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Simulation is another concept that is foundational for students to learn to work through situations they will encounter in clinical practice.  The Kansas State Board of Nursing has a whole library full of resources for teachers like myself to access tomorrow and begin to implement.  I can even submit and share my own that I have developed in order to help other instructors.  This resource allows me to draw from the experience of other nursing educators around North America rather than attempting to re-invent the wheel so to speak.


Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy has been used for over 60 years in classrooms and with the revised version is still very relevant to teachers during the planning stages of their lessons (Schoening, n.d).  It can be challenging however to implement.  Not only does this website attempt to simplify the concepts but more importantly it applies the  taxonomy to technology which is the wave of the future.  This is a great resource for me to use to try to incorporate Bloom’s while planning my lessons using technology.



Schoening, A. (n.d). Bloom’s Taxonomy. Creighton University, Retrieved on June 13, 2014 from:’s%20Taxonomy_0.pdf

Instructional Strategies

ImageProblem based Learning (PBL) and Case studies are foundational to practicing real life situations in nursing education.   They are sometimes time consuming and difficult to develop but the resource section on the UNM website helps to simplify this process and even provides video examples for instructors like me to follow.  I can use this website to refine these strategies in my own classroom to help facilitate stronger learning experiences for my students.  I can even begin to use other strategies that I have not used such as analogy. 


Assessment Techniques

Learning Nurse is a free website with 100’s of quizzes that can be used as a pre-test or post test in a very fun way.  I can’t count how many times I have used this resource in the class as a fun way to challenge the students.  We will do this as a competition and other times we will complete as a class on the projector.  This is a great way to bring fun into testing and also helps me know whether my students are learning the material so I can then modify my lessons or reviews to fit the deficits that I heard.


Motivational Techniques in the Classroom provides resources to instructors like me for many different situations and is a resource that I have used before.  Creating motivation in students is extremely hard sometimes, particularly in the technological age when distractions are so much more fun.  This website provides over 100 (yes 100) techniques that teachers can use to motivate, inspire and empower students in their learning.  These are all simple techniques that I can begin to implement in my classroom tomorrow without a lot of prep and time.  It attacks motivation from different angles such as by addressing learning environment, or the teacher themselves.


Web Conference

A few weeks ago I met with my learning partner for the course via Skype to discuss our research about the impact of technology on post-secondary education in terms of roles and trends.  My independent research is listed in previous posts regarding each of these topics, however I intend to instead discuss some of the things I learned from Margaret. 

Margaret is an educator from a completely different sector than I.  She works with the police and I with nursing students.  I anticipated finding a common ground difficult but actually we got along quite well and both ended up gravitating towards the impact of technology since it is such a driving force for today’s education sector .  We went about our research and after a few failed attempts to get back together online due to unforeseen circumstances, we finally connected and began to teach each other about what we had learned.

What I found most interesting among a lot of our discussions was that despite the fact that we teach different material to different types of professionals, we actually used some of the same technologies.  One example was TED talks.  Both she and I had read about this as an example of an influential technology in the classroom and both had used prior to in order to support one of the topics we were teaching.  After some discussion, we found that we had also similarly used Khan Academy, LMS and many other resources.  I found this interesting because it shows me that technology can be used by everyone in every walk of life.  As an educator, my job is to find the appropriate resource to support the learning in my classroom, and one of those methods is by accessing information on the web that is already available. 

Another interesting statement that Margaret made during our discussions still resonates with me today.  She mentioned how the use of different technologies and ways of learning for the students helps to take the risk out of learning or helps to alleviate the fear of making a mistake for the students.  They can participate using technology and the internet in the comfort of their own homes, while trying out ideas and not feeling pressured to be right (which can happen in the classroom).  I have always known that different students will learn in different ways, and her stating this helped me to realize that the quiet students might just be waiting for that avenue to help them open up and be comfortable.  Technology might be just that resource.

Initially I began this assignment apprehensive, as what common ground did I and a police officer have in common?  Margaret was able to change that perception for me.  I appreciate her years of experience and extreme compassion for the plight of her students.  She is a marvelous teacher and her students are lucky to have her. 

Changing Roles of Educators

Technology is a dynamic and influential source of change in post-secondary education.  More and more students come to classes armed with smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices that assist them in their everyday lives.  Why not harness that power to enhance the classroom.

Over the past couple of years I have always had to have the rule of no cell phone usage in class except at break as they have provided a huge distraction to students.  Students spend time accessing social media sites like facebook rather than listening to discussions in the classroom.  This fight always was exhausting as I fight for the attention of the student, and the student attempts to manage the multi-faceted parts of their lives.  I generally lost. 

So I have decided to look at these devices in a different way.  No longer will they be considered a nuisance but rather an assistant.  How so you say?  By harnessing the power of these devices and utilizing them in my classroom.  My role is changing to accommodate these devices so that I can do less ‘lecture’ and more interaction with my students.  Why not use facebook and twitter in my class as a way to start discussions about topics?  I can pose questions and watch the learning unfold.  They are after all going to use this anyway, so now I just have to make it useful.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (2008) discusses how technology is changing today’s classrooms in their report titled The Future of Higher Education: How Technology will Shape Learning.  In this report 2 things jumped out at me: 1 – teaching needs to become more outcome based and student centered, and 2 – the professor’s role is changing from instructor to mentor (Economist, 2008).  Both concepts point to the changing role that I need to adopt which is to move away from the ‘deliverer of information’ to a role that is centered around the needs of the student.  What that means to me is to be the coach of my nursing team to help them attack the objectives, apply them to real life situations and build activities (preferably using technology) to help them make sense of theory. 

