Educational Support Services

Educational Support Services (ESS) is a unit within the Office of Medical Education that manages the pre-clerkship phase course material in our learning management system, Canvas, and the online schedules in our curriculum management system, one45. The team also administers assessments and processes the grades using ExamSoft, a computer-based testing application.

ESS provides other services and important information relevant to didactic studies, as well. It supports the faculty by loading material to the Canvas course pages, scheduling lectures, and arranging group conferences and labs. Additionally, the office assists with various projects during the year, particularly those services needed to ensure the success of our diverse elective programs.

This office is responsible for making all arrangements for, and administering, a practice USMLE Step 1 exam, scheduled near the end of the students’ first year. The office also supervises the preparation, distribution, and administering of the NBME end-of-clerkship exams for students during the clerkship phase of the curriculum.

The goals of the office are to ensure that:

  1. The medical students have the necessary material and resources they need for the College’s curriculum;
  2. The faculty have appropriate support to ensure timely distribution of course material to the students; and
  3. The educational spaces are equipped with the essential tools to enhance the learning experience.

Please contact us with any questions at or call 718.430.3071.

Educational Informatics

The Office of Educational Informatics (OEI) is responsible for educational technology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, including the management of Canvas, Einstein's learning management system that features automatic calendar / course content syncing to mobile devices. The OEI works with faculty and students to integrate technology into the curriculum to advance "active learning” as well as to implement new pedagogical approaches that enhance the linkage of formal knowledge with experiential knowledge. Our virtual learning environment is driven by faculty and student ideas.

From Canvas, students are able to access all lectures (live streaming or broadcast) using the Mediasite (Sonic Foundry) system. Other educational software administered by OEI include ExamSoft for electronic quizzes and exams, One45 for evaluations of courses and clerkships, patient logs, and curriculum management, and Poll Everywhere (audience response system). OEI is also responsible for managing the Education Center’s technology.

If the above links don't work, go to to access Canvas using your assigned Montefiore credentials.

Paperless & e-Curriculum Computer Requirements

In an effort to prepare students for medicine in the electronic age, the Office of Medical Education and the Office of Educational Informatics of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have prepared this primer on a paperless / e-curriculum and the use of computers in medical school.

The Office of Medical Education is joining the rest of the College's efforts in going green by replacing the traditional paper syllabi with electronic versions, available online. Among the benefits of having a paperless curriculum are:

  • Being environmentally conscious;
  • Entirely portable course learning management system;
  • Synching of course calendars with mobile devices to access course lectures, audio files, or participate in discussion boards;
  • Development of electronic folders and flash cards containing your personal notes;
  • Retrieve lectures to facilitate reviewing for course exams, Step 1 and Step 2 board exams;
  • Electronic note-taking in class prepares you for patient visits and working with EMR (electronic medical records).

To ease the transition to a paperless curriculum, we offer recommendations on how to take notes. Recognizing that students come to medical school having developed certain learning styles, a student focus group suggested that we provide information about the resources available to help you determine how best to adapt your learning style to the fast-paced nature of medical school.

Computer Requirements


All students at Einstein are required to have a laptop computer meeting basic minimum performance requirements. Students planning to use their current laptops must ensure that their equipment meets the requirements (outlined below) to ensure adequate functionality for these expected uses:

  • E-mail
  • Computer-based examinations using ExamSoft®
  • Digital microscopy
  • Faculty/peer communications
  • Accessing course materials via eMed
  • (Re)view captured lectures
  • Exam/Board preparation
  • Online resources/reference materials

In most cases, newly or recently purchased laptop computers will meet or exceed these minimum specifications. Netbooks, Apple iPads, and Android tablet devices do not meet these minimum requirements.

PC Hardware Minimum Standards PC Software Minimum Standards
  • i-3, i-5, or i-7 processor
  • 4GB RAM memory (8GB recommended)
  • 256GB or Larger Hard Drive
  • Video monitor of at least 11 inches diagonal size
  • High speed WiFi
  • DVD-RW (Internal or External)
  • OS: Windows 7
  • Browser: Firefox (latest version)
  • Microsoft Office (latest version)
  • Adobe Acrobat PDF Viewer
  • Virus protection software
  • QuickTime
  • Windows Media Player
  • DVD player software
Mac Hardware Minimum Standards Mac Software Minimum Standards
  • i-3, i-5, or i-7 processor
  • 4GB RAM memory (8GB recommended)
  • 256GB Hard Drive
  • Video monitor of at least 11 inches diagonal size
  • High speed WiFi
  • DVD-RW (Internal or External)
  • OS 11.9 (Mavericks)
  • Browser: Safari, Firefox (latest Version)
  • Microsoft Office (latest version)
  • Adobe Acrobat PDF Viewer
  • Virus protection software
  • QuickTime

Einstein offers instructions and assistance for connecting to the University resources including, for example, the wireless network, but does not provide software or hardware support for student-owned laptops. Students are responsible for the ensuring the functionality of their laptops.


Most students find it convenient to own a printer. However, Einstein provides public “pay for print” devices in the area adjacent to the D. Samuel Gottesman Library that are available for student use. The Office of Medical Education provides students taking the basic science courses in the first two years with a print allowance to be used at these printers.


We strongly recommend students use either an external storage device or online storage facilities to backup files on their laptop. Loss of data can be very disruptive to the educational program. With an Einstein G Suite Account, you have available online storage from Google at no charge. Google Drive can be used as a backup site.

Course Materials

Electronic Syllabus

A big change for many students arriving at ANY medical school is the increased volume of material and the advanced pace at which it is taught. Students will quickly need to adapt their learning styles to these changes in order to keep up. It is not practical to print or even carry all the materials on paper. The entire syllabus for each course is available online, and you can easily download them to your laptop.

