The expansion of the FOAM world is a bit like blowing up a balloon. The early stages involved a lot of effort for a small increase in size, but as it gets bigger, the resistance is falling away and expansion is getting faster and faster.
Obviously this is a good thing.
But it can make it easier for us all to get lost and there is the danger of information overload — indeed, I’ve written a guide to (in)sanity in the age of FOAM that I continually update, the LITFL post on Information Overload. The FOAM world is now impossible to keep up with. We need to be able to find what we want when we need it, according to our knowledge needs.
One of the great developments for ‘just in time’ learning is the creation of GoogleFOAM by Vancouver-based EM Physician Todd Raine (@RaineDoc). It was known as emgoogle.com in it’s previous incarnation, but has now grown to be more inclusive.
This is what GoogleFOAM is all about:
- it is a search engine
- it allows a unified search of all the FOAM resources on the Web
- it is partly derived from the complete list of EM/CC Blogs is available at LITFL here
- as GoogleFOAM develops it will allow search restrictions to separate realms, such as anaesthesia, general practice, ultrasound, etc.
- if you want to add a site to GoogleFOAM send Todd an email: taraine at hotmail dot com
GoogleFOAM is a work in progress, but is already a fabulous tool. It helps both learners and teachers find high quality free resources instantly.
GoogleFOAM is also particularly valuable for FOAM creators. Something that has been lost a little with the growth of FOAM has been the recognition that interconnectedness is everything to a blog. This how the first FOAM blogs and podcasts got their feet through the door in the first place — by building a network of relevant links that created a community. As more FOAM is created I liked to see more links to what has come before, so that users can see the incremental gain, so that connections are forged, relationships are created and conversations started. GoogleFOAM is ideal for this — search it before you blog or podcast and don’t be stingy when linking out 🙂
Vive la FOAM.
Free Open Access Medical education