Technology Advancement and Influence on Nursing Education

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Influence of Technology Advancement on Nursing Education

Technology Advancement and Influence on Nursing Education

Technology Revolution and Nursing Education,Educational Technology and Nursing Education,Health Education in a Technology Based World,Affect of Technology Advancement on Nursing Education.

Technology Revolution and Nursing Education 

    Life, as we know it today, was greatly influenced by technological advances of the last half century, a period in time known as the Third Industrial Revolution or Information Age. These Information Age advances include the birth of the Internet and the World Wide Web, the development of information technology, the wide scale production of computers, and the development of user friendly software, all of which have had an impact on every aspect of people's lives. 

    Now as the United States and other progressive countries move into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, new and disruptive technologies are emerging.Building upon the advances of the Information Age, the Fourth Industrial Revolution “is characterized by a fusion of technologies that are blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres” (Schwab, 2016, para. 2). 

   Rapid advances in disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), biotechnology, 3-D printing, and nanotechnology are serving to merge the real world with the technological world (Medical Futurist, 2017; Newman, 2017). In the 21st century, “new and innovative technology will continue to advance and become the norm in healthcare rather than the exception” (Daniels & Wedler, 2015, p. 28). 

    Technology will influence the way nurses practice with some of the most dramatic advances occurring in the field of education, where technology has transformed the way learners learn and the way teachers teach.Today, learners and teachers alike have a world of information at their fingertips. Computers and the Internet, along with mobile devices such as smartphones, smart watches, and tablets have made it possible to get information from anyone, anywhere, anytime, with just a click of a mouse, a tap of the fingertip, or a simple voice command. 

    In today's world, virtually all children begin learning on computers when they are in nursery school and are as young as 3 years of age (US Department of Education. 2016). As a result, children of today are often referred to as “digital natives,” as their lifelong exposure to digital technology has shaped the way they think and process information (Prensky, 2001). This is a very different beginning from that experienced by most adults who grew up in the 20th century.

Educational Technology and Nursing Education

    Today, educational technologies, which were once viewed as rare and highly desirable resources, have become commonplace. Both on-site and distance learners now interact in a multidimensional learning environment. Like shiny new toys, educational technologies have captured the imagination of the world. At the same time, they have opened a new window for educators and learners alike.

     Technology in education has tremendous potential. Through wise use of technology, nurses can increase access, improve educational practices already in place, and create new strategies that empower the individual and transform teaching and learning experiences for both healthcare consumers and nursing professionals.

    Of course, technology is not a magic solution that can be implemented without careful planning, monitoring, and evaluation. Even though technology has incredible power, users may find that it has given them results that they neither anticipated nor desired. 

    To use these resources effectively, the nurse who adopts technology to enhance teaching and learning must not only have a basic understanding of the technology itself but must also be able to integrate the technology into an educational plan that is based on sound educational principles and addresses issues such as access, cost, support, equipment. process, and outcomes.

     Although it is not intended to give detailed instruction on the mechanics of computers and other types of hardware and software, the presents a basic overview of the technology involved and its implications for the educator and the learner. Hence, this focuses primarily on the Internet, the World Wide Web, and computer based hardware and software applications that can be used to enhance learning at on site locations with patients, nursing staff, and nursing students as well as with learners at a distance. 

    Computer based technologies, the Internet, and the World Wide Web are developing at a rapid pace that is accelerating with each new generation of discoveries and applications (Mo, 2012). Because of this phenomenon, consumers are often advised that the computers they buy today are not likely to reflect the state-of-the-art technology of tomorrow. The same caution must be given to readers of books on technology. 

    Given the pace of technology and the development cycle of a textbook, it is impossible to capture everything that is new and cutting edge in the world of educational technologies in a text such as this one. 

    Rather, this is meant to serve as a starting point from which readers can begin to investigate the wide array of educational technologies and resources available. Ideally, it will stimulate readers to continue to search for new and exciting ways to integrate technology into their teaching and learning activities.

