How is technology changing the dental academic curriculum?

November 13th, 2013

Advanced dental school software programs can help universities of any size operate at the forefront of the latest technological advancements in oral health education.

In the professional landscape, changes in the medical industry have transformed the ways clinics operate and treat patients. For example, recent updates to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act have made it more important for providers to implement advanced tools such as electronic health records into their existing practices. Similarly, many providers have made efforts to control health care costs by investing in more efficient operations that focus on preventative care rather than reactive operations. 

Naturally, academic institutions must keep up with these trends in order to prepare students for successful long-term careers. More than ever before, educators at universities across the nation are incorporating technology into the classroom experience in unique ways. High-quality dental software tools can help these organizations come up with even more methods for improving the oral health curriculum:

Hands-on experience
The American Dental Education Association recently announced the publication of a study in the Journal of Dental Education that highlighted the changing nature of the traditional classroom lecture experience at many universities. For instance, the growing popularity of recording devices has lead many professors to offer the option to listen to lectures remotely without having to actually visit class during the day. However, educators disagree about the virtues of such trends.

"Many critics argue that replacing face-to-face lectures with watching a lecture on a screen might impede learning, but they have no evidence for that assertion either," Heiko Spallek, one of the authors of the report, stated in a press release.

Utilizing technology to increase the flexibility of classroom lectures has benefits beyond mere convenience. In fact, the ADEA press release said the authors of the study concluded advancements in these tools may allow professors to dedicate more time to providing students with valuable, hands-on experiences throughout the day.

Enhanced research collaborations
Investing in dental academic software programs also makes it easier for universities to improve the information gathering process. According to DentistryIQ, an industry publishing network, the Journal of the California Dental Association's most recent issue highlights research efforts of students at six dental institutions throughout the state. An advanced software system can create a much more fluid and dynamic information sharing system. For example, such technology may make it easier for educators to involve students and collaborate with other individuals on a regular basis.

Grant opportunities
Investments in high-quality software tools can even create more revenue in the long run. In fact, the ADEA recently extended the deadline for applications for many of the grants it awards to academic institutions that demonstrate open-mindedness and leadership within the dental field. For example, the 2014 ADEA/Colgate Palmolive Co. Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes educators who have leveraged technological developments and other innovations to improve the classroom experience. In many cases, such leadership would be impossible without an advanced dental software program. 

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