Print Allowance

The Office of Medical Education provides students taking the basic science courses in the first two years with a print allowance for use with the color as well as black and white printers in our library. This will allow you to print key pages or slides in advance of the lecture or for studying when using a computer is not practical.

Instructions for configuring both Windows and Mac laptops can be found at the D. Samuel Gottesman Library's guide to Printing, Scanning, and Photocopying.

Software Recommendations

Students have used a variety of software for taking notes. The most commonly recommended are: OneNote (PC Only), PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat (Reader, Professional, and third party options), and Evernote.

OneNote (PC Only) can convert handwriting to typed text to facilitate searching notes without typing (although you can keep notes in your own handwriting). It provides a structure for organizing pages, lectures, courses, and books. (Since the presentation of material is designed for the computer, you should try to avoid putting notes in the margins, which will not print without a lot of re-formatting.) OneNote files can be synched between computers, which is useful if you have separate tablet and laptop devices.

PowerPoint is part of Microsoft Office and some students take their typed notes directly in PowerPoint’s note view. The obvious advantage is that it normally comes bundled with Microsoft Office, but is really only designed for typed-notes. Inserting - or adding to - diagrams can be difficult.

Evernote (PC or mac) is both a software and web service. It has the advantage that notes are available from any computer with the software installed. There is a free trial version that will probably not suffice for extensive medical school notes. There are other services similar to this and it is best to shop around if this is the method of choice.


Technical Support

Einstein provides support for Mac OS and Windows operating systems primarily for getting access to Einstein resources (printing, e-mail, wireless, virtual microscopy). There is limited to no support for other operating systems, standard software, or hardware. We strongly urge each student to have an extended hardware warranty for all devices.

Institutional Purchasing Agreements

The school has hardware purchasing agreements with several vendors and has negotiated with E-academy to provide a discount on software, which you can purchase for your personal computer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Since Einstein is part of Yeshiva University, we have access to the vast resources of YU’s Information Technology Services. Using Yeshiva's Wireless Network is the ITS home page for all things wireless.

Go to Wireless Printing for information on configuring your computer to enable you to print using the wireless network. You'll find instructions for both Windows and MAC.

Deciding which materials you should print can be challenging. We offer several suggestions for the courses you will be taking in your first semester of medical school. These suggestions discuss items that may be useful to have in paper. You will find that your printing requirements might fluctuate during the year based on your own needs and the note-taking style that you develop.

All Courses: You may find it useful to print the “concepts to know” sheets that come with lectures, which list terms and key concepts to learn. You can use these as review notes during breaks, commutes, etc.

Histology: The majority of the histology material offered online consists of images. We do not recommend printing color slides that may require fine distinctions between shades of pink (unless you have a very good color printer). We believe that you might find it useful to print study sheets or typed notes that you make or acquire.

Molecular and Cellular Foundations of Medicine (MCFM): You do not need to print MCFM slides unless you want a paper copy. Many diagrams on slides are small and difficult to read on paper. It is very helpful to print the “POPs” worksheets provided during Immunology, unless you wish to annotate them by importing them into software that you can edit with a stylus. You will likely find it useful to print conference materials to annotate by hand.

Clinical and Developmental Anatomy: The anatomy material offered online is a mix of text and images. The course dissector (which tells you how to dissect your cadaver and what to find and study) is available online in color as a webpage and as separate PDF files. The Ger-Olson textbook is also available online as a PDF file. As in Histology, we do not recommend printing the images. You will likely purchase your own extensive anatomy atlas to use, which will replace the need for additional images. You may find it very helpful to print the “Materials to Know” PDF files found with the Online Dissector and bring them to lab or keep with you to study. You may also find printing some of the documents that list reading assignments or important dates to be useful. You do not need to print the dissector, as you will receive copies in Anatomy lab in color and black and white.

We recommend that you print any slides you wish to use in a lecture the night before that lecture. You can print other material at any time depending on when or how you would like to use it.

We have found that the current iPad is not amenable to performing many of the tasks required for medical school. Some of the critical problems that we have found include:


  • No Java or ActiveX, preventing use of the Virtual Microscopy software for Histology.
  • No “right click,” meaning that certain functions are not functional (e.g. command menu in Virtual Microscopy).
  • No Flash, preventing the use of many interactive online modules (e.g. embryology animations).


  • Direct input is limited to large and inaccurate capacitive styluses or typing on the glass. You will need a keyboard connected to the iPad for fast typing.
  • Hardware may not be sufficient to quickly load or view complex files and webpages.

File Storage and Editing

  • No dedicated file storage system exists on the iPad. You cannot currently download a file from a website without installing additional “Apps”. Once downloaded through a specific “App” a file may not necessarily be accessible or readable from other “Apps”.
  • No built in software exists to easily edit PDF/PowerPoint/MS Word files. Multiple workarounds exist (including “cloud storage” and specialized “Apps”), but these introduce additional nuances and problems.

Future iterations of the iPad or new “Apps” may address some or all of these deficiencies. For now, however, we strongly recommend against students relying solely on an iPad for note taking.

As of December 2010, only the HP Slate 500 exists in tablet PC/slate configuration, i.e., a screen only tablet PC without a keyboard. This device can run the virtual microscopy software, since it is a Windows system in an iPad-like format. However, the HP Slate 500 is very expensive, does not use a Wacom stylus (preferred for sensitivity), has poor viewing angles, and limited hardware for its price. The hardware limitations mean that the device is much slower than a comparable laptop. You will still need to buy a keyboard to enter information by typing for the HP Slate 500. These issues lead us not to recommend using such a device in its current configuration.

In 2011, multiple new slate models from many different companies using Windows software will become available. Since we do not know which products will prove to be effective or worthwhile, we urge caution if you plan to purchase of any of these tablets to meet your medical school needs.