Health Education in a Technology Based World

    The use of technology in education reflects what is happening on a much larger scale in our communities. Hence, it is useful to think 1 of educational technology within the broader context of the environment in which we live and work. We have experienced a period of history often referred to as the Information Age. 

    The Information Age, also known as the Computer Age or Digital Age, was characterized by a change in focus from industry to information. Beginning in the 1970s, improvements in information technology and the decreasing cost of computers suddenly made information more accessible, resulting in a dramatically different world (Finnis, 2003). 

    Although this new access to information may seem insignificant, it had an enormous impact on the global economy, culture, and our way of life. New and powerful industries have sprung up, and the world has very quickly become a much smaller place as it is now possible to connect with people and access services from around the world in a blink of an eye and at very low cost.

    The demand for information and for innovative technologies continues to grow. Adults and children have come to depend on the mobile technology of the 21st century, from pocket-sized smartphones to media players, electronic readers, cloud-based digital assistants, and other computer-driven devices. If one thinks about the many ways in which technology has changed the world, clearly computers and information technologies have become more than tools to make life easier they have become part of the culture of most societies. 

    Computers and computer driven information technologies have also become part of the culture of education as common in the educational environment today as chalk and blackboards were in years past. Perhaps the most significant effect of computers on our society and on education is related to their capacity to assist in the collection, management, transportation, and transformation of information at high speed. 

    As a result of this newfound ability to handle information, the world has experienced an “information explosion.” As a society, Americans have increased both their use and their production of information of all kinds. People living in this information driven society benefit from the availability of information but are also challenged to keep up with the vast amounts of information that are continually bombarding them from all directions. 

    Information and knowledge have become valuable commodities, and the ability to gather and evaluate information efficiently and effectively has become a 21st-century life skill.

    Computers and other forms of technology also have altered the skill set required of educators. If technology has changed the way people learn, then it must also change the way we teach. Educators, including nurses and other health professionals responsible for teaching. must be prepared to meet the learning needs and learning styles of 21st-century children and adults (Henriksen, Mishra, & Fisser, 2016).

Affect of Technology Advancement on Nursing Education

How has technology affected health education? Consider the following points:

    The infrastructure now exists to link people around the world to one another, to nurses and other healthcare professionals, and to a vast array of Web-based information.

    Internet World Stats (2017), an international website that provides comprehensive and current information on Internet usage, reports that the North American continent is home to approximately 365 million people, of whom 320 million are Internet users and 224 million are Facebook subscribers. Looking specifically at adults living in the United States, only 15% report not using the Internet (Zickuhr, 2013).

    Once a slow and tedious process, connecting to the Internet has become easier with the advent of high-speed data services, Broadband service is in approximately 67% of American homes (Horrigan & Duggan, 2015).

    The majority of Americans have the hardware necessary to access the Web. A Pew Research Center survey found that 84% of Americans had at least one smartphone, 80% of households have a laptop or desktop computer, and 68% of households contain at least one tablet (Olmstead, 2017).

    Tens of thousands of healthcare applications are available online, about half at no charge, to assist healthcare consumers to learn, monitor, and manage their health and illnesses as well as communicate with healthcare providers and other consumers (Aitken & Gauntlett, 2013).

    The use of Information Age technology has had such a dramatic influence on health education that a unique and rapidly expanding field of study, consumer informatics (also referred to as consumer health informatics) has emerged, The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), one of the principal professional organizations for people working in the field of informatics, has established a pervasive consumer health informatics working group to advance the field through collaboration and dialogue (AMIA. 2017). 

    This group has over 800 members and is focused on “information structures and processes that empower consumers to manage their own health” (AMIA, para, 2). Researchers and other professionals in the field of consumer informatics are striving to find ways to use technology to strengthen the relationship between patient and healthcare provider as well as to teach and empower patients dealing with issues related to health and wellness. 

