Monday, March 30, 2009

Diigo - Concept Map

Diigo is a social bookmarking tool that allows sharing of bookmarks among friends, groups and communities. This c-map is a reinterpretation of a presentation I created in powerpoint and posted to Slideshare.

Next, I am going to attempt to reinvent the presentation using Prezi, a zooming presentation tool that allows much more creative organization and linking of concepts. This c-map helped me to get away from the linear thinking that Powerpoint requires and will hopefully help me when using Prezi.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

RSS for pharmacists

For those who are unfamiliar with RSS, see this video for a short explanation of RSS in Plain English.

Do you need to keep up with the medical and pharmacy literature? Signing up for the RSS feeds of the journals you are interested in can prevent your email inbox from overflowing with eTOC.

I have 17 journal feeds my Google Reader, which more that keeps me up to date on the latest research. Because everything is in one place in the same format it is much easier to scan multiple journals at a time, and one click will take you to the journal website. For those with a University of Manitoba library card, use of the library proxy bookmarklet will also allow you to access the full text article, if the university has the e-journal.

You can also sign up for the RSS feed from any website that offers it. For example I subscribe to RSS feeds from MDConsult and Medscape for the latest medical and pharmacy news. Health Canada and FDA Medwatch have RSS feeds for the new advisories and warnings on medications.

Blogs can also be followed, either for personal or professional purposes. I subscribe to several medical librarian blogs as many of their posts comment on the use of technology to assist healthcare professionals and they are quick to post reviews on new tools that I could use in my practice. I also subscribe to my classmates blogs for the Introduction to Emerging Technologies course that I am taking, allowing me to follow their learning as well. You could also subscribe to your friend's pregnancy or wedding blogs and follow every detail that they post!

The best feature that I have discovered is the PubMed "Send to: RSS feed." After doing a search in PubMed you can click on the "Send to" drop down box and select RSS feed to send it to your RSS reader. I did a search a title search for drug information, limited to English language articles and sent it as an RSS feed to Google Reader. Now I will be alerted every time an article is published on drug information, simply brilliant!

There are other ways to do this in PubMed (My NCBI), but having everything in Google Reader streamlines it. Multiple specific PubMed searches could be set up on specific topics of interest, which could eliminating the need to scan a large number of journals, especially if you have a narrow area of practice.

The only downside that I have encountered is the large number of feeds I now subscribe to, which requires regular screening to keep manageable. As this is a new tool for me I am keeping on top of it at the moment, but we shall see once the newness wears off.

RSS has saved me from many message from the email demons at work, telling me that I have exceed my allotted email allowance, so I'm a fan!

Friday, March 20, 2009


SlideShare is a free web based tool allowing publication and sharing of presentations. Presentations can be uploaded from Powerpoint, Open Office, and PDF presentations. Presentations can then be shared, either publicly or privately. I have uploaded my lecture for first year pharmacy students, this could be useful, eliminating the need to print handouts for the students. Slideshare could also be useful for staff education, if a podcast is added to the slideshow, it could be viewed as a stand alone presentation.

Principles Of Drug Information 2008

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Here Comes Everyone

"Revolution doesn't happen when society adopts new technology, it happens when society adopts new behaviors"

(from the cover of Here Comes Everyone)

How could I resist a subtitle like that, especially with all the new technologies I have been experimenting with in the past 6 weeks.

This book by Clay Shirky, places technology in a larger societal context, the tools are essential for the changes that are occurring, but it is human behaviours and actions that are driving the changes. No matter how technologically illiterate or literate you are, this "revolution" will affect you, regardless of whether you have a Facebook account or not.

Use of real world stories and clear explanations of more complicated topics make this a fairly easy read, even for those unfamiliar with cutting edge social technology tools.

I haven't though of the effects that social media tools will have (and are currently having) on society as a whole. My personal use of Facebook, Delicious, and other tools seem fairly minor and innocuous, but the bigger picture is.....exactly that, larger with many unknowns. If the future is in the hands of the masses with their cell phones and laptops, what will that future look like? And what will my contribution be?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Learning Environment

I created this mindmap as part of an assignment for the Introduction to Emerging Technology course that I am enrolled in. The intent was to think and document how you learn. As a pharmacist, I immediately thought of the required continuing education that I must do in order to practice, but there are many other ways to learn. This map is an attempt to capture all aspects of a pharmacist's personal learning environment.