Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (Divides or Brings together????)

This week Bill and Logan gave a dynamic presentation on virtual and Augmented reality. I was blown away with the many Apps and programs that have been developed. This presentation helped me to see that Nursing is just one small entity that uses Virtual Reality in Education. I was not overly convinced when we took on using  mandatory virtual simulation into a course I teach. I was really worried about the loss of the “Human Connection” I know Sharon has discussed this in previous blog posts as well. I was skeptical that students would take it seriously and actually put in the effort required to achieve optimal health outcomes for virtual patients. I also found the cost to be extremely high and wondered if students would be using money they really didn’t have in order to complete the mandatory assignments. I should note the students are all required to purchase the program and are not allowed to resell once they are finished. They also only have limited access for 2 years so if they withdraw or take a break from the program they may need to re-purchase. This term I incorporated the simulation into some of my seminar time to evaluate directly how the students we finding the program. I was surprised at the positive feedback I received during this time because previously I only heard complaints. This triggered for me that students preferred to complete the scenarios as a group. This way they could discuss questions as they came up and could laugh together when mistakes occurred.I guess this is where the “Human Connection” was achieved. It is a bonus to have students work through consistent scenarios as we don’t always get the same types of patients to assign to students. This ensures that students will have the skills and knowledge if they encounter this health challenges as a graduate nurse.

This was a video that took the Virtual and Augmented Reality in Nursing to the next level that I found interesting. (I had a video of my own students completing virtual sim but apparently I have to upgrade my plan in order to attach??)

I appreciated this source that was shared by Jayme Lee. I think it would be great to take kids on field  trips virtually but again am torn about the “Human Connection” Even the little life skills that kids get by having to board a bus and stay in line. I also wondered if this will become an excuse to not take kids  or not purchase the “frogs to dissect”  Will this further divide children from the “real world”. I wonder if our kids spend to much time in the online world. More over, if students don’t have access to devices or the financial means to purchase the programs should they be unsuccessful in a course?

I wonder even if programs are offered for free does it mean we should use them??? Should our children have a break from the “virtual world”




Assitive technology today is Mind blowing!

I watched the Ron McCullum Ted talk and you should to! Wow mind blowing!!  Thanks to Heidi, Holly, Allison, Launel and Benita for posting.  A blind man born premature talks about the technology revolution that changed his life. He had a dream to read and he made it happen! All I could think when I watched this talk was that we need to embrace assistive technology as a society. I know that as a educator I have been guilty of receiving the “accommodation for assistive technology” emails and thinking I don’t have time for anything else. However, recently my son had an assessment completed for his ADHD and assistive technology was recommended for reading and writing. I had to take a step back and think well, what if his teachers think “I don’t have time”.  If a reading/writing program or having and FM radio in the class will help my son stay on task and get caught up I hope his teachers will take the time. The video shown by Alec this week tugged pretty hard at my mom heart strings because we have resorted to medication to get my son “caught up” and “on task”. This was a very difficult decision but the improvements we have seen in his ability to reason and focus have been pretty dramatic. We took a “summer break” from the medications to let the “wild child” come out and I think “the wild child” would have more difficulty in school than he does on medication.  I know the assessments of my own child have changed my thinking about assistive technology but I also think the times have changed and the advancements have helped this thinking. I have a brother who was very hard of hearing and the assistive technology used 20 years ago made him feel very marginalized. He hated being the child that had to sit at the front with his hearing aids and never did finish his grade 12. His experience with being hearing impaired had a lot to do with his educational struggles. I have not had a lot of experience personally with the vast array of programs that exist today and can’t really comment on one I have used because other than being “recorded” in lectures I have not had students needing other devices.  The presentation this week was very comprehensive and I realize I have a lot to learn.

I look forward to reading blogs of my peers that are using assistive tech in their classrooms and would love any feed back/advice from teachers with ADHD children in their classes. images

Today’s Meet met my students today!!


This week we were challenged to try  a new evaluation tool in our classrooms. I looked at many from the readings and decided that given my small time frame and short lecture.  I needed something that would be quick and easy. Todays Meet is a wonderful tool and allowed me to do a pre-assessment prior to starting my content. The students thought it was great and had fun picking a “nickname” to post their responses with. Initially, I thought I would only do a couple of questions but given the positive response I just kept posting questions. I was amazed at the vast amount of information I received in such a short time.

