Deanna Hamilton, Ph.D. Counseling Psychology


Project Overview

My technology fellows project was not terribly creative.  I have been resistant to the idea of creating online classes, but I know that there are online instructors who do an incredible job teaching in that format, and I also know that students will benefit if I learn some best practices of online teaching.  So, during Fall and Spring semesters (2015-2016) I turned three class meetings for the Human Development across the Lifespan course into online classes.  I used various technological components for each of the three classes and I surveyed students about different aspects of the online classes.


Planning Process

In planning my project I considered how to reach the course learning objectives via online activities.  All of the activities for the 3 online class meetings were asynchronous through the Moodle shell created for the class.  The course, Human Development across the Lifespan, (graduate level psychology) has one overarching objective “Upon completion of the course, students will be able to describe major concepts and empirical findings related to human development.”  This objective is operationalized across four learning outcomes:

  1. Theories of individual and family development and transitions across the life-span
  2. Theories of learning and personality development
  3. Human behavior, including an understanding of developmental crisis, disability, exceptional behavior, psychopathology, and situational and environmental factors that affect both normal and abnormal behavior
  4. Strategies for facilitating optimum development over the life-span

I used technology to substitute an online learning environment for 3 different on the ground class meetings.  I modified the assignments and activities that I do in person to fit the online format.

For each of the three classes I used increasingly more technological tools.  For each online class there was at least one activity that addressed each of the four learning outcomes.  For example, in the third online class students watched and critiqued videos/articles describing the transition to emerging adulthood.


Implementation

The structure of the graduate level human development class (meets one time per week for 3 hours) is that each week a different age group is the focus from a physical, cognitive, and psychosocial perspective.  I first identified three weeks of content that I believed could most easily be translated to an online format.  The first online class occurred three weeks into the semester.  The topic was cognitive and emotional development in early childhood.  The second online class occurred at week 5 and the topic was cognitive development in middle childhood.  The third online class occurred near the end of the semester, week 13, and the topic was cognitive and psychosocial development in emerging and middle adulthood.  Please see below for the specific description of the class activities.  Though all of the technology I attempted to use did work (miracle!), my plan B was to do the most basic online course by simply posting activities to Moodle (like in my first online class).

First Online Class:
PowerPoint slides posted to Moodle, a Microsoft Word document explaining the activities for the day (below).

Figure 1: Human Development Fall 2015 Moodle Week 3

Online class information sheet (posted to Moodle to guide students through the online activities)

1).  After you have read the textbook chapter(s) (primarily chapter 3, a little bit on 4) go through the PowerPoint presentation. Are the concepts making sense?  Are you able to connect the ideas in the PowerPoint with the info in the text?  Think about how it relates to the counseling work you will do in the future.  You’ll do a closer reading of the slides after this overview (about 40 minutes)

2).  Return to slide #2 (it says typical development at the top).  There is a link to a TEDtalk that summarizes some of what we know about prenatal learning. The name of the talk is “what we learn before we are born.”  First, watch the talk.  Then, write down one or two of the findings that you found most interesting.  You can hand write this on a piece of paper or you can type it on a Microsoft word document – either way you will need to show me the document (on your computer screen or the paper where you wrote your responses) next week in class. (video 17 minutes, response 10 minutes = 27 minutes total).

3).  Slide #3 summarizes some of the postnatal milestones of “normally” developing motor, visual, and auditory skills (highlights from the table on page 83 of your text).  Take a look at the slide or the table on page 83, write down one or two of the processes that surprised you in terms of when then developed or what other processes were developing simultaneously, or anything that you found interesting about the development of milestones across the first 5 years. (about 8 minutes)

4).  Slides #4 & 5 provide an overview of Piaget’s theory.  Do they make sense?  Now take a look at the Biographical sketch on page 80 of the book and/or the PDF from an article of his that is on the moodle page.  What comments or observations do you have about Piaget, his writing, his background, or his theory?  This should be a couple of sentences. (about 15 minutes).

