Saturday, November 14, 2009

Reflections of EDU255

Reflections of EDU255

As I reflect on the last eight weeks taking EDU 255, this class has taught me a lot about the latest and greatest technology, and it potential in lesson plans and education.
Starting with the first week, I learned how to customize a blog by adding videos, images, and links. I used this to link Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) to my blog in order to inform my students of the organization.
In the second week I learned the advantages of incorporating these technologies into my teaching agenda. This is a great way to connect with my students and get them interested in the program. I can also keep them up to date on the different events related to Health Careers Education.
I learned how to create a wiki in the third week.
In the fourth week of this class, I learned the ins and outs of networking and how blogging and creating wikis encourage this aspect of technology.
In week five, I learned about photosharing. Adding photos and different images to my blog livens up the page, drawing more interest to the information.
During week six I learned about podcasting and creating a YouTube channel. This helped me in adding a YouTube video to my blog about an autopsy, something that my students are always interested in, and (fortunately or unfortunately-depending on how you look at it) have little opportunity to see.
In week seven I learned about live streaming and podcasting. Hmmm-I have a long way to go with this one. I did learn how to create my own videos using a web cam, but the downloading part has yet to kick in.
In week eight I continued and attempted to complete my portfolio project.
My one disappointment regarding this class is in myself. Due to the chaos in my life, I had difficulty finding the time to explore each aspect of blogs, wikis and all of the other opportunities that can be found in this techno crazy world. I wanted to delve into the different projects to learn more about how to incorporate blogging and wikis into my teaching in the Health Careers Education program, and think with some effort-it can be done. I did learn at some point to be a little more patient with my computer ineptness and that the knowledge of instructors and computer savvy people will always be shared, you just have to ask.

Reflections of ED

Lesson Plans-some of the class activities you will see

Friday, October 30, 2009 need a tough stomach

Using a photo-sharing site has tremendous potential in the HCE classroom. There are so many pictures out there of body parts, systems, and maladies that it is a wonderful teaching tool. I use pictures in my lesson plans to help emphasize anatomical locations, disease process and often, care of the patient too. Pictures are great communication tools. Pictures help me to prepare my students for what they might see when they get to their clinical site. It is much better for them to get the giggles, yucks and oh gross! (es) out of their system before they see it at the hospital.
Photo-sharing sites would also prove useful for sharing photos between class periods. They are used in projects, and to add to research papers. I give extra credit for community service or fund raising walks, and the students bring in a picture and summary of the event to prove their participation. Again, a photo-sharing site would work really well.
As for a couple of specific assignments, a lesson plan might look like this: research an integumentary disease. Your paper must have the etiology, signs/symptoms, treatment and prognosis. Include pictures of the disease within your report.
IE: Vibrio bacteria.
They are a family of bacteria that live in warm sea water and are found throughout the world but are particularly common in large gulfs in tropical areas such as the Bay of Bengal, the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of Carpentaria. People with poor immunity, particularly those with chronic liver disease, can get the infection through the skin, when cuts or abrasions are exposed to sea water, or through ingesting contaminated food or water. The infection can start as a wound infection and can quickly spread to cause overwhelming and life threatening bloodstream infection. Once established, bloodstream infection with Vibrio bacteria has a 50 per cent mortality even with the best treatment. The bacteria are found in tropical waters and so can potentially be acquired anywhere along the north Australian coast. However, the reported serious infections in the NT were all acquired in the sea or rivers around the south-western shore of the Gulf of Carpentaria - near the Sir Edward Pellew Group and Limmen Bight. Fortunately, severe infections with Vibrio are rare. Since 2000 there have been only 4 serious infections of people in the Northern Territory. (see photo above)

You get the general idea. The more gruesome the picture, the interest most of them have. It also creates a good shock factor. If the students can’t handle the pictures, they probably really don’t want to go into medicine.

Other uses could include pictures of diseased vs. healthy livers, using photos as flash cards to learn identification, location and terminology.
I don’t have a major concern with the students searching through shared-photo sites. As a nurse and a teacher, if they find something inappropriate (which I am 98% sure may not be an accident) I would rather use it as a teaching moment then get angry with them, or worry about me or them getting in to too much trouble. Of course we do follow school policies!

