Social media Facebook and You Tube usefulness in anatomy learning: experience at Sapienza University of Rome
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Digital natives are growing up in a new media ecosystem, where the use of the net and social media is a daily practice. Even if there is a growing interest in the use of social media in university education, there is a paucity of outcome based, empirical studies assessing the impact of social media in medical education, in particular in the Human anatomy field. To facilitate human anatomy learning and teacher-student relation, a Sapienza university of Rome human anatomy teacher (HAT) created a professional Facebook profile (HATPFP) and a You Tube channel dedicated to human anatomy topics (HATYTC). In order to assess the usefulness of social media not only in human anatomy learning but also to get in touch with the human anatomy teacher, at the end of each course a survey was created than distributed to the students of health professions and medicine and surgery degree courses. Our data, the first referring to the Italian context, show a useful and positive opinion by most students on the use of social media Facebook and You Tube in the teaching of Human Anatomy. Although within the limits of an exploratory study, we have highlighted how social media can be an effective support for anatomy teaching by facilitating social interactions (in terms of time reduction, simplification, immediacy, less formality), improving learning (in terms of memorization and understanding of concepts: and notions of anatomy), and making students autonomous in their search for new knowledge of anatomy.