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