Article Review: Dentinet – the dental students who are changing the way students learn

Article Review: Dentinet – the dental students who are changing the way students learn

Dentinet – the dental students who are changing the way students learn

Background: 
  • Founders: Three dental students from The University of Manchester
  • Project: A pandemic project called ‘Dentinet’
  • What: Webinars for Dental Undergraduates
  • Aim: To revolutionise student learning
The source of the idea:
  • The three students grew increasingly anxious with the lack of face-to-face teaching and clinical experience
  • They were spending more time on social media and began to notice an increase in the number of webinars
  • In fear of falling behind their peers, they tried to attend as many as possible “this only heightened our anxiety as we felt lost in the complexity of the content”
The idea:
  • They saw this as an opportunity to develop a student-friendly venture, to promote the continuity of dental education for the shared benefit of the student body in a completely free and easily accessible way
  • They contacted well-renowned dentists and dental educationalists to explain their initiative
  • “The pandemic has definitely impacted dental students"
  • They believe the secret behind attracting such reputable dentists has been the unique platform that gives big names in dentistry the opportunity to support students through these unprecedented times
  • They’ve hosted webinars which span across a variety of disciplines in dentistry, the most popular speakers have been:
  • Dr Kreena Patel – endodontology
  • Dr Reena Wadia – periodontology
  • Dr Milad Shadrooh ‘The Singing Dentist’ – social media in dentistry
  • Dr Jin and Dr Ali from the Smile Academy – aesthetic dentistry
What challenges did they encounter?
  • The first challenge was growing their audience
  • They decided to reach out to each university dental society across the UK to help promote their webinars to their students. This – along with the power of Instagram – boosted them to a few hundred followers before their first talk.
  • As each webinar took place, the number of viewers increased
  • Through word of mouth and social media ‘sharing’ they have become more and more popular. As a result, they currently stand with more than 2,000 followers.
  • As lockdown progressed and the regulations relaxed, they were anticipating a fall in views. However, this only encouraged them to secure speakers and topics that students would not want to miss!
  • They also increased their efforts in promoting the webinars across all platforms
Hopes/plans for the future?
  • Post lockdown, they envisage webinars to remain beneficial
  • Face-to-face events on hold; with hands-on seminars and clinical skills workshops in the pipeline
  • Working towards making webinars more interactive
Feedback:
  • They have used the Society app to collect feedback in a simple and timely manner and issue a certificate of attendance to users - enabling viewers to enhance their CV
What can students take away from these webinars?

Webinars are a convenient way for students to:
  • Reinforce their knowledge
  • Expand on the curriculum
  • Understand difficult concepts
  • Gain insight into career pathways in dentistry
  • Acquire clinical tips
  • Revisit topics in their own time, via Youtube channel
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