EDU255-Social Networks

In the assigned reading of Steve Hargadons article, there were several points that got my attention. The two that caught it the most are his ideas on failure and why people use social networks. First, it is ok to screw up. Having been in a messing up phase for a few weeks, I appreciated the thought that failures teach lessons and life goes on. Most failures or mistakes are not life threatening in a cyber world, and can be fixed or corrected. Of course that doesn’t take away the hit to the pride of our egotistic or perfectionist nature, but we still manage to move past our failures.
Regarding the use of Social Networks, I emphatically agree that social networks must fill a void, or be needed by the person(s) using them. It may be a need to be connected to several people that share your same thoughts or enjoy the same activities, or simply a need to find someone out there that is going through the same challenges in life. I have seen the SNS utilized in a positive way. A member of my family is battling breast cancer. She is only 25, and was having a hard time relating to other patients with the same diagnosis because of a generation (or 2) gap in age. They could relate on the levels of what was happening and the treatments, but the age difference really made it difficult to relate in the challenges they were facing in their everyday lives. Her physician referred her to a social network site of young women facing and dealing with breast cancer. What a valuable resource! It truly helped her to work through a lot of the tough stuff that faces younger women with this disease.
I also think social networks have a place in academics. New ideas can be developed through sharing with classmates. Revisions of projects can be seen to assist the instructor in determining if the kid is on track. Assignments could be done without paper. For me, that is not only the continuation of a ‘going green’ concept, but I might even find my desk!
In a world of health care, social networks can be useful, as shown above, but with the strict HIPPA laws in place, it must be used with great caution.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why a wiki?

Why a wiki?

The wiki sight that has been developed for the Health Careers Education classes might be used in several different ways. The first might be to have the students provide feedback to each other and the instructor, about how they might respond to patients in different situations. A patient that has just been given a terminal diagnosis, has just lost a limb because of an infection, or one that has been diagnosed with a chronic illness that requires life style changes are just a few examples. Because of the age of our students, many have not had a lot of life experience to appropriately deal with their patient. A wiki could be developed to provide feedback, insight and a little bit of education. Another way to use the wiki is to improve the students’ medical documentation skills. Having he opportunity to have students edit their documentation is much less intimidating than having the instructor or other medical professional review it. The ability to see who made changes or offered communication ideas would benefit the instructor by identifying those students that still need help, or are on top of their game. I believe in these situations the benefits would far outweigh the challenges of using a wiki. It would be good to see the feedback that the students are providing for each other. It would also be beneficial to see how the students are dealing with the pressures and stresses of working around ill and/or elderly patients.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wiki's in the classroom

Wiki’s in the classroom

In the Health Career classes, wiki use could be compared to a double edged sword. It doesn’t seem that editable content could be used safely in teaching body systems and functions. We cannot adjust written anatomy, and do not want new names and actions for our parts and the way they work. On the other hand, the soft skills that are so important in all careers could work easily and maybe be more effective than our current teaching practices. In the types of classes or programs that I teach, we are constantly seeking ways to reinforce the importance of documentation, appropriate practice and compassion. Using a wiki designed to allow the students to share experiences and how they worked through them could be so exciting! I can easily visualize a student that is looked up to in the class, responding to another student with advice on the situation or experience. IE: Students are always intimidated when they realize they are about to give their first patient a shower. Another student sharing how their first shower went, or how they got through the first shock of wrinkled, naked bodies and actually washing a live being could be very beneficial. This would help the instructor in sharing coping methods for intimidation and fear with future students as well, or open on online dialogue. Support during any kind of work or activity of daily living is beneficial to all. The idea of assisting the students to understand that their work is truly meaningful through unlimited feedback from their peers is really neat.
The expectation of the students would be to share their daily experiences during their clinical work on a weekly basis, using the wiki accounts set up in class, and to respond to several other students each week. The content of the wiki’s would include activities and emotions during the activities. Even something like, I had to change a bed pan today-so gross! I gagged” would elicit responses from others, and possible ways to handle the gross parts. The purpose of the assignment would be to create a dialogue of students sharing and developing coping skills for some of the emotional issues that often send teens into a world of drama.