5).  Slide #6 describes the substages of Piaget’s sensorimotor stage.  Note:  you will not have to memorize the substages, I just wanted you to see that they exist.  Can you summarize what generally occurs over the Sensorimotor stage?  What would be the newspaper “headline for this stage?  (about 5 minutes).

6).  Slide #7 describes the concept of object permanence (also refer to pages 84-85 in the text).  What’s the big deal about “object concept”?  Why is having an object concept so important to cognitive development? (5 minutes)

7).  Slides #8 & 9 describe other ways of measuring infant cognition (other an Piagetian methods).  The depiction of Baillargeon’s research is different than page 85 of your book (just a different version of the same type of research).  What do you make of the difference in development of object permanence as found by Piaget (in the first year) as compared to more recent research by Baillargeon and colleagues (as young as 2.5 MONTHS!)?  (10 minutes)

8).  Take a look at the YouTube video showing examples of Piagetian conservation tasks.  You will see children in the preoperational stage who fail the tasks (give the wrong answer) as well as older children (in the concrete operational stage) who pass the tasks.  Based on the information on the slides (12 & 13) and the text (pages 92-95, section on Preschoolers’ cognition – though our text focuses on numbers, Piaget looked at conservation through different types of tasks) what make preschoolers thinking illogical?  How come they fail the conservation tasks?  (video 3 minutes, response 7 minutes = 10 minutes total)

(if you Google “Piaget conservation task, YouTube” it is the first thing that comes up).

9).  Piaget described preoperational egocentrism as measured by the three-mountain task.  Take a look at an example in this YouTube video — keep this in mind as we continue to discuss perspective taking ability. (5 minutes)

10).  Slides #15 & 16 describe some information related to the concept Theory of Mind (pages 95-99 in the text, section in Chapter 3 “Understanding the Mind.”  Is this a concept with which you are familiar?  Why is it important to our cognitive and psychosocial development?  Review the information and get a feel for the concept and how it is measured.  This is something we will discuss further in class.  (10 minutes)

11).  Slides #17-19 provide a very brief overview of some language development milestones.  Entire courses are taught on the topic of language development.  At this point, familiarize yourself with the general progression of language development.  Then, consider the finding described on page 104 of the text related to the difference in vocabularies according to how much parents talk to their children:  “In a 100-hour week, a toddler in a professional family might here 215,000 words on the average, in a lower-middle-class family children here about 125,000 words, and in the poorest homes about 62,000 words.  All of the children learned to talk on schedule, but the differences in parental input were correlated with the children’s vocabulary measures by age 3.” (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).

What does this research suggest about the importance of caregiver-child conversation?  You do not have to write anything down, just think about it.  (5 minutes)

12).  Slide #21 describes some important terms developed by Vygotsky.  Use the slides and the text (starting on page 105, section called “Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory”) to make sure you are familiar with the important contributions made by Vygotsky in understanding how young children learn.  (5 minutes)

13).  Slides #24-27 provide an introduction to some of the important points from Chapter 4 (Emotional Development in the Early Years).  Review the concepts on the slides (5 minutes).

Then, using your favorite search engine, find something that has been posted related to the emotional development of children.  The idea is to pretend that you are a parent who is looking online and reads something about young children and their emotional development.  For example, when I just did a google news search for “young children emotional development” the first thing that came up is an article with the title “Is your child a psychopath?”

Next, quickly skim whatever article/video/tv clip that you find.  This SHOULD NOT be a scholarly or peer reviewed piece.  How do you understand the article / news item that you found in relation to the information that you have read on emotional development?  Please post the title of what you found and your reaction to it on the forum post that is on the Moodle page for today.  The post should be no more than a sentence or two.  (15 minutes)

14).  On the Moodle site for tonight there is a PDF for an article called The Origins of Attachment Theory:John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth we will use the article as part of our discussion next week.  Please spend 15 minutes going over some of the article.  At this point you do not have to do a super close reading of the article, it just provides a great overview of the attachment literature and is a really good reference to have – we will talk about it next week!!!!!!!!!!!

