An Investigation into the Use of Portable Digital Assistants (PDAs) in Dentistry
Wednesday, June 23 5:25-5:45 PM Location: Univ A22
Presider: Gail Hood, LessonLab, United States
Abstract: This paper presents the pilot assessment of the potential educational benefits of PDAs for networked learning, data collection and information processing in a dental clinical learning environment. Undergraduate dental students access their Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) (WebCT) through the College network and Internet. The study investigated the students’ use of wireless networked PDAs to access their VLEs in a dental clinic. The project involved three phases: technical, educational and implementation. A cross over designed trial enabled half a student group of 12 to use the PDAs for 6 weeks, followed by the other half. The educational evaluation used pre and post trial questionnaires, interviews and focus groups. The use of the VLE to access multiple media training material (eg texts, images and webcasts) was monitored using WebCT. The results showed that wireless access of PDAs to College networks worked well and PDAs were highly acceptable as access to on-line education.