Format of Original
American Dental Education Association
Journal of Dental Education
The goal of this article is to describe the broad curricular constructs surrounding teaching and learning about social media in dental education. This analysis takes into account timing, development, and assessment of the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors needed to effectively use social media tools as a contemporary dentist. Three developmental stages in a student’s path to becoming a competent professional are described: from undergraduate to dental student, from the classroom and preclinical simulation laboratory to the clinical setting, and from dental student to licensed practitioner. Considerations for developing the dental curriculum and suggestions for effective instruction at each stage are offered. In all three stages in the future dentist’s evolution, faculty members need to educate students about appropriate professional uses of social media. Faculty members should provide instruction on the beneficial aspects of this communication medium and help students recognize the potential pitfalls associated with its use. The authors provide guidelines for customizing instruction to complement each stage of development, recognizing that careful timing is not only important for optimal learning but can prevent inappropriate use of social media as students are introduced to novel situations.