Second Online Class:
Narrated PowerPoint slides posted to Moodle, a Microsoft Word document explaining the activities for the day, and introduction video (recorded on my iPad and uploaded to Moodle) of me welcoming them to class and giving them the plan for the day.

Deanna Hamilton video

Figure 2: Intro Video

Online class information sheet

Part I.  The Bridge (20 minutes total)

  • Please look back at the last online class activities that you completed (Sept 15th). Please identify one area / concept / idea that needs further clarification.  Please post your question to the Moodle Forum.  I will try to make sure I’ve prepped answers to all (or most) of your questions by the time we meet next week.

Part II.  Paper Portion

  • Go through the plagiarism PowerPoint that is posted on Moodle. Some of it may be review, but it is really important to keep in mind as you start to work on your papers. Let me know if it makes sense or if you have any questions – you do not have to upload anything or write anything down. (30 minutes)
  • Check out the example papers that are posted on Moodle (located in the section for this week). What are some initial ideas you have about how you will organize your paper?  What are some of the sections that will be involved that you’ll want to make sure to cover?  You do not have to upload this anywhere, just be prepared to talk about it / show me that you gave it some thought.  (30 minutes)

Part III.  The PowerPoint for Chapter 6

  • Go through the Middle Childhood PowerPoint (45 – one hour…but probably less. A couple of the slides are narrated)
  • Go to slide #11 – Selman’s Stages of Friendship. (15 minutes).  These stages are described on pages 231-234.  You do not have to write anything down, just see if you can imagine what “friendship” looks like at the different stages.
  • Glossary activity (30 minutes, probably less). There is a tab in the Moodle section for this week that says “glossary.”  Go through Chapter 6 and choose any of the concepts or ideas that are described in the chapter.  Use the paraphrasing skills you practiced in Part II of this assignment to make a glossary entry for that concept or idea.  Basically, describe one of the concepts or terms from the chapter in your own words using the glossary tab that is set up for you in Moodle.

Third Online Class:
A video of me teaching class that was recorded using the SWIVL video capture system. Throughout the “lecture” I directed students to online activities that they completed via Moodle, I also created an online class information sheet (below).

Part I (maximum amount of time to spend on this section is 1 hour, it is ok to spend less)

The slides begin with a review of the ideas related to emerging adulthood, which is where we ended class last week.  Please go over and/or listen to that slide (#3).  Reflect on what you think about emerging adulthood?  Do you believe it is a new stage that is independent from adolescence and young adulthood?

Next watch the following videos (if you can’t watch the videos, that’s ok, I just think they are brief and super helpful in seeing the two people who often write / research about emerging adulthood.  After the videos, read the Generation Me and Generation We article.

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett: Emerging Adulthood Video

Twenge: Generation Me Video

Next, do a brief forum post (a couple of sentence) on a). which perspective / article you find more persuasive? B). what it is that you find compelling? and c). how this information (related to emerging adulthood OR generation me) may be helpful to counselors?

Part II (maximum amount of time to spend on this section is 30 minutes, it is ok to spend less)

Take a look at / listen to the video for slides 4-12.  Contemplate the information.

Part III  (maximum amount of time to spend on this section is 1 hour, it is ok to spend less)

Look at / listen to the slides on the Five Factor Model of Personality (#13 & #14, pages 483-485 in your text).  Next take the following “big five” assessment (there are loads of these measures available on the internet. This one is free and comes from a reputable group of researchers.

Upload a couple of sentences about what you thought was interesting, useful, problematic about this way (the five factor model or the actual measure you took) of understanding personality and how it may or may not be useful for counselors.

Part IV  (maximum amount of time to spend on this section is 30 minutes, it is ok to spend less)

Look at / listen to the information on slides 15-21.  What comes to mind when you think of the term “midlife crisis?”  Then watch the following video, or if you are having trouble getting the video to work you can read the article The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis (from The Atlantic):

What do you think about the idea of a “midlife crisis?”  Is it a “real” or useful construct?  Is it more helpful to think about the notion of turning points?  How so?  Write two sentences-ish of a forum post.


