CCK08: final project

(Translation in Italian)

Hating scholiness and loving learning (to use Clay Burrel’s words), a strong yearning for changing what is related to school and learning, the necessity, perhaps, to discover other ways to take care of learning, the difficulty to share new paths with colleagues in my environment, were all powerful reasons to be irresistibly attracted by the idea to participate to the CCK08 course.

At the same time, the simultaneity with the bulk of the activities in the semester, was an equally strong reason to give up the idea of participating.

However, sometimes behind an apparently ineluctable dichotomy one may see a third possible way. In this case, instead of choosing if taking care of my students or playing the role of student myself, I decided to make the dialog among students and teacher the true participant to the CCK08 course.

The experience was very good because now I have a network of people having similar yearnings from whose I can learn further and get inspiration. I don’t know if such network is a sign of the existence of a grassroots movement, I hope.

In the last part of the course I was no more capable to follow very much the network but this was somewhat intentional. Being pressed by the overwhelming quantity of CCK08 connections and by my own teaching schedule it would have been impossible to do more. Thus I concentrated on 1) trying to keep an open window on the activities of my students and 2) recording possibly useful connections for the future. Now the network is there and when time will permit I will try to exploit those connections as well as new ones.

The CCK08 experience reinforced the general idea of teaching and learning I have been developing thus far and that I try to recap in the following.

Contents are no more the most important feature, they are in the wiki and are supposed to be integrated with available OER. Contents in the wiki are authored also by students.

There is no true time schedule. The teacher suggests activities in a certain succession but students are free to undertake them when they like. Time is not an issue, activities related to other curricula permitting.

The assignments given by the teacher are not true assignments, they are given mostly because students expect them. However those assignments are thought as lures to trigger autonomous learning activities.

I completely gave up the idea of covering the course topics with some degree of completeness. Instead I’m aiming to let each student find a personal path around the subjects of the course.

Since the course is given in an university curriculum I have to give grades. However, in my perspective it’s not much about giving grades, rather letting learners accumulate their grades by means of activities they do, both the suggested ones and specially the spontaneous ones. The final grades depend for some 70% on the number of activities and for some 30% on my judgement for quality of each activity.

As far as the evaluation of quality is concerned, creativity, attitude to extend the subject, cooperation with peers, openness and sharing are the elements I consider most relevant.

The course is delivered by using only free web tools such as blogs for communication among the participants as well as with the professor, wiki pages for use and creation of contents, group blogs as forums, Google Docs for cooperative works, or similar tools. We could say simply that we are using Web 2.0 tools and this is largely true. However I like to stress that the important points are those mentioned before. The use of Web 2.0 is important but only because it facilitates this approach very much, however it is not the crucial point per se.

I avoid to use any kind of close environments such as learning management systems, both in proprietary and open source flavours.

Being aware of the fact that web tools are run by companies, I try to manage things so that possible damages to the course, because of failures or some sort of closures of a single web service, are very limited. Web tools are used only if they permit thorough backups in open and standard file formats.

Admittedly, the subject of digital literacy is particularly suited to such an experiment, for a number of reasons.

  • The matter is evolving fast, it is impossible to freeze it in contents. It is also difficult to update it every year (or semester?) because it is also very large.

  • The spread of the starting background of students is discouraging. In the same classes you may have geeks as well as people who feel quite unfamiliar with new technologies.

  • Young people are digital natives. This statement sounds contradictory with respect to the previous one but it is not. The expression digital natives does not mean people who already master new technologies to but people that learn very fast to use them if put in an appropriate learning context. They learn fast because they breathed technology even when they believe to be unfit to it.

However, I believe that other subjects could be tackled with a similar approach, mutatis mutandis. What is important in my view is to create situations that allow students to get familiar with the subject so that they can learn by themselves. I believe that in any field it is possible to organize such kind of experiences. Technology may be very helpful but the key point is the intention I mentioned before.

