Media creation is underestimated in education. You only know what you can write, record or draw. As Seth Godin has suggested, ‘how are you going to explain this to your cat?‘ (Maybe a bad example but you get the point).
In the space of doctors creating (or modifying) stuff is Wikiproject Medicine. The brainchild of UCSF’s Public Physician, Amin Azzam, Wikiproject Medicine strives to pull medical students into the process of refining Wikipedia to make it a more reliable source of health information. Dave DeBronkart covers three years of Azzam’s progress on the Society for Participatory Medicine site.
Amin spent a solid hour on the phone with me a couple of years ago selling me on The project for Baylor College of Medicine. I couldn’t match his numbing level of dedication and elected to not bring it locally. While I consider myself weak, I still love the man and so respect all he’s done to move the chains in the spirit of doctors as contributors to the public good.
Why is the Wikiproject Medicine important? Doctors are the first to complain about what their patients read and they are the last to create it. Azzam helps them create the stuff that people consume.
As fate would have it, Rhett Allain in Wired this week describes how he teaches physics to students: he has them make videos.
You will be surprised how quickly a short video conveys just what students know—or don’t know—about the subject. I can tell how well they understand a concept simply by looking at the problem they choose to solve. When students approach a new idea, they tend to pick trivial problems that require little more than plugging data into an equation. As their understanding of the material deepens, they tackle more complicated questions, or even make up problems on their own.
Fidelity investing mogul Peter Lynch once said that you shouldn’t invest in something that you can’t draw with a crayon. Or, you simply don’t know what you can’t describe. Or film.
Pictured is a drawing of my beloved Molly done on my iPad Pro.