Tag Archives: Instructional Strategy Technology

The truth about teaching naked

It’s hard to believe I’m in the last week of PIDP 3240 (online)!  And that means it’s time to wrap-up the blogging – for now.  It’s been a busy, but enjoyable, 8 weeks…lots of great discussions with peers, some cool new web 2.0 tools to try, and of course having the motivation to blog regularly.

When I resurrected this blog for PIDP 3240, my initial post was about teaching naked (eek!).  I was confused…why is a course about media-enhanced learning using a book that says get technology out of the classroom???  Working through the course text (entitled ‘Teaching Naked’) and through the online discussion forums, I’d like to share a few things I have discovered about teaching naked.

First truth: There is no need to remove clothing.  Ha!

Second truth: Technology in learning is inevitable, and it can be a very good thing.  The best, and most common way for students to first be exposed to new material is online.  Technology has given us more content and more ways to deliver the content.

Third truth: Face time is too valuable to waste.  Our classes need to deliver something more than what students would get if they just stayed home and accessed the online resources.  We need to make class time meaningful – something they don’t want to miss.  If they can just get all the info online, why bother showing up?

What really hit home for me about Teaching Naked was that students need and crave connections – with their instructor and with their peers.  Technology is great, but it is only a means to an end.  Students want instructor contact, discussions, opportunities for feedback, engagement, social/professional bonding.  And instructors want the same thing.

Teaching is about balance.  The perfect mix of technology, teaching practices and human contact…32fc16026a36617a7e0c066b45013ec3


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Taking the Tech Out of Technology

it20students20lab20classI LOVED this article!!  I posted it on our PIDP 3240 discussion forum and it generated a lot of commentary.  Peers were intrigued, interested and totally engaged in discussing this article.  In the article, the author states that instructors who were involved in the Virtual College at his school were actually not interested in technology at all….they wanted to learn ways they could increase social interaction.  Likewise, students wanted instructor contact.  Although we get very excited about new technology and great new tools, we still need to maintain the human connection.  The author sums it up well: “A blend of teaching practices, technology, and basic human contact just might be the recipe needed” (Buemi, 2015).

I tend to agree very much so with Buemi.  Although I like the options that technology gives us, I still like the human connection, between students and instructor.  Linking back to the hybrid course delivery model, this is a great way to achieve exactly the perfect recipe that Buemi describes.  Does anyone else see the risk of technology interfering with human connection in the classroom?

“Our excitement over the latest technology has started focusing on the wrong thing. It ought to reside in the praxis of teaching, not the tool.”

Source: Taking the Tech Out of Technology

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Educational ACDC

Here’s an interesting spin on teaching!  And no, I don’t mean the band.

  • Active Learning
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Discovery Learning
  • Community

“ACDC Leadership and Consulting was created by Jacob Clifford in 2007. We are dedicated to creating student-focused teaching resources that make learning exciting, powerful, and fun. We offer teachers, schools, and districts a variety of programs, activities, and workshops. […] we have what you need to get students out of their seats and into the curriculum.” http://www.acdcleadership.com/

One example of a student project using the ACDC program is having the students create a music video using course content as lyrics.  I remember taking anatomy and physiology and wishing it could be converted into song lyrics…the terminology would be much easier to remember if I could sing through it!

Here’s another example of using movies/music to help student remember content that may be difficult to recall:  (I shared it with my nursing class and they loved it!)

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Online learning -> brain damage???

computer-evolutionThe damaging effects that screen time has on individuals has been thoroughly researched and well documented.  However, when studies recommend to limit screen time, they are generally referring to recreational screen time.  So where does necessary (work/school-related) screen time fit into the equation?

Surely our bodies suffer the same health issues whether or not we are logged in for pleasure or business.  So it is interesting to me that with the explosion of online education, no one really speaks about the health concerns associated with this kind of screen time.  I recognize that online courses are more involved than matching various candies in a row, however, our bodies are surely suffering the same health effects.  Sedentary lifestyle, increased risk of obesity, heart attack, stroke, decreased vision, poor concentration, brain atrophy, and the list goes on…  (As I sit in front of the computer typing this, I can feel my pulse rate rising with unease).

Universities need to keep up with the times and offer online learning, I get it.  Learners want convenience, flexibility, and online courses offer all this and more.  Online learning also saves the learner and the school money (no room booking fees, resources available online, etc.).  But has anyone really considered the costs… the ones we cannot put a monetary value on…?

To read about the damaging effects of screen time on the brain, click here.