In the above report, they have listed many tables outlining the results of their surveys.  One question was whether students found the availability of technology on campus as an important decision point for attending universities, and the results were overwhelmingly very important (Economist, 2008).  Another question that was posed to respondents was what they thought was the impact of technological innovation on teaching methodologies, and again the answer was overwhelmingly a major impact (Economist, 2008).  What this says to me is that I need to listen to that and adapt my position as an educator to fit with the needs and wants of the future student.  How exactly I am going to go about that is still an area that I need to explore and experiment with.  For now I have made the first step towards realization that my role is changing , and the student is the driving force in this.  Technology is inevitable, not a hindrance to learning but rather a source that can be harnessed in very useful ways. 

I encourage you to look at the document yourself if this is an area of interest for you.  There were too many points to summarize here but definitely helpful in helping me sort through my changing role as a post-secondary instructor.  You may find it at the link below and also in my resources section.  Happy reading!

Economist Intelligence Unit (2008). The Future of Higher Education: How technology will shape learning. Sponsored by the New Media Consortium, New York, NY Retrieved on April 15, 2014 from:

Technology in the classroom.  What’s the new trend?

The use of technology in the classroom is not new but the ways in which technology is influencing the classroom changes every year.  The New Media Consortium (NMC) is an international group that monitors trends of technology in higher education and writes a report called “The New Horizon Report” each year that outlines the trends and challenges identified by their advisory board over the next 5 years (NMC, 2013). 

When I began researching the impact of technology on the post-secondary classroom, it was obvious that the NMC was a huge player.  They began their report by discussing technologies to watch, key trends, and significant challenges (NMC, 2013).  They identified several key trends to watch for such as massively open online courses, 3D printing, wearable technology but most fitting for me was the use of tablet computing (NMC, 2013)

I currently work for a post-secondary education company that supplies tablets (specifically the Windows Surface) to all students.  Upon enrollment students are assigned a tablet with all course books uploaded via e-text and can utilize this resource in the classroom to access their course material through an online learning platform, as well as, perform “real-time research” right in the classroom.  This is an invaluable tool to have especially since nursing has a focus on Evidence Based Practice which requires that all students be competent at being able to research and challenge ideas with up-to-date information.  The movement to a tablet (regardless of the type) has brought Evidence Based Practice to my nursing students finger tips. 

Our focus now is to encourage students to embrace the movement and realize their full potential.  It is true that the younger generation come to expect technology in the classroom and are able to function with it easily, however a large portion of my students are older adults returning to school to change careers, or after having children, or after immigration from another country.  Those students are not as familiar with the movement towards technology in the classroom.

One of the sections of the report about Tablet learning from NMC (2013) was in regards to the relevance for teaching, learning or creative inquiry.  In this section they talk about how a tablet can be personalized not only to the program of enrollment but also to specific learning needs through the choice of apps and other tools all in one place (NMC, 2013).  I learned a lot about different Web 2.0 tools and resources for teachers and for learners in my previous PIDP course and have already begun to implement the use of some of these in the classroom.  Slowly over time, as I become comfortable with the resources, I can pass more on to my students to assist them in their learning. 

As an educator in this environment, part of my job is to not only help coach the students through the material but help them access the information via new methods such as through technology.  If I can show competence and skill with these resources, students will be more likely to follow suit.  And let’s face it, I am a teacher who is relatively comfortable with technology but still gravitates towards the methods under which I was taught – the good ole textbook.  My job now is to refocus and join the revolution!

If you interested in reading more about the impact of technology on higher education you can visit the report yourself by following the link below or also can be found in my resources section.  

New Media Consortium (NMC), 2013. Horizon Report  – 2013 Higher Education Edition.  Retrieved on April 15/14 from 

Mammograms – Good or Bad?

There has been much controversy of late surrounding mammograms and their usefullness.  Some studies have come back showing that the mortality rate of women who had yearly or bi-yearly mammograms did not have a better outcome then those that just used self-breast exams or physician directed exams.  

Personally, I think we are doing a really good job with detecting breast cancer early.  The numbers continue to prove that breast cancer is less deadly then it was 5 years ago due to a mix of better detection procedures (mammograms included) and better treatments.  I know I will continue to use mammograms regardless of the results of these studies until a lot more information is accumulated.  

Mammograms do help to detect cancer.  Breast self exams do help detect cancer.  The issue that I have is that a HUGE number of women do not perform regular breast self exams.  I ask my students this on a regular basis and 90% of the hands stay down.  Mammograms are one way to help supplement this trend.  Although I would like to see more education on breast exams and less on mammograms as self exams are so much cheaper. 🙂

Here is a resource to look at:




Educating Our Future Nurses One At A Time