Assessment

I assessed my project by asking students to complete an anonymous survey after the online classes (see below).  While I have not done a formal analysis of the responses, a frequency count indicates that, in both sections, no students (0/40) reported “learning more” in the online format.  In the Fall semester, 90% of students reported “learning less” in the online classes.  In the Spring section, students were evenly split between those who reported learning less (49%) or about the same (51%) in the online format.  The most common reason students felt they learned less had to do with preferring the in class meetings and discussions (finding the in person setting more valuable).  Students indicated that they enjoyed the time flexibility of the online class (could complete it in chunks or whenever they had free time) as well as posting/responding to forums.

Online Classes Feedback Form

  1. As compared to “in person” class meetings I felt like the online classes led to:

Please Circle One

The same amount of learning
More learning
Less learning

  1. If you indicated more or less learning in your answer above, could you explain some of the reasons why?
  1. One thing that felt really useful about the online classes was (your favorite activity)…you can list more than one thing 🙂
  1. One thing that you really didn’t like about the online classes (or would like to change; your least favorite activity)…you can list more than one thing J
  1. Ideas and / or suggestions for future online class meetings?

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Reflections and Next Steps

All of the technological components of the classes worked well (Swivl, uploading video, various Moodle activities), and I certainly felt like I had support to make the project happen.  The thing that didn’t work so well was my attitude and the attitudes of the students.  That is, the first semester I tried the online classes I was not very confident that it would “work” in terms of helping students to meet the class objectives, and my lack of confidence translated to (or at least contributed to) students’ dislike of the online meetings.  The second semester, I felt more confident about the online classes and students seemed to be more accepting of the format.

There is not much I would change.  I did the three different formats in order to “experiment” with what worked best with the course content (which was informative), and I think the variety helped keep students interested.  I may narrate more of the PowerPoint slides and have more “interactive” activities such as forums to increase synthesis of the content and facilitate student engagement with the material.

I have two goals for year two.  First, I am going to put one or two other age groups in the online format – it was really great to have the online versions ready to go when two of the weeks were snowy and icy during the Spring semester.  Second, I am going to work with Jen Morse to figure out the best way to use a writing app (Noodle Tools) to help students construct the research papers they write for the course.

Chad Rittle, DNP Nursing

Personal Background

I came to Chatham University with experience in a number of careers. After almost 4 years in the U.S. Navy I embarked on a successful career in the Computer industry.  But after over 20 years I was getting tired of “the grind”.  The last several years involved running a computer services company automating small businesses.  I was spending almost all of my time selling, installing and servicing companies in the Pittsburgh area.  It seemed like a 24/7 operation at times.  I can clearly remember a couple of days before Christmas one year when I was struggling to solve a problem for a customer in Cleveland.  My mind was blank.  After opening gifts on Christmas morning I searched some more for a solution…  I was due to see him at 0800 the next morning.  While resting for a few minutes – the “light bulb” went on and I had the solution.  Going to the computer – it worked!  With all this said and done – I had no desire to return to these days of finding solutions on my own while working all hours of the day and night on the computer.

At Chatham University, teaching online classes in the RN-BSN program there was an encouragement to integrate as much technology into the courses to stimulate learning and keep students engaged.  Many of our students have grown up using computers and a variety of applications – so online learning was not a stranger to them.  Then… there were the small percentage of nurses who were not as comfortable with the online technology – I did not want to “scare” them off!

I began the Faculty Technology Fellowship last spring (2014) wanting to learn what new technologies were available while also anxious about implementing these technologies into my courses.  I did not want to return to the “old days” of figuring out how to make it work and not wanting to be embarrassed when students could not make it work for them.  Fortunately, the Technology Fellowship includes assistance from Lauren Panton and Becky Borello – two very knowledgeable and highly motivated support personnel who are always willing to help smooth the implementation.

Project Overview

My goals were to find out what kinds of tools are available to enhance online courses while gaining confidence in its use.  Solutions selected had to be “doable” by students, full-time and adjunct faculty and across variety of platforms used by all.  By using technology and capturing the interest of students I hoped to encourage all students to be life-long learners.

