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Miami Dade College Uses Smart Technology to Give Students Greater Access to Study Materials

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Miami, October 5, 2010 - A mobile library now in its second year at Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Medical Center Campus has become the go-to resource for students seeking immediate access to academic materials. The mobile library first started as a website database to support the Physical Therapy Assistant and Nursing programs at the Medical Center Campus. 

“This is one of the latest trends of smart technology available to college students that we hope will give them the resources they need to prosper in their academic career,” said Ivan Toledo, MDC assistant library director. “This resource will save them time and a commute to the campus library.” 

Here’s how it works: Nursing students are now using their laptops as a book bag, complete with medical resources such as electronic textbooks and more. The Physical Therapy Assistant students are using iPod Touch’s from which they access programs such as iTunesU tutorials and large databases of medical information. Mobile access to medical and health sciences information has become crucial, with a large percentage of healthcare workers and students using mobile devices at the point of care. This particularly benefits students at the Medical Center Campus during their assignments in hospitals and clinics, for they have direct access to current information concerning diseases, medications and data that might assist in determining the most appropriate treatment. 

According to Rafael Castellano, a student in the Medical Laboratory Technician Program, “the Medical Campus mobile website is innovative, practical and time-saving because students can locate library material and medical information on the go, considering they have a busy daily schedule.” 

The library constantly considers the need to provide new services to MDC students and seeks opportunities to keep up with developments in technology and with competition from other colleges and universities across the nation.

MDC staff believes this is one of the first mobile websites developed by a community college library, not only in the state of Florida, but also nationwide. “It has been very well received by both students and faculty,” said Toledo. “Although, it is still a work in progress that will evolve with the appearance of new technologies and devices as well as the information needs of our students at the Medical Center Campus.” 

The site has been presented to both students and faculty during new student orientations and information literacy classes.

"I emphasize our mobile site when teaching library instruction classes [because] the majority of our students have smartphones and are thrilled that they can conveniently access the library’s resources at anytime and anyplace,” said MDC faculty librarian Carla Clark. “This is especially relevant to the students when they are starting their clinical rotations, where they may need to quickly access information and a desktop computer may not be feasible.” 

Now, with faster processors, 4G networks, and gigantic battery lives, professionals as well as students in the health care industry will continue to utilize mobile devices to access medical information.

Mobile access to resources, mainly in the health care field, will continue to grow and become one of the main tools at the point of care, with location no longer being an impediment. Mobile websites are still a work in progress across many fields, with growth in usage incrementing with the emergence of larger screen sizes in mobile devices.

For more information about the MDC Medical Center Campus Mobile Library, call 305-237-4129 or visit http://www.mdc.edu/medical/library/mobile.asp.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, jmendiet@mdc.edu, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949, testorin@mdc.edu, MDC media relations director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, tcarroll@mdc.edu, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, sue.arrowsmith@mdc.edu, media specialist




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