I’m also aware of the fact that probably it is not possible to meet the objective of achieving a school well fitted to the needs of society by means of a reschooling process. I must admit to believe more in some sort of deschooling process. However, finding myself in the university and having the opportunity to work with about 700 students per year, I believe it is worthwhile to try to create new learning contexts by hacking the reality where and when it is possible. At least we may learn something useful. Among the connections that the participation to the CCK08 course helped me to revisit, there is the inspiring experience of Michael Wesch, very important in my perspective.

Therefore, my project is to continue along these lines while carefully listening to the CCK08 connections and the new ones that will arise.

CCK08: before trying to outline a “final project” …

(Translation in italian, Translation booking)

Before trying to outline a “final project” I would like to hear the voices of the students. Yes, because first of all, teachers must learn to hear the voices of their students, before applying methods, before thinking about theories, before outlining strategies.

For me, it was not much about incorporating connectivist principles in my design and delivery of learning but the other way around, in a way. In eight years of activities, I went on through a series of steps listening to the students constantly, much as a steerer is listening to the winds on its sailboat. Then I found myself in a new place. It was quite pleasant but I wouldn’t have been able to describe it except in a rather fuzzy way.

In the meanwhile I heard some people talking about a place that seemed to me very familiar and they called it Connectivism. Well, I’m not completely sure we are talking about the same thing but anyway the two places should not be very far apart.

Coming back to the students, those of the present semester are still working. Thus I let you hear the voices of last year. They are collected in a page of my feed aggregator but we prepared a translation of a sampling of them.

