically.

Results: Daily "tweets" were posted each morning beginning on July 1, 2010. By the end of the year, there were 87 followers on Twitter and 78 on Facebook. The majority of followers (55.6%) had not previously used Twitter. The majority of followers (88.9%) found Twitter user-friendly, while most (81.5%) found the information useful.

Conclusions: Due to ease of use and widespread applicability, Twitter and Facebook are excellent applications of "push technology" as a means to deliver educational content. This pilot project demonstrates the potential of social media to both supplement and enhance traditional educational methods.

MeSH terms

  • Blogging*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical / methods*
  • Humans
  • Social Media*