Florence Nightingale was also a statician

Walter van den Broek
March 3, 2014

In this video about a new exhibition, the British Library pays homage to the important role data visualisation plays in the scientific process. In this Nature Video, curator Johanna Kieniewicz explores some beautiful examples of visualisations, past and present. One of the first in this video is a diagram made by Florence Nightingale in which she showed how poor sanitation cost more lives of soldiers then their wounds. Soldiers got preventable diseases especially in hospitals. With sanitary reforms there was a dramatic reduction of deaths during the war.It changed the world, it changed science.


Video Games can make you smarter

Walter van den Broek
January 23, 2014

We’ve been on this subject several times before. This short video sums it up nicely, enjoy.
Want to see a real serious game for training physicians? Be sure to check out ABCDESim.


Dumb Way To Die

Walter van den Broek
January 20, 2014

Funny video placed in a contest at the Desiderius School Facebook page. This page is from the Medical School Erasmus MC. It announces official ceremonies, parties but also web content of interest for med students and an occasional contest like this one. For more funny videos on medicine het the link.


Empathy or Sympathy

Walter van den Broek
January 8, 2014

This beautifully animated RSA Short video empathy is explained and the difference with sympathy. Read other blogposts about empathy.

Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.Dr Brené Brown is a research professor and best-selling author of “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead” (Penguin Portfolio, 2013). She has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.

Thanks PresentationZen


Twelve Twitter Tips for Medical Education

Walter van den Broek
January 6, 2014


I was intrigued by this title of a recent publication about twelve tips for using twitter in medical education.

We recently tested twitter as a way of interaction with medical students. Our number of students attending lectures have outgrown the number of places in one lecture room. Since years we us two lecture rooms, one with a video link so students can follow the lecture on screen. For this second lecture room but also for those attending the life lecture we introduced twitter as a way to pose questions. We introduced the twitter account at the start of the semester, via emails and at the lectures. We paused half way of the lecture to read the tweets from the computer screen and at the end of the lecture.

The interaction was disappointing. Students don’t need or want twitter for interaction.

In this publication the tips start with explanation of twitter and encouragement to start a twitter account as medical educator.

Set up a Twitter account for a specific class or group,set ground rules for use and promote guidelines for professional behaviour

The third tip above is a very good one. In the first lecture we had to warn some students who were posing irrelevant question. After some strong words these interfering tweets disappeared.Their next tip is to display live Twitter chat during lectures. We didn’t do this, we figured it would distract the students from the ongoing lecture.

Use Twitter as a platform to convey credible information sources to students

Most students use online information. Most of this information is hard to evaluate. Twitter can be used to credible information or information sources to students.

The next tip is to use Twitter to create a ‘real life’ context for students. Links to current media stories that relate to course content may allow students to contextualize course information and improve their learning motivation. Next tip is start a twibe. A twibe is a twitter group. A twibe can give students the opportunity to communicate outside of class. This could stimulate informal learning. Tip 8 is to use twitter for course feedback.

This format for course evaluations may have advantages over traditional methods. Students may feel more anonymity without feeling disconnected from the feedback they are giving.

Another suggestion is to use twitter for informal quizzes and polls.This offers options for informal quizzing and polls when compared to a show of hands. Questions can be projected on a screen, and students can Tweet their answers.Because Tweets can be anonymous, more students are likely to submit answers.

Obviously as also suggested by the authors, the use of twitter in (medical) education should be explored further, most preferably in research.

Forgie SE, Duff JP, & Ross S (2013). Twelve tips for using Twitter as a learning tool in medical education. Medical teacher, 35 (1), 8-14 PMID: 23259608


The Science of Productivity

Walter van den Broek
January 2, 2014

Explanation why starting a project is the most important step in productivity and the best use of time management. Ego depletion, Zeigarnik effect won’t be obscure terms after veiwing this interesting video.

Thanks Brain Pickings


My 2013 year in blogging

Walter van den Broek
January 1, 2014

Annual report 2013

My annual report from 2013 on blogging with this blog. Check it out, just click here.


Smartphone addiction quiz

Walter van den Broek
December 16, 2013

Certificate: Test results

Smartphone addiction quiz

Not bad! Your score is below average (you are in the bottom 30% of all scores). It would seem that, according to this scale, you probably don’t have a smartphone habit that is causing you problems in your day-to-day life.

Take this quiz: Smartphone addiction quiz


Rap music video to motivate kids to eat better

Walter van den Broek
November 20, 2013

A pep talk from rapper Ietef Vita, aka DJ Cavem, via his music video “Wheat Grass.” Ietef Vita, a.k.a. DJ CAVEM of MOETAVATION crew is a Green For All Class 4 Fellow. Green for All is committed to supporting efforts to fix America’s broken food system.

DJ Cavem, as this story on HuffPost Parents explains, started writing and sharing his educational songs in Denver schools as a clever way to help kids beat back diet-related health issues, such as obesity and diabetes.

This video will certainly appeal to the youngsters

Thanks Scope blog


Placenta the video game

Walter van den Broek
November 19, 2013

pregnancy neuroscience

All gynecologists and pediatricians take notice. An excellent interactive simulation game allows people to observe and control the development of the placenta and the potentially fatal condition known as placenta accreta.

To run the program you’ll need the Unity web player, which is free and downloads pretty quickly at the link.

From Standford scope blog