Discussions with Becky and Lauren focused on the following projects:

  1. I had included in one course a large document describing the Wheel of Public Health developed by the Minnesota Department of Public Health and a number of case studies supporting the model. The exercise asked students to review the 16 areas of public health and then to select a case student and answer a few discussion questions focused on the delivery of public health.  Instead of a large and “wordy” document, I wanted to implement a graphic and interactive approach that would be easy for student or instructor to use.
  2. I had been searching for a way to implement “virtual office hours” for my classes. Being an online environment there was no way to actually meet those “smiling faces” who are out there and for all of us to get to know each other.  This would open the opportunity to have multiple users online concurrently – audio and video – to ask questions and share ideas.
  3. The possibility of recording presentations and embedding them into courses was also a goal. This would include presentations made at conferences, both local and on a regional or national scale.  This would allow the delivery of course material to supplement class objectives that students would otherwise not have available to them.

Project Implementation

Project 1: ThingLink

The first attempt was implementation of the Minnesota Wheel of Public Health Interventions – seen below:

ThingLink
Each of these sections is linked (through a “target”) an actual case study provided by the Minnesota Department of Health.  Since all case studies were designed specifically for public health nurses, I made minor modifications to generalize the content for the typical RN-BSN nurse who works in a hospital setting.

The technology used to implement this application included:

  1. ThingLink – using interactive images helping students develop 21st century skill and enrich their enthusiasm for learning;
  2. The Minnesota Wheel of Public Health Interventions– a collection of stories and case studies to illustrate public health affecting real lives in the community, and,
  3. Microsoft One Drive– providing the ability to access files from PCs, laptops, tablets, Macs and mobile phones

The most time-consuming portion of this project was modifying the selected cases studies and saving them on One Drive.  Once the Wheel was created with all targets, the link provided through ThingLink was used to embed the wheel into the Moodle course shell for NUR409. Along with the case studies the WORD document created includes 3-4 questions for discussion pertinent to that particular case study.

I gave the Wheel a “test drive” with students during Summer Session 3 of 2014 (in NUR404, the predecessor to NUR409) and asked the students to respond to the questions provided and to comment on its applicability to their practice.  The instructions included the following:

“The following image highlights “Getting Behind the Wheel” developed by the Minnesota Department of Health in September of 2000.  It has been used by many public health students ever since.  All the stories provide good opportunities to analyze how the intervention wheel was applied.

I am looking for your feedback to see if something like this is useful to students.  Please pick one intervention activity, click on the target, read the story, and answer the questions provided at the end.  In your forum response, please identify the wheel intervention you are discussing.  The questions may not always be a “good fit” to you this early in the class – so make any suggestions that come to mind.  I am considering enhancing several of these scenarios for future classes.

Your input will assist the instructor in making this course a better experience for students.  Real-life scenarios are often very effective in showcasing the effectiveness of public health interventions.”

Comments

Not all students included comments about applicability in their individual practice but one comment was notable:

“The “Getting Behind the Wheel” seems to be a tool full of interventions that are pertinent to current health care and nursing needs now.  It is easy to follow, being in a color-coded chart.  The stories I read are interesting and paint a vivid picture in my mind.  Reading scenarios like these help develop the intervention more fully in my mind.”

Since last summer (2014) I have included the Wheel each time NUR409 has run.  Unlike the first time it was used, I now include the Wheel in Week 7 of the course.  Asking students to comment on the variety of intervention areas of public health in the last week of the course makes the exercise more meaningful to students.  They have now completed the course and have been exposed through readings and discussions to many of these application areas.  Even though most students are employed in an acute care setting, they will be discharging patients and their families to live in the community.  Patients develop health conditions by living and working in the community.  If nurses understand how the community and work environment affect current health conditions they can be better prepared to educate patients and family to live longer and healthier lives.

I have since “customized” all case studies to ensure better applicability to students working in an acute care environment.

Project 2: WizIQ and Virtual Office Hours

Virtual office hours had been a goal ever since coming to Chatham University.  I first tried Lync that comes with Microsoft Outlook but had mixed success.  I only had 1 student able to easily make the connection with both audio and video.  This involved a couple of attempts over the summer of 2014.  Since it was not as easy to use as desired, and I did not want to discourage students from trying new technology, I put this project on “hold” for a few weeks.