“Taken together, [studies show] internet addiction is associated with structural and functional changes in brain regions involving emotional processing, executive attention, decision making, and cognitive control.”  –research authors summarizing neuro-imaging findings in internet and gaming addiction”

(Lin & Zhou et al, 2012)


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Virtual reality

Virtual reality = very cool!  This would be a great in nursing education.  Not only for patient simulations, practicing emergency situations, etc., but I also found this article about a virtual reality that includes Non-Player-Characters (e.g. family members, colleagues, visitors).  In this particular article, it was about dealing with the behaviors of a patient with dementia – a tricky task.  The VR allows the nursing students to practice their responses in a safe learning environment prior to testing out their techniques in the real world.small

One interesting point this article makes, is that VR may replace traditional Simulation Based Training, as it is much more cost-effective than purchasing and maintaining mannequins, employment of simulation specialists, etc.  Having gone to a nursing school that had SBT mannequins that no instructor knew how to use, I believe the addition of VR to nursing education would be very advantageous.  But I do think there would need to be a balance of VR and practicing on real people.  Nursing is a ‘people/caring’ profession – and that can’t fully be learned in a virtual setting.

What do you think?

Article Reference: http://vsgames2016.com/proceedings/papers/pid1178378.pdf

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Patient Power

Smartphones are just that – smart!  There are new apps being developed to help patient’s take control of their own health.  Apps typically are used to help patient’s track or monitor disease processes that are already in place (e.g. tracking blood pressure readings, glucose phone_b_health_check_2011readings for diabetics, etc.) – but there is a new app that can even diagnose a particular medical condition.  The smartphone is used along with a handheld wireless heart monitor.  The device tracks the heart for 30sec and sends the information to the smartphone app.  The device tracked cases of Atrial Fibrillation that had previously been undetected.  From this result, the doctor was able to follow-up and prescribe the appropriate treatment.  Amazing!

The Patient Power aspect draws into the fact that the general public has access to smartphones and these health-related apps.  Though there will be issues with people inaccurately self-diagnosing, this may be an effective way to help people be well informed and motivated to take charge of their health.

Check out the CBC article and RSS feed here

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Who knew!?

podcastSo…I’m trying to explore different types of media to share on my blog, so I searched for podcasts related to nursing education.  Lo and behold, I found one – created right here in the lower mainland!  The podcasts come from prn Education and Consulting, a group of instructors who provide advanced courses for Emergency Department, Critical Care and Transport nurses.  Their podcasts are informative (and accurate), and very relevant to current health trends.  They post a new podcast every month, and it is broadcast in both English and French.  All podcasts are posted on a separate website, so that users can browse the episodes and also leave comments.  Check it out: http://nursem.org/en/home/

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Cool Tools

Until PIDP 3240 I had never heard of Web 2.0 tools.  But now, thanks to my colleagues, I am up-to-date with the lingo and have discovered a plethora of cool tools that can be used in the classroom, for teaching prep, for getting organized, for designing graphics, for blogging, and even for travelling!

I discovered Kahoot – a Web 2.0 tool that sounds super fun, and it’s FREE!  It allows users to design games that can be used in the classroom.  Basically it’s a new, modern interactive way to present multiple choice questions (videos and animations can also be added).  The students then respond to the questions on their personal devices, and all results are compiled on the classroom projector (so that all students look up).  The site boasts that it’s easy as 1-2-3, and it really does look that easy and the slogan is Learn Happy Learn Loud.  Sounds like it would make for a fun class!  My students are always requesting to play review games – I might have to try this one!  My only hesitation is that it requires students to use their personal devices and a) not every may be comfortable or willing to do this, and b) do I really want to encourage students to be using their devices during class?  Sure, the instruction would be to use just for Kahoot, but it may be harder for students to turn them off when the game is done.  Nothing is ever perfect….sigh.

Here’s a tutorial video:

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Free Info!


Faculty Focus is a free email newsletter that provides subscribers with various articles and information about aspects of teaching in higher education. (Link to their webpage from my blog!).

If you’re interested in the use of technology in the classroom, they have created a special report entitled Teaching with Technology: Tools and Strategies to Improve Student Learning.  In their report, they include articles on 13 different topics that contain practical information and links to useful resources.  For those who are wanting some guidance on how to use technology in the classroom (be it online or face-to-face), this may be a useful report (and it’s free)!

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Nursing school today

nursing_simulation_lab_at_hudson_valley_community_collegeA mere 8 years ago, I was finishing up nursing school.  About 2 semesters prior to my graduation, my school purchased 2 very cool, high-tech simulation mannequins.  These were supposed to be the “best” teaching tool that could be offered in a nursing lab.  The mannequins were capable of breathing, going to the bathroom, bleeding, vomiting, even giving birth.  What better way to learn than to practice as close to real-life scenarios as possible without actually practicing on real patients!?  Well, I actually wouldn’t know.

Why?  Because there were no instructors who received training to be able to operate these mannequins.  And so we missed out.  We missed out on skill acquisition, developing of critical thinking and clinical judgment, and also on dealing with complex nursing scenarios.  We got these skills and experiences in our real-life clinical experiences, but our school was putting patients at unnecessary risk by having us practice on them rather than using the new technology at the school.8399337241_52f0280326_b

Technology is a tricky thing….it requires constant learning to be able to keep up.  Unfortunately, my instructors at that time weren’t up to the task.  But instructors especially need to keep up if they want to provide the best learning possible to students.


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