EMS Education Tips

2013 Minnesota EMS Educators Conference: Slides and Notes

At the 2013 Teaching and Learning Conference for EMS Educators I presented Handheld Wizardry: Integrating Smartphones and Tablet Devices in EMS Education to a small group of educators. (conference schedule)


Slideshare is a tool for sharing PowerPoint presentation files, as well as other types of documents like PDFs. I regularly post the slides I present at conferences to slideshare. It is much easier than emailing a PowerPoint file, printing a PDF of the slide notes, or trying to save slides to someone else’s USB drive while the next presenter is trying to set-up.

Learn more  in this article about how to use slideshare in EMS.

I used, a group text messaging service, to send short messages of key points and links to the audience during the presentation. Early in the presentation participants enroll in the “class” by sending a text message or email to I scheduled messages to be sent during and after the presentation. These are the messages I sent:

  • You can’t reply to these texts, but you can text comments and questions, now or later, to ###-###-### or Tweet @gfriese
  • Banning phones is nearly impossible to enforce. Therefore how can you engage and manage usage in class?
  • By every measure 18-29 year olds use smartphones with greater frequency. Usage is so habitual it can’t be stopped. How can you harness?
  • My fav apps – Google Voice, Twitter, Kindle, Netflix, Dropbox. What are yours? Text me now, ###-###-###
  • Smartphone activity: teach students to use ERG 2012 App to identify hazardous chemicals. Read how.
  • Smartphone activity: Use QR codes to link to demo videos and assessment sheets at skill stations. Make with Google URL shortener.
  • Smartphone activity: Create and post videos of patient assessment and treatments on YouTube.
  • Smartphone activity: Use group text messaging to inform, remind, and quiz w/
  • Smartphone activity: use polls for interactive lectures and to assess retention and application.
  • Create and facilitate “phone free” moments for “campfire” discussions during class.
  • Thanks for attending today’s session. Slides available on Connect w/ me @gfriese or
  • Listen to, the podcast by and for EMS educators. This is the final message. Thx! Go Packers!

There are lots of potential uses for in EMS and EMS education:

  • Open shift notification
  • Return to the classroom
  • Class is cancelled or time is changed
  • Send 2 or 3 key points after a lecture
  • Pose a question that must be answered correctly to enter class
  • What to bring reminders

I had planned to use during the presentation, but the WiFi bandwidth in the conference center was pretty slow. I made a game time decision to delete the polls from the presentation. I also had a small audience and was able to effectively facilitate some group discussion. While I would have liked to demonstrate how to use PollEverywhere I think our time was better spent in discussion.

The question that generated the most discussion was, “It is more important for paramedic students to learn how to use a drug guide app than a drug guide book.” Share your thoughts in the comments.

Dropbox – Access your Files Anywhere

My laptop power cord failed minutes before my presentation. Ahhhh!!! I had a moment of panic until I remembered my slides were saved to dropbox. I was able to borrow John Dillon’s laptop and download my slides to his computer from dropbox. I highly recommend using cloud based storage, like dropbox or Google Drive, for files that you might need any place and anytime. Sign up for a free dropbox account!


By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.