Then, Becky introduced me to WizIQ Live Class.

WizIQ
This is a feature of Moodle, part of every class, and allows up to 4 students to be video-connected concurrently (along with the instructor) and others to have audio while the instructor can switch users from active to inactive on the video feed at his discretion.  The class is notified in the Introductory Block of Moodle in the first week of class with a couple of reminders prior to the Virtual Office Hours in Week 3. The announcement looks like this:

There will be a Virtual Hours Office session on Tuesday evening, March 17, from 7 – 7:45 P.M.  I invite all students to participate.  This is an opportunity for all of you to meet each other and speak with the instructor.  If you have any questions, especially about the written assignments, this is your opportunity to ask.

You may wish to test your computer settings before the Virtual Office Hours to ensure compatibility.  The URL to test your computer can be found HERE:  http://www.wiziq.com/info/technical-requirement.aspx

This session will be worth five (5) extra credit points if you attend to the end.

For those of you who cannot attend, this session will be recorded.  You can sign in to the WizIQ session and watch it at your convenience.

Please send me an e-mail by Monday evening, March 16 telling me if you will be attending.  You must have headphones to minimize feedback. I expect a response from all students on whether they will be attending or not.

Some considerations for using this technology include having camera capability as well as earphones. If a student user does not have earphones, feedback may impact the ability for all to hear the discussion clearly.

I realize that not all students will be able to attend – they do work different shifts.  In addition, many students will not participate in extra activities unless a certain number of points are involved – the reason for the 5 points.  However, since using Wiziq Live Class I have always had at least 4 students participating, and one time 7 were on the line.  They all reported they liked the ability to meet and discuss the course, ask questions about upcoming assignments, and actually “put a face” on some of their classmates and the instructor.

Comments

I did not receive any written comments from students about the Virtual Office Hours.  Typical comments indicated students appreciated the opportunity to meet.  I am repeating the Office Hours in other classes (sometimes the same students) so it will be interesting to see if I have any “repeat” attendees.

I plan to continue the Virtual Office Hours for all classes.  I also realize that not all instructors or adjuncts will take advantage of this technology, but I will work with them if they wish to try it out with their students.

Project 3: SWIVL

SWIVL is a computerized system that makes video recording affordable.  It is a base that holds an iPad or Android compatible tablet, microphone (on a lanyard) and follows the speaker through 360 degrees with a 25 degree tilt and 30 ft. range.  It allows upload of content to permit embedding of recorded presentations directly into Moodle or into other platforms.

I first used SWIVL for a presentation at the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) Southwest Chapter in Monroeville, PA in September of 2014.  In the audience were around 50 occupational health nurses mostly from the Pittsburgh area.  When setting up the SWIVL on the tripod some of the attendees began to ask why the iPad screen on the mount was “following me around”.  This is a great feature for a presenter who is a classic “pacer” as I am!  The screen will follow the speaker to continue capture of the video.  The only ‘problem’ – I found out while viewing the video back in the office that I was moving faster than the robot could follow!  I have taken note of this feature of the system and will do some “personal behavior modification” in future recordings.

SWIVL recording

The following is the introduction for the presentation as posted in Moodle:

Conference Occupational Health Presentation: The following presentation was given at the September 2014 Southwest Chapter, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) in Monroeville, PA.  The title was – “Occupational Sources of Air Pollution & Their Effects on Health: An Overview”.  This material is presented here to provide students some real-life examples to describe how workers and their family members acquire various conditions that affect their health.  The end result is – all nurses see patients with these conditions at some time in their daily practice.

If the courses were presented “on the ground” and not online, this is an example of the type of material I could include for presentation and then through class discussion. The real goal of this presentation for my AAOHN audience was to provide an overview of the air pollutants that affect worker health in the work environment as well as where they live in the community.  In a “former life” I worked as an Air Quality Inspector for the PA Department of Environmental Health and saw on a daily basis the variety of substances in the air that can affect health.  These pollutants are often the reason a patient is under the care of nurses in our community.  A better understanding of these compounds can help the nurse provide better education so they can live longer and healthier lives.

