This is the Forefront of ‘Meducation’
Undoubtedly, we’ve come a long way in terms of technological advancement in the last few centuries. How exciting is it then, that many experts suggest we’re on the brink of a technological explosion that will see an exponential surge in development and innovation!1
As undeniable as our progress has been, I would contest that the means of student-student and student-educator interaction have been less dynamic than many other areas of expansion. Sure, there was some degree of academic communication improvement beyond courier pigeons with the addition of mail and subsequently e-mail, but since then, there hasn’t been too much advancement.
You could say then, that there’s a niche to be filled here, and as they say: ‘necessity is the mother of invention’.
Two of my peers here at Griffith University Medical School, Jeremy Lynch and William Tsai have put forth a potentially great ‘invention’ to satisfy this ‘necessity’.
The two of them are passionate about education optimisation and innovation and were top-10 finalists of a competition to represent Australia at the Elsevier Hacks conference in Finland. The crux of the conference, co-organised by Elsevier (an analytics organisation) and the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) was pinpointed by Jan Herzhoff (Managing Director of Education for Elsevier) when he said:
“Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and this event provides us with an opportunity to explore how technology can support and further medical education instead of surpassing it.”
Jeremy and William’s ongoing pursuit for the betterment of medical education has lead them to the development of Jaffy2. Jaffy is a platform the two of them have created which enables students (of essentially anything, but specifically medicine) to collaborate not only with one another, but also with their educators.
The website and app, which are still young, facilitate the organisation, sharing and streamlining of study methods and materials. Furthermore, the platform gives students and their educators a means of connectivity that is better geared towards real-time feedback and resource collaboration over merely accessing course resources and communicating via e-mail – at last!
The pair’s inspiration for the project was congruent with the previously identified discrepancy between technological advances on a broader scale, and those seen on the education front. I can attest to the fact that as a medical student, a universal and persistent phenomenon is that everyone compares their own resources and habits in an effort to optimise study.
Jaffy has the capacity to not only modernise these aforementioned study-comparisons and resource-sharing efforts, but also, the potential for ‘gamification’ of study. Other learning tools (such as language learning apps like ‘Duolingo’) have found enormous success by catering to the instant gratification offered by game ‘accomplishments’ and the competitiveness of sharing your progress with your peers.
In my exploration of Jaffy, I was pleased to see that there is a social-media component to it in that you can add your peers and educators that have accounts. Then, the educational side of the platform has been tailored to our medical curriculum and encompasses all facets of our education (from our lectures, to Problem-Based-Learning, to clinical skills and more). Jaffy then allows users to view their friend’s resources and their study activities, in an insightful, clearly organised way.
My peers and I have already started using Jaffy in our studies and are enjoying the fluidity and ease with which we can access and compartmentalise all of our resources. I’m confident that Jeremy and William’s efforts are trailblazing the advancement of technological integration into education. The students at Griffith University Medical School are excited for the future of Jaffy, as I think many more students in Australia and even worldwide are about to be!
- Shrinath V, 2017: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/security-tech/technology/the-cambrian-explosion-in-technology-and-how-its-affecting-us/articleshow/57217991.cms
- Jaffy: https://www.jaffy.com.au/