THE NEXTDDS Blog

4 Advantages to Using the Online Dental Student Groups through THE NEXTDDS

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Oct 21, 2015 @ 06:00 PM

One of the useful features of THE NEXTDDS is its Groups page created to enhance the user experience and connectivity. These groups allow you to connect with peers in your dental school or organization. Outlined below are features of THE NEXTDDS Groups that enrolled students can access right from their Profile pages. 

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EASY AND IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO YOUR SCHOOL GROUP 

When you enroll in THE NEXTDDS, you are placed in your university’s or organization’s group page. From your Profile page, you can join or leave groups and invite your peers to your groups.

PRIVATE GROUP MESSAGE BOARD

This message board can be used by only group members or THE NEXTDDS Administrator. Members can post important information about classes, campus events, meetings, and just about anything else they want to quickly communicate to all other group members.

GROUP CALENDARS

Each group calendar is populated with the details from the school’s academic calendar (test dates, fundraising events, school holidays, etc.) as well as other events of interest in the dental community.

MEMBER DISPLAY ON THE GROUP PAGE

Each member has the opportunity to display his or her name, school and contact information on the group page, as well as a profile picture. These options (that a student can decline for privacy) are helpful for networking should a member choose to feature that information.

Update Profile Page

Groups provide you with many benefits and an instant connection with the enrolled dental student population. If you’re interested in serving as the Administrator for your dental school group or would like to form a group focused on your interests, you are welcome to contact us at [email protected]. Your peers, classmates and connections could be just a click away.

Tags: dental students, THE NEXTDDS, online, dental schools, networking, message board

Professor's Perspective: Dr. Anthony Eltink's Advice for Dental Grads

Posted by Christina Ferraro on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 @ 05:39 PM

This is the second in a series of interviews highlighting THE NEXTDDS Academic Advisory Board members and their views on dental education today. From their choices in digital tools in the classroom to what advice they would give current dental students, these academicians will weigh in on their experiences.

 

Advisory Board Eltink

Anthony P. Eltink, DMD, MS

Orthodontics

 

What is the most rewarding aspect of your dental specialty?

Being an orthodontist allows you to form relationships with children and families, and it is a pleasure to watch them grow up.  The positive impacts on a child's self confidence and self esteem that are directly related to the improvements in their smiles are incredible, and it is great to be a part of these changes.

 

What digital or online tools do you use in the classroom or clinical setting?

The biggest advancements in digital technology in orthodontics lie in the realm of digital treatment planning and execution with appliances such as Invisalign.  Taking the patient's teeth to a computer screen, manipulating their occlusion in a virtual world, and then applying that clinically is an amazing advancement in orthodontic technology.

 

How often do you assign students material that requires online research?

Much of the learning for our orthodontic residents comes from finding an understanding of the literature and determining orthodontic treatments that are evidence-based and sound.  The internet is rich with both information and misinformation, and we work hard to create orthodontists who understand the power of online tools.

 

What advice can you give current dental students nearing graduation who are interested in your specialty?

Interview well, and be different.  Orthodontics as a specialty is very competitive, and you will be competing with other very qualified applicants.  If you interview well and are memorable it will go a long way toward ranking highly for the residency match.

 

Does this generation of students present any unique challenges to educators? If so, explain.

Education in a residency program is driven by self-motivation.  We provide opportunities to learn, but there is no spoon-feeding of information.  Younger generations might not be used to this method of instruction, and might miss opportunities to learn.

 

What do you find to be the most difficult dental concept to teach? Why?

Craniofacial growth and development - the head and neck go through so many changes during periods of growth, and the complex nature of dental development takes place in this very dynamic environment.  These are difficult concepts to teach and to test.

 

What digital adjunct materials do you find most useful for students, and for what lessons do you use them?

Technologies for virtual treatment outcomes and digital treatment planning are crucial to understanding orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning.  We use these routinely in our orthodontic department.

 

Why did you choose your specialty?