Comments

I cannot recall any particular comments – positive or negative – from the students about this presentation.  Since including it in the course it has only been used once.

Successes and Challenges

Overall these projects have been successful and rewarding.  I now have tools to enhance my online classes.  In particular, the interactive use of ThingLink and One Drive will permit me to develop other interactive exercises in future classes.  Although it seems like the majority of enhancements were in the Community and Environmental Health Class, (that was my area of nursing focus for many years) I can see using these tools in other classes as well.

I can also see ways to better use the SWIVL technology in classes.  I need to put more focus on the Occupational Sources of Air Pollution presentation in future classes.  By re-designing the questions in Week 4 I would better encourage comments from students on the applicability in their current practice.

I am still “getting the hang” of WizIQ!  Unfortunately all this wonderful technology takes a while to become second-nature to the instructor.  Manipulating audio and video, and coordinating all the features include in WizIQ take a while.  I am looking forward to the next Virtual Office Hours session in a few weeks and hope it runs smoother.

One thing I have noticed – every time I use the new technology it becomes easier!  Sort of like driving a “stick shift” or riding a bike.  One needs to practice in order to get better.

Reflections and Next Steps

I am planning to use SWIVL in the next couple of months.  I have a presentation at the AAOHN National Conference late this month in Boston.  If the presentation recording works out well I plan to integrate it into one of my classes.  I am also presenting at the Technology Fellows on April 9 and want to record there as well.  With the use of this technology I can see many areas where these recordings can be used in the future.

I also want to enhance the usage of technologies like ThingLink and the OneDrive in other courses.  In fact, I have already used OneDrive in some of my personal activities.  For one, I am on a committee planning our high school reunion and have shown a teammate how to put our Reunion Book (a presentation with over 300 slides) on the internet for all to see.  It was a simple process to share it on OneDrive and then pass around the link to classmates.  Even with changes, the link remains the same.

I also plan to spend time with the President of the Northeast Chapter of AAOHN.  The team there has created a booklet chronicling the history of Occupational Health Nursing in the Northeast over the past 75 years.  When I heard discussions on a Board meeting about how to get this booklet to all attendees – OneDrive just jumped out of my mouth.  It is easy and there is no cost to send the link to all attendees at the National Conference in Boston.

I don’t know what else lies “down the road” in this discovery of technology to implement in online courses.  I know I have heard and seen a number of other products that might be applicable.  Teaching in an online environment requires that I think differently since many products discussed were really designed for a traditional “on the ground” environment.  That doesn’t mean they cannot be used online – just that I need to think a bit differently.  Sometimes I receive inspiration, other times much more thought and reflection is needed.

One further point – I really want to thank Lauren Panton and Becky Borello for their patience with me and their assistance.  They are always ready, willing and able to answer questions or to “get me over the hump” whenever those !@#$%  computers frustrate me!  Help Desk staff has also been invaluable over the past year.  Not only have I tackled lots of new technology but I have lost my hard drive (virus) and had to upgrade my personal laptop (hardware problems) and have had some connectivity problems at home.  Through it all Lauren, Becky and the Help Desk have patiently answered questions and rendered assistance.  I really appreciate their help.

Conclusion

I have definitely met my goals over the past year and look forward to setting new ones for the coming year – one of those goals is to attend a conference to learn more about using technology in an online class environment.  I found and implemented some great technology tools; have implemented them in the classroom; and am now developing plans to further utilize these tools in my classes.

One of my main goals is to encourage all nurses to become “life-long learners”.  I read a number of years ago that the sum knowledge of medical and nursing practice doubles every 3 to 3-1/2 years.  With the explosion of technology I have to believe it is doubling even faster today.  If nurses are not learning something new each and every day, in 3 years they have been left behind and cannot provide the best possible care to their patients and families.  This brings me to a quote I found a while ago from Clay P. Bedford:

“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.”