students_voices_4

  • Thank you very much prof because you let us express ourselves with no pressure and because you took us away from that routine which is, for us, made up of only exams. A lot of pages that we need to learn by heart which we instantly forget after the exam… for your course, well, everything will be different!!!!.
  • First of all, I’d like to say that I was in that 10% of people who were afraid of even switching on the computer, but now I can say that I’m not a geek, but I’ve learnt how to use basic computer tools in order to enjoy my own relationship with computers and the internet.
  • The web 2.0 is not compulsory related to Medicines (actually, it is fully related to this discipline!), but it is for the ideas behind the web 2.0 that we must study this subject in order to be well-prepared as physicians.
  • I can say that this course has been weird. Different, completely different from what I had been facing until now. With my own job I should be ready to any innovation… But when the Prof. said: well, guys, you have to make a blog, the first thing that came up to my mind was: ok Prof., I’ll do it only if you pass over me!… Anyway, I did it: I created my own blog. And for the first time I didn’t feel like a machine repeating words after words: I felt a real person. In this ocean of books, once in my life I found a shining drop!
  • I suddenly liked the idea of a blog. At least for the chance to interact with other students and with the Prof. himself other than in the university atmosphere. The digital literacy course has been more than something relegated to the university: we talked about the use of language, the relationship among students, the relationship doctor-patient….
  • The beauty of all this has been not only the new approach, which is always positive… also because if this method had been spread to other subjects, my enthusiasm would have been the same and it will certainly be the same once that the astonishment for this new method has faded…
  • That is the peculiarity of Prof Andreas and his way of teaching! First digital literacy lesson: a lot of words and an argument which sounds weird to everybody: no regular lessons (that is to say classroom, students behind a desk, teacher talking continuously about things hard to understand, lots of notes, frequency attendance, but also tons of yawns from the students and too much boredom!!), but the Prof. will always be at our disposal in the computer lab to help us… and to talk about anything!!!
  • We went through this experience and it’s time to take stock of this novelty. Let’s start from the beginning. I must say that when the teacher proposed to us this different type of exam through a blog I was struck, even for a moment. Just because it is a type of assignment that everybody can demand to an expert, then because the Prof. had to be absent during the whole process. I found it a bit weird. Then, taking into account my inexperience, I saw a lot of difficulties in my path as I felt alone. I had a strong doubt on whether to make a traditional exam or not. But the need to make something new has been stronger. No books, no traditional exams, no stress that specific day when your performance is never great. Then I just gave it a try (…) The evaluation is absolutely positive. Only a negative remark: the Prof was not always present….
  • I was surprised by this attention not to the contents of the subject but to the best method for the students: not a simple referential way of teaching, as it often happens (with bad results, of course…) This course has been a real fight against the general indifference, the nepotism, the favouritism and against all the scum of the Italian Education system. I believe everything will remain, with the same speed this adventure had.
  • Well, well, well, what did this experience mean to me? First of all the university profs are not all serious, they don’t forcedly wear a tie and talk or make questions in a serious jargon (obviously, within certain limits). Then it showed me that not always the Prof acts like he’s a cut above the students. Or rather, you can be peer to him without offending…
  • We have to say that the organization of the course has been void of any ideology, but incredibly full of ideas. Can you understand the difference? I think the basic idea is what emerges in the concept of blog itself, of wiki pages and twitter: communication, sharing collaboration, elaboration. In my opinion, these are the four essential moments of social networking and, generally speaking, of any activity with success as an aim. Think about it for a while: almost all physiological aspects in the tissues- just to always refer to medicine- involve the communication between close cells, the exchange of metabolic and other specific cells, the collaboration for the elaboration of a product, a chemical reaction, the synthesis of materials. I think a lot of people have received and appreciated this social message, so that it has been a specific subject of our discussions in the university.
  • Ok, the notes are always there to stress you, but in this case, a part from the always-recurring number on your university carnet, this exam will remain with us… It will be something made directly by us.
  • another thing I appreciated, maybe among everything, is just the diversity of this course: I imagined only lessons on data processing, notes etc… Actually, what we had the chance to do are not the classical things which are common to all courses. These were unique activities that I think, unfortunately, we will never do again. They are unique but the beautiful aspect is that, notwithstanding this condition, they are very useful from a didactic point of view. Writing on my blog, reading others’ ones, discovering the functions of PubMed, Twitter, Google Docs, Google Maps, and much more, I’ve learnt a lot of things. More than I could do only studying a book.
  • I think one of the pros of the course as it is actually organized is the operative and presentation of this concept: we had the chance to discover and not to memorize some procedures (which, as for the study of digital literacy in a faculty like medicines, is quite irrelevant). The only thing I personally find a bit inappropriate is the absence of the spirit of challenge: all the assignments should have been universally approachable, which made it necessary to emphasize the content rather than the computer(as a tool), but also as for this field, I would have preferred at least one optional track really engaging.
  • And then… what can I add… dear Andreas, not so bad: you’ve read all our vicissitudes for 6 months, you know all our adresses thanks to Google Maps and all our maniac curiosities for illnesses thanks to pubmed… I think it hasn’t been so bad :-).
  • This is the digital literacy course, as for my personal experience, which made me think constantly about some problems I had only superficially faced. Thanks to it, I appreciated more the University which was stifling me.
  • There have been some things that struck and involved me a lot, one above the others: the I care seminar, which had as a consequence my decision to enter the clown group. The only thing of the course that I didn’t appreciate was the initial obsession of the Prof about the assignments….

I know that results have to be expressed in numbers in order to be as objective as possible, but I believe that they are not sufficient when humans activities are concerned. For instance, are we sure that it is possible to describe a mood only with numbers? And, if not, should we ignore the mood of students when talking about learning?

Anyway, we did also extensive polls and the following is one of the basic results.

poll_1


I have to credit here

  • Maria Grazia Fiore who followed with me the blogroom last year and helped me in organizing the very large amount of data at the end of the courses
  • Emanuela Zibordi who analyzed the results of the polls
  • Ilaria Montagni who provided the translation of the students voices

These people are all volunteers that have been involved by seeking connections on the net.

CCK08, thank you

flowers_final

(Both the foreground and the background images have been made with Wordle and processed with Gimp)

(Translation in Italian)

I went to explore the forest and I have found some flowers. Flowers are beautiful and it makes you feel good to find beautiful things. I didn’t pluck them because in my hands they would die. Instead, I will go back to find new ones and perhaps even more beautiful ones. The magic is not in the flowers but in what it let them grow.