I chose orthodontics because of the total package that it offers - low stress, "clean" dentistry, you get to work with kids, no emergencies, generous compensation, physically less demanding than general dentistry.... 

 

What do you wish you had known about the dental industry as a whole when you were a student?

I wish I had known more about running a business.  We spend so many hours learning about diseases, teeth and therapies, and are then thrust out in the world and asked to run a business.   Well-organized, specialty specific business courses should be added to the dental school and residency curricula.

 

 

 

Tags: classroom, education, technology, student, dental, advice, online, change, industry, grad

Professor's Perspective: Dental Educator & Clinician John Christensen

Posted by Christina Ferraro on Fri, Dec 12, 2014 @ 05:26 PM

This is the first in a series of interviews highlighting THE NEXTDDS Academic Advisory Board members and their views on dental education today. From their choices in digital tools in the classroom to what advice they would give current dental students, these academicians will weigh in on their experiences.

 

Advisory Board Christensen

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John Christensen, DDS, MS, MS

Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

 

What is the most rewarding aspect of your dental specialty?

Working with a varied population daily (children and adolescents) who make every appointment different.  You never know what is coming next.

 

What digital or online tools do you use in the classroom or clinical setting?

Digital photos, x-rays, models for orthodontic diagnosis. I use Dolphin software to help work up orthodontic cases.  I use Pubmed, Google scholar alerts for information and education. Dentaltraumaguide.org is the best resource for trauma available.

 

How often do you assign students material that requires online research?

Often, it is a way of getting journal articles without the journal.

 

What advice can you give current dental students nearing graduation who are interested in your specialty?

Visit dentists in the specialty you are considering and observe for more than an afternoon.  Do they seem happy? Challenged? Frustrated?  That tells you a lot about the specialty.

 

Does this generation of students present any unique challenges to educators? 

Yes, the amount of information available to students is almost overwhelming.  Couple that with all the information coming from news, social media, etc. and I think the current generation has a difficult time finding time to focus on the material at hand. Multitasking is not the answer.

 

What do you find to be the most difficult dental concept to teach?

Critical thinking to apply different concepts to a single problem.  Students often know A, know B, and know C.  What they have trouble with is combining A, B, and C to make D which is the best solution to the problem.

 

What digital adjunct materials do you find most useful for students, and for what lessons do you use them?

Dentaltraumaguide.org for resource.  Dolphin Imaging to see what treatment might look like. 

 

Why did you choose your specialty?

Children create another dimension to treatment and that is time.  They change and one needs to understand growth and development to incorporate the changes into the treatment solutions.

 

What do you wish you had known about the dental industry as a whole when you were a student?

My father was a dentist so I knew most of what was happening.  I wish I knew more about where we are going.  Will dentistry and dentists just become technicians providing services or will we continue to be part of the health team?

Tags: children, orthodontic, classroom, student, dental, elearning, educator, online

Electronic Learning: Serving the Needs of All Learners and Educators

Posted by John Papa on Thu, Jul 25, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

Different Types of Learners

What kind of learner are you? This might seem a strange question to some, but any of you who have taken an education course as an undergrad, have parents or relatives in the educational field, or can recall a professor explaining or utilizing different methods of teaching may recall the four broad categories of learners. For a quick refresher, they are as follows:

  • Visual – Those who learn best by seeing things in action. These types of learners respond well to diagrams, slideshows, and instructional videos.
  • Auditory – Those who learn best by hearing. These people are more suited for lectures or presentations.
  • Kinesthetic – Those who learn by doing and “hands-on” activities. These people are well suited for displays and examples.
  • Dynamic – Those who tend to figure things out by themselves, and learn through experimentation, collaboration, and self-guided research.1

Different types of learners

At times, traditional education can leave some of these individuals out in the cold, as it tends to lean more heavily toward auditory learners. However, through the growth and expansion of eLearning outlets in recent years, all types of students and individuals can learn about virtually any topic of interest to them in any way that they prefer.

