Technology is a truly remarkable thing. That might sound like a trite statement but we don’t often have the luxury or the opportunity to really stop and marvel at the important and impactful role that new innovations play in our everyday lives. When we do, we can’t help but be astonished. Game-changing innovations appear to be introduced, just within the realm of health care, on a weekly basis.
While these kinds of developments can surely be exciting, they also present an interesting challenge for educational institutions such as ours. One of our missions, of course, is to educate the best possible practitioners of the future. But what role do emerging technologies play in that educational process and when is it appropriate to incorporate certain technologies into our curriculum?
Nobody would doubt the need for future doctors to fully master the sound and time-honored diagnostic techniques that our profession has used throughout decades of practice. This, after all, is the cornerstone of any good educational program and the foundation for many newer technologies. But one of our strategic goals at the College is to also provide training that anticipates future practice trends, so this too is an absolutely critical aspect of our mandate. In the years ahead, our students will need to be able to navigate the practice environments of the future which, as we are all well aware, will look quite differently from the practice environments of the past or even the present.
Technology always has and always will play a key role in the optometric profession. Our ability to create, adapt to and utilize technology is one of our great strengths. As a result, it is our duty as educators to ensure that our students can utilize technology—present and future—as a tool to help them thrive in their careers.
David A. Heath, OD, EdM
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