This post is just to say thank you to a number of people I knew within the Connectivism & Connective Knowledge course, people to whom I owe something. Different connections, dialogs, ideas, some contrasts, not all the possible connections that could have been explored. For sure, some possibly great ones have been lost. Never mind, what it is important is that bunch of vividly colored connections. They are very important to me because they reduce the strong sense of loneliness I have in my work.

The background of the picture is composed putting in Wordle the index of my university’s site, institutes, departments, services, labels. Closed boxes, the people inside, closed. We talked about the role of openness in education in this course; there are books on the role of openness, even on the management of companies, nowadays. The university here is desperately closed and static, at all levels.

In this course I learned new things, discovered new perspectives, found new resources, got the right mood to take new actions but the most precious gift was the possibility to share uneases, feelings, yearnings with someone else. That’s why I like to put your names together as a bunch of flowers.

Thank you.

CCK08: assignment 4

(Translation in Italian)

In the last assignment we focused on the concept of intellectual property by reading the Bound by Law comics and, on the more technical side, we looked at the pdf file format, with which that comics is distributed online.

The collection of contributions in a wiki page is very nice. It is plenty of interesting information and it is quite amusing to read: there is even a description of pdf in rhymes! Someone took care of the general layout of the page. Very good.

After having considered the issue of intellectual property, I suggest to read this post where an Open Letter to the U.S. Congress Signed by 33 Nobel Prize Winners is quoted. The letter is about the problem of distributing free of charge scientific publications.

There is a very powerful tool for finding medical literature: PubMed. It is an important tool for people working in the field of health care. I invite you to play with it. Try to pose you a question and see what you can find. Try to manage the quantity of available information in a meaningful way for you. Explore the possibility to download full text papers.

Write a post describing how did you play with PubMed.

CCK08: a little learning experience

(For students: Translation in Italian)

To learn means different things. Generally speaking, actual learning implies a change of the state of mind. It may imply a different mood that allows you to do something unexpected. I learned a lot of things in this course. Among these there is a fancy one, for me. Software coding was a relevant part of my former researcher activity but since I was charged with teaching in the medical school I forgot about coding. Wandering in this course and browsing Stephen Downes gRSShopper, all of a sudden I realized that with some small  pieces of code I could facilitate my work in many instances.

You see, my past work involved assembly languages, a lot of FORTRAN and mathematical scripting languages, some C. The scenario my mind inherited from such activities did not allow me to grasp how many layers of functionalities are available out there nowadays, despite the fact that the virtues of the open source model are very recurrent in my talks.

Hanging around for a while in that part of the CCK08 forest that gRSShopper is, I realized, in a very tangible way, that a great deal of available software could help me in a number of tasks and that with languages such as perl or ruby it is extremely easy to integrate that software. Thus I began to play writing some code in perl and ruby. Yes, no doubt that I got distracted from a number of CCK08 activities but this is part of the game and I’m really happy with these new possibilities.

For instance, I let the students enroll by means of a Google form where they have to specify their blog addresses and as new data arrive I put the blog addresses in a feed aggregator.  I did it by hand because I felt to have too little time to face the issue in some other ways. Now, I have written a small script in ruby by means of which the creation of an OPML file with feeds derived from the blog addresses stored in a Google spreadsheet is a push-button operation.

I put here the code just to show how easy it is for those that may be interested or those that could give me some advices.

Note of November, 21: now the opml file is directly upoaded into the wiki where the students can download it.

#!/usr/bin/ruby

# url2opml.rb

# This very simple script allows one to retrieve a column of a Google spreadsheet containing a
# series of blog addresses and to produce an opml file to be uploaded to a feed reader.