    Although much attention has been given to computer-based educational systems, consumer informatics is not restricted to computer-based programs. It includes the study of a wide range of media that can be employed to deliver health related information.The entire field of consumer informatics is growing rapidly (Mancuso & Myneni, 2016). Many colleges offer courses of study in which healthcare professionals can gain knowledge and skills related to technology to meet the information needs of healthcare consumers. 

    Informaticians and healthcare professionals are conducting research on the use of technology in healthcare education to generate knowledge that will guide future educational endeavors. A review of the literature reveals a growing body of knowledge in the field. Nurses and other health-care professionals are using this knowledge to guide practice and improve the quality of the education they provide to their clients. 

    Sophisticated technology will continue to make health and healthcare information more accessible and more meaningful to both healthcare consumers and health professionals. H owever, a number of issues remain to be resolved. An emerging concern is that of cybersecurity or the effectiveness of the “technologies, processes and practices designed to protect computer systems from unauthorized use or harm” (Cybersecurity Forum, 2017, para. 1). 

    The Pew Research Center reports that 35% of Americans have been notified that their personal information at one or more times has been compromised (Rainie, 2017). Furthermore, a study of healthcare organizations found that 94% of them have been victims of cyberattacks ( Perakslis , 2014). Given the increased frequency of cyberattacks and data breaches that have occurred in government agencies and businesses in recent years, many Americans do not trust public and private institutions to protect their personal data (Olmstead & Smith, 2017).

    Although security breaches are often related to financial information, health information also must be protected. As the amount of health information that is stored and exchanged increases, so does the risk of compromise. For example, many Americans use their smartphones for electronic communication, yet a recent study found that many smart phones users failed to take the steps necessary to secure these devices (Anderson & Olmstead, 2017). 

    A study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that nearly 40% of adults have difficulty managing online passwords necessary to secure their online data (Anderson, 2017). Therefore, nurses who engage with healthcare consumers in an online environment must be aware of the risks and teach clients how to safeguard their health information.

    In recent years, many healthcare organizations have established patient portals or secure websites that allow consumers to access personal health information, exchange secure e-mails with members of the healthcare team, view educational

    E materials, and perform tasks such as making appointments or requesting prescription refills (, 2015; Zychla , 2017). A common security measure for patient portals requires the use of a complex password that includes a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.

    Another significant area of concern is the limited oversight and control over the content that is posted on the Internet and World Wide Web, two of the major vehicles for delivering information to a global audience. The increased interactivity and user control inherent in the emerging World Wide Web suggests that issues such as authorship disclosure, quality of information, and privacy and confidentiality are likely to be of concern for some time (Adams, 2010).

    When the World Wide Web was first introduced, users were primarily consumers of content developed by organizations and commercial enterprises. Current technology has changed this dynamic and users have become authors of content, participating in blogs, wikis, and social network sites many of which are devoted to health and health related topics (Gagnon & Sabus, 2015; Miller & Pole, 2010 ). 

    As a result, the amount of health information created by individuals without healthcare education or expertise also has increased. Nurses and other healthcare professionals are concerned that consumers are making serious healthcare decisions based on information on the Web that has not been reviewed for accuracy, currency, or bias. 

    These concerns are valid as increasing numbers of people are using the Web as a source of health information. Studies have shown, although, that the information they find may be inaccurate or misleading (Fleming, Vandermause, & Shaw, 2014; Modave , Shokar , Peñaranda, & Nguyen, 2014; Seymour, Getman , Saraf, Zhang, & Calendarian , 2015) .

    According to a Pew Research Center report (Fox, 2014), of those adults who use the Internet: 72% have searched for health information 26% have followed the health experiences of others 16% have gone online to search for others with similar health concerns. Healthcare education and informatics professionals are working together to develop codes to guide practice and safeguard healthcare consumers who use educational information and services delivered via the World Wide Web and the Internet. 

    The not-for-profit group Internet Healthcare Coalition was founded in 1997 to identify and promote high-quality educational resources on the Internet. One of this organization's most significant achievements was the establishment of the e-Health Code of Ethics, displayed in six languages on its website. The purpose of this code is to ensure confident and informed use of the health-related information found on the Web.

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