Research also suggests that eLearning improves information retention. As Karen Jones, at 23-year veteran in the field of eLearning, and Director of eLearning for the Bryant Consulting Group tells her clients, “Technology-based solutions allow more room for individual differences in learning styles. Whereas the average content retention rate for an instructor-led class is only 58%, the more intensive eLearning experience enhances the retention rate by 25-60%.”2,3

 

The Evolution of eLearning

Over the past several years, eLearning has evolved through the use of information technology from an afterthought, to an accredited and often relied upon method of education. The advantages of eLearning are numerous, and begin with the delivery methods that are availed to online learners; methods that can suit any of the four types of learners.

As is the case with any educational environment, the right curriculum makes for the right kind of learning. A hallmark of a good e-curriculum is the ability for an instructor to adapt the same material in different ways for different kinds of learners. For instance, providing optional links or slide shows for visual learners, while allowing auditory learners to listen in a podcast-style, audio-only format. Educators can also accommodate kinesthetic learners with optional examples or interactive pieces, and allow students to work through material at their own pace alone, or in a group, without funneling everyone through the same rigid formats and lessons.4

The internet offers a wide array of multimedia options for visual and auditory learners, as well as the possibility of interactivity and simulations within a lesson for kinesthetically inclined learners. There exists the possibility to bookmark pages and track results, allowing learners to progress at their own pace. Additionally there are message boards that allow for large-scale group collaboration, as well as experts or moderators available to regulate the exchange of valuable information among community members. The problem is that not all of the information found on the web is equally credible, and the main challenge in eLearning today lies in the learner’s ability to locate credible, accurate information. This potential roadblock eliminated entirely when browsing peer-reviewed, content such that you would find on THE NEXT DDS.

 

The Value of eLearning

While you may not yet be able to obtain a dental degree online, that does not mean that eLearning cannot offer valuable resources for you as a dental student. THE NEXT DDS is a credible source of education that both compliments and enhances your classroom and clinical experiences. Maybe you’re a visual learner, who will get more out of watching a video of a Class II restoration being performed than you would out of reading about how the procedure is performed, or hearing it in a lecture. Or maybe you’re more of interactive or dynamic learner, who likes to bounce ideas off of others while working. For these learners, THE NEXT DDS has built in chat, messaging, and social features that allow you to stay connected to your classmates 24/7.

Of course, for many, the true value of eLearning comes (as it so often does) from the most rudimentary bottom line questions: how much does it cost/what value am I getting for my monetary/time investment? The widespread availability and financial flexibility are what make eLearning so appealing to such a wide audience.

Access to THE NEXT DDS is available completely free for dental students, so there is no need to worry about expiration dates, deadlines, or budgeting. Dental faculty and students alike can use this resource to compliment and enhance their curriculum, and to help maintain an educational focus even when students are not in the classroom. THE NEXT DDS has built a readily available, expansive library of scientifically sound, peer-reviewed information in a multitude of formats that accommodate all four types of learning styles. All you need to do is log in!

Log into THENEXTDDS!

 

References:

  1. Schultz, J. E-Learning Solutions Accelerate Learning for All Types of Learners. AESeducation. March 12, 2012. Available at: http://blog.aeseducation.com/2012/03/e-learning-solutions-accelerates-learning-for-all-types-of-learners/. Accessed July 24, 2013.
  2. Jones, K. The Advantages of ELearning. TheTrainingWorld. June 15, 2007. Available at: http://thetrainingworld.com/articles/elearningadvantages.htm. Accessed July 24, 2013.
  3. Jack E. Bowsher, "Revolutionizing Workforce Performance: A Systems Approach to Mastery," 1998; D. Peoples, Presentations Plus, 1992; Training Magazine, 19
  4. Smith, A. The Rich Value of Online Learning – An Online Educator’s Perspective. Elearningindustry. March 29, 2013. Available at: http://elearningindustry.com/the-rich-value-of-online-learning-an-online-educator-perspective. Accessed July 24, 2013.

Tags: classroom, dental education, electronic, visual, kinesthetic, dynamic, elearning, online, instruction, auditory

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