# It is very rough … just to show how this task can be done very easily
# Spreadsheet address and data location in it are hard-coded just to have a handy
# push-button procedure

# Required packages

# RubyGems is the Ruby standard for publishing and managing third party libraries:
# http://www.rubygems.org/read/chapter/1

require “rubygems”

# roo is a package to access content of Open-office spreadsheets (.ods),
# Excel spreadsheets (.xls), Google (online) spreadsheets, Excel’s new file format .xlsx:
# http://roo.rubyforge.org/  … very nice!

require “roo”

# Retrieves the spreadsheet, the first argument is the “key” of the spreadsheet that can
# be extracted from the spreadsheet address. For instance, the address of the
# spreadsheet I’m using is
# http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pZzXgwUua-JPX2YdQbK1nRg&hl=en
# The key is pZzXgwUua-JPX2YdQbK1nRg
# The second and third arguments are gmail address and password, respectively

oo = Google.new(“pZzXgwUua-JPX2YdQbK1nRg”, “andreas.formiconi@gmail.com”, “mypassword”)

oo.default_sheet = oo.sheets.first    # sets the default sheet to work with

lines = Array.new    # creates an array to store the column element

# Copies the cell contents of column “G” in the array “lines”

first_useful_row = 3
first_useful_row.upto(oo.last_row) do |i|
lines[i-first_useful_row] = oo.cell(i,“G”)
end

folder_name = “INF08”    # I want that in the feed reader these feeds will be in folder INF08

folder_name.chomp!    # throw away the final newline character …

file_out = “INF08_fall.opml” # sets the name of the output opml file

outfile = File.new(file_out.chomp, “w”)        # creates that file …

# and now write there the first group of lines, such as header and stuff like that

outfile.write “<?xml version=\”1.0\” encoding=\”UTF-8\”?>\n”
outfile.write “<opml version=\”1.1\”>\n”
outfile.write “<head>\n”;
outfile.write “<title>Studenti “ + folder_name + “</title>\n”
outfile.write “</head>\n”
outfile.write “<body>\n”
outfile.write “<outline title=\”” + folder_name + “\” text=\”” + folder_name + “\”>\n”

# Now for each line …

lines.each do
|ind|
# skip void lines
if ind =~ /./
# add leading http:// if it is not there
if ind !~ /http:\/\//
ind = http://&#8221; + ind
end
# generates feeds for wordpress posts and comments, line finishing with … wordpress.com/
if ind =~ /wordpress.com\//
ind.chomp!
f = ind + “feed/”
outfile.write “<outline xmlUrl=\”” + f + “\”  />\n”
f = ind + “comments/feed/”
outfile.write “<outline xmlUrl=\”” + f + “\”  />\n”
# generates feeds for wordpress posts and comments, line finishing with … wordpress.com
elsif ind =~ /wordpress.com/
ind.chomp!
f = ind + “/feed/”
outfile.write “<outline xmlUrl=\”” + f + “\”  />\n”
f = ind + “/comments/feed/”
outfile.write “<outline xmlUrl=\”” + f + “\”  />\n”
# generates feeds for blogspot posts and comments, line finishing with … blogspot.com/
elsif ind =~ /blogspot.com\//
ind.chomp!
f = ind + “feeds/posts/default/”
outfile.write “<outline xmlUrl=\”” + f + “\”  />\n”
f = ind + “feeds/comments/default/”
outfile.write “<outline xmlUrl=\”” + f + “\”  />\n”
# generates feeds for blogspot posts and comments, line finishing with … blogspot.com
elsif ind =~ /blogspot.com/
ind.chomp!
f = ind + “/feeds/posts/default/”
outfile.write “<outline xmlUrl=\”” + f + “\”  />\n”
f = ind + “/feeds/comments/default/”
outfile.write “<outline xmlUrl=\”” + f + “\”  />\n”
else
# other blogs, just put htere blog address and be confident in reader …
ind.chomp!
outfile.write “<outline xmlUrl=\”” + ind + “\”  />\n”
end
end
end

# writing closing lines of opml file

outfile.write “</outline>\n”
outfile.write “</body>\n”
outfile.write “</opml>\n”

outfile.close    # close opml file

# (November, 21) and now upload the file into the wiki …

system “curl -F \”someFile=@INF08_fall.opml\” http://infomedfi.pbwiki.com/api_v2/ -Fop=PutFile -Fadmin_key=mykey”

CCK08: learning lines

(For students: Translation in Italian, please book yourself before beginning the translation)

Yesterday in a classroom I was trying to explain the rationale of our courses and it happened to me to sketch some sort of learning lines. The sketches seemed to be of some use.

Here you have a somewhat refined versions.

learning11

In conventional classroom work, activities are time constrained. There is a tight schedule and a sort of photo finish with final ranking. Time constraining prepares the students for modern hectic life, this is true, however the learning process is vastly sup-optimal.

I could have written Learning on the ordinate but the term is abused. I prefer Familiarity with the subject of the course, it’s more akin to what I have in mind.

learning2

The idea here is to forget about time and focus on a sort of quality constrain.  Students wander through the topics/activities suggested by the teacher who is available to help and give advices.

Of course, everyone starts from its own preexisting Familiarity with the subject but everybody will finish around the given mininum familiarity, with a certain margin to do better if they like. That is, the teacher informs a student, when asked: “You are at C, if you want to improve your grade, you can work further”. It is the student who determines the end of the course.

What about time?

learning3Everyone has its own time, that’s why I’ve dropped the time constrain. If you require more time to achieve the minimum required familiarity with the subject, it does not means that you are worse than others, it simply means that this is the time you need given all the other activities and problems (may be headache …?) you may have in your life. These contingecies should not hamper the quality of your learning.

CCK08: assignment 3

(Translation in Italian)

Here you have another assignment for students of the Facoltà di Medicina (INF08) and students of Teorie della comunicazione (TCO08). The attribution for the two groups are just an indication, all of you can choose one of the variants or do both of them.

Students of Teorie della comunicazione (TCO08)

Last monday in classroom we tried to focus on what’s really new in the internet hype. Among other things, we talked about the open source movement and the openness, sharing, peering and global action that characterize the behaviour of an increasing number of companies and organizations in the world. A very important aspect in this context is the evolution of the idea of intellectual property.

Let us try to  deepen this idea by reading Bound by Law, a comics created by two lawyers and a cartoonist. It can be downloaded and there is also a template to provide a translation in other languages …

Write your impressions in a post.

Students of the Facoltà di Medicina (INF08)

Well, read the same comics. By the way, you can download it as a pdf file.

Why the pdf exists? Where is it appropriate to use it? Are you already using pdf? In which ways?

  1. Write a post describing one specific feature or use of the pdf format.
  2. Transcribe it in this wiki page. Sign your transcription with a link to your blog post.

Before writing the post go to see in the wiki page what others have written in the meanwhile, so as to avoid duplications.

Use the contents in the wiki as well as any other source in the internet. Quote the sources you used.


Remember that, if they like, INF08 students can do the assignment for TCO08 students and viceversa, or  both the assignments.

The second part of the INF08 assignment can be seen as a little experiment about collaborative writing of a sort of manual. The TCO08 students could study it as an online communication experiment …

Last, remember there is a limit for the post length, let us declare it in binaryland language:

11001000 words!

Lettera aperta alla Facoltà di Medicina

Uno studente mi ha chiesto di leggere questa lettera. Io condivido completamente le sue riflessioni e quindi la diffondo molto volentieri.


LETTERA APERTA ALLA FACOLTÀ DI MEDICINA

“Negli atenei si insegna troppo la tecnica e poco l’umanità. Il medico deve imparare a pensare come un malato. Bisogna avere l’umiltà di imparare da chi soffre. Date a un malato la possibilità di sentirsi vivo, di uscire dalla gabbia del dolore. E ascoltate i suoi sogni; ce ne sono di incredibili.” 1


Cari Amici,


sono davvero stanco di “fare” lo studente.

Da tre anni sono iscritto al corso di Laurea in Medicina e Chirurgia e cosa posso dire di aver imparato?Ho imparato a sedermi sulle tuberosità ischiatiche del bacino, ho imparato ad acquisire un metodo di studio più adatto per riuscire a memorizzare la grande quantità di informazioni che ogni esame comporta e ho imparato che lo sforzo isometrico dei muscoli estrinseci dell’occhio è una delle maggiori cause della mia miopia.

Ma io non voglio fare lo studente né vorrò fare il laureato. Io voglio essere medico.

Noi studenti di medicina, e così anche i nostri amici delle altre facoltà, cerchiamo di conoscere e imparare con gli stessi insufficienti strumenti (penne, matite, libri, quaderni, diapositive, voce del professore….) e in questo modo diventiamo solo compagni della sedia, ognuno simile all’altro per sventura. Studiare non può essere, come lo è ora, l’accesso esclusivo alla verità perché la conoscenza va vissuta in toto per essere appresa.

Mi si contesterà che nel piano di studi sia previsto il tirocinio ma io credo che sia molto ritardato e già molto settorializzato per rispondere alla mia ansia di conoscenza globale.

Se non erro i libri di anatomia si scrivono consquenzialmente alle pratiche dissettorie, quelli di fisiologia riportano fedelmente esperimenti di laboratorio e così via per le altre materie, allora, come si può pretendere di capire esaustivamente qualcosa se non lo si vive in tutti i suoi aspetti, come si può riuscire a rendere quel qualcosa parte del nostro bagaglio culturale in modo tale da non essere utilizzato solo per il fine ultimo dell’esame, ma per tutta la vita, se lo si studia esclusivamente da un libro?

Per quanto riguarda la comprensione dell’anatomia umana, penso che l’esperienza di una dissezione, di una autopsia, di una operazione chirurgica siano indispensabili per apprendere secondo le esigenze del metodo scientifico e che il libro sia necessario per acquisire il gergo anatomico opportuno e le convenzioni universalmente determinate ma, se lo studio dal trattato di anatomia si rivela in termini esperienziali come una qualsiasi lettura, la pratiche suddette si rivelerebbero diversamente come occasioni di partecipazione ad una esperienza di vita più ampia, occasioni per relazionarsi agli altri, per dare vita al rapporto fra studenti e docenti e per familiarizzare con i futuri ambienti di lavoro.

Assumerebbero pertanto maggior valore nella vita di uno studente di medicina.

L’esempio riguardante l’anatomia può essere esteso a tutte le altre materie.
Lo scorso anno ad esempio ho scelto di frequentare per alcuni giorni il pronto soccorso.

Questa scelta è stata giudicata sbagliata dal medico che mi seguiva perché “non avevo ancora le basi” e non potevo capire il suo lavoro. Il caso ha però voluto che un giorno capitasse in pronto soccorso una signora che a causa di un TIA (attacco ischemico cerebrale transitorio) era afasica. Quella stessa mattina la Professoressa Tesi nelle sue lezioni di neurofisiologia aveva spiegato i deficit della corteccia associativa e così meravigliosamente ho potuto parlare delle afasie al figlio della signora ammalata consigliandogli di far cantare sua madre per provare a farla esprimere ed in questo modo la donna è riuscita a comunicare.

Una lezione non può insegnarti la sofferenza di un afasico, puoi provare la sua impotenza solo vivendola assieme a lui non di certo studiando le afasie da un trattato, quindi l’oggetto di studio della medicina non può essere solo l’organismo con le sue anomalie ma dovrebbe diventare l’ammalato.

In quei giorni al pronto soccorso, contrariamente alle premesse, ho imparato quanto sia difficile gestire un qualsiasi reparto ospedaliero; ho imparato come i medici comunichino fra di loro attraverso telefono, computer e come questo poi influenzi il loro rapporto con gli ammalati; ho imparato ad essere discreto nei confronti di quelle persone che, oltre a sentire il disagio della loro malattia, vivevano con imbarazzo il fatto di essere l’obiettivo di troppi sguardi curiosi; ho imparato che il platino usato in chemioterapia può avere ripercussioni sulla circolazione cerebrale e causare, ad esempio, afasie: ho appreso, quindi, molte cose principalmente vivendole.

Credo quindi che la formazione del medico vada ripensata principalmente per due motivi: per le esigenze tecniche del metodo scientifico e per gli ammalati, nei confronti dei quali pesa la nostra scelta e la nostra volontà di cura.

Questa necessità di cambiamento è confermata ad esempio da una notizia del 24 ottobre 2006 secondo la quale per errori medici, quindi incompetenza tecnico-scientifica, morirebbero novanta persone al giorno e credo ne sia la causa principale il fatto che ci si laurei sui libri e non attraverso l’esperienza.2

Ritengo inoltre che uno spirito di condivisione e partecipazione esperienziale nel cammino formativo oltre a sviluppare negli studenti un forte senso critico necessario alle evoluzioni della medicina, possa addirittura fondare le basi per una spontanea riumanizzazione della stessa, oggi così agognata.


In sostanza la mia proposta è questa:
incontrarci in più assemblee aperte e prendendo atto dei doveri economici e legali della facoltà, discutere su come si potrebbero instaurare delle modifiche condivise alla didattica in modo da far prevalere le attività partecipate a discapito delle lezioni ex cathedra, ad esempio: dissezioni, autopsie, esperimenti di laboratorio, operazioni chirurgiche, analisi microbiologiche, visite guidate in centri ospedalieri di eccellenza e specializzati, e tutto quello che ci verrà in mente soprattutto grazie ai ricordi saggi di coloro che hanno già una laurea in medicina e in quanto sono convinto che queste eventuali modifiche siano soprattutto una questione di volontà.
Questa naturalmente è la mia visione delle cose e la mia terapia.


Grazie per avermi letto, Raffaele.


1 Gianni Bonadonna, oncologo illustre, sofferente da alcuni anni a causa di un ictus (ospitato dall’università nel giugno 2008) – dal suo ultimo libro “Medici umani, pazienti guerrieri”

2http://www.corriere.it/Rubriche/Salute/Medicina/2006/10_Ottobre/23/morti.shtml


1)P.S.:Il mio personale pensiero è che la scienza si sia appropriata di ogni aspetto del mondo e questa mia lettera è un invito a riconsiderarla come un mezzo per il bene dell’umanità altrimenti si finirà per sedersi al letto degli ammalati solo dopo aver conosciuto l’ultima proteina scoperta.


2)P.S.:Qual è il valore aggiunto di una lezione ex cathedra tenuta da un docente che esordisce dicendo: “quello che dirò lo trovate sul tale libro?”


3)P.S.:Non chiedo l’umanizzazione del medico,fattore auspicabile, ma l’umanizzazione dell’università.


N.B.:Ad oggi giudico quindi molto positivamente l’inserimento del tirocinio al primo anno, molte delle A.D.E. proposte, le Attività Formative Professionalizzanti a scelta presenti sul sito

(http://www.med.unifi.it/CMpro-v-p-422.html) ed i laboratori che si accompagnano alle lezioni.


PER COMMENTI E PER TESTIMONIANZE SULL’ATTIVITÀ DI TIROCINIO (negli anni in cui si svolge) E SULL’ERASMUS (in questo caso precisare le differenze didattiche) SCRIVETE PURE A sentimentalanarchy AT hotmail . it

CCK08: my assignments are optional …

(Translation in Italian Translation booking)

Are my assignments mandatory? It depends.

There are students that overreact by doing a lot of things. Good. For these students my assignments are optional: do them only if you like to contribute on the subject I’m proposing.

Assignments are mandatory for those students who don’t know what to do. In the following, if you are going to warm up, assignments may become optional …

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