These students are in community placements completing service learning and volunteer work. I find it hard to get “real” feedback about the placements because they are afraid to give honest thoughts. At one point when I posted the question about rating the placement a student quickly asked if the agency would receive the feedback.  After I said “no” in my typed response, the flood gates opened and in came the honesty. It was at this moment I realized that students fear giving negative feedback and worry that it may affect how they are perceived. The pros to this tool is that it was quick, easy and engaging. Students loved reading each others responses and I think they even fed off each other with humor. This tool made the lesson fun and interactive. The only con I could see is if students did not have access to an electronic device. I did have to “buddy” up students who did not have a device with them. I will definitely be using this again!! Thanks to this weeks group for posting and presenting some awesome tools!!

Zoom Zoom Zoom… What’s up with that thing….

I remember saying to my husband when I started my Master’s program that I would likely be taking all face to face classes because of my huge fear of online learning. As an employee of Saskpolytech we are required to take a Faculty Certificate Program. If we complete a master’s with a technology course we are are able to PLAR or receive transfer credit so reluctantly and with huge hesitation I signed up for ECI 833.  As I have blogged about before I needed a little push from some experienced classmates and the support of the instructor Alec to overcome my fear and take the plunge.

Now we are at the midterm point and this week my group presented a seminar on Tools for Online and Distance Education. Reading literature in preparation for the class facilitation I realized that I am not alone in my fears and that others have struggled with many of the same feelings. We discussed in detail advantages and disadvantages and what things to consider when choosing an online tool for our own students.

For the blog prompt we choose to ask our peers to discuss some of the tools we have used in ECI 833 and discuss whether they would use them in their own courses. I would like to reflect on my thoughts on Zoom as a tool for teaching and learning. I can’t believe how user friendly the Zoom Room is to connect to. For this reason alone I would feel comfortable using this tool with my own students. Just a click on a link and I am online with 30+ people taking the same course. I appreciate the fact that I can take this course from the comfort of my couch or kitchen table and I am sure my students would love this too!  I find the CHAT room entertaining and engaging. It is great that people can interact and respond to one another without verbally interrupting the speaker. I did find that when I was presenting it was difficult to follow the chat at the same time. I assume it has taken some practice for those that are able to do it with out completely loosing their focus. I also appreciate that when as I student I have a question the instructor can share their screen and demonstrate how to do something. This weeks challenge for me was adding a photo into my blog post so here it is!!! ECI 833 peers what are your thoughts on tools used thus far???? 20161011_185903

Multitasking and the internet….Are we really getting more done??

This week we were encouraged to watch the following video and discuss our thoughts about the following questions.  “Is the Internet really a productivity tool or merely an endless series of distractions?  Has the Internet created a world of ‘multitaskers’ who don’t accomplish as much as they could have without it?” When I watched the video I had to laugh at the number of tabs I had opened in my tool bar. I spend so much time “jumping” from one thing to another on the internet that it is amazing I get any thing done.

This summer I took 3 weeks to disconnect. I didn’t check Facebook or even my emails. I only answered texts and phone calls. I did this because as a full time nurse educator and part time student I am “always” on the computer during the academic year. I was beginning to feel like I was missing out on what is most important. For me that’s my 3 kids and husband. I took the kids to a bible camp and volunteered as the camp nurse. Then we all went on vacation for 2 weeks camping in the mountains. At one point I did receive a text from my boss asking me to check my email as she had made an important announcement regarding my assignment. Begrudgingly,  I did allow myself to check and you know what… all it did was add undo stress to my vacation. The fact is that reading the email only made me worry during what was supposed to be a “tech” free vacation. If I had waited to check my email I would have had 2 weeks less of stress and distraction.

I do think the internet has the ability to increase productivity  for assignments and lesson plans but I think for myself I need to focus more on the task at hand. Even during writing this short blog my Facebook has sent 4 new notifications, my email has lit up with 2 new messages and my phone has buzzed letting me know I have another text. I included a video that I thought was fitting for the topic this week.

I am grateful for the abundance of knowledge the internet provides but I hope as a society we can become less distracted and more focused on what really matters. At the end of the day I don’t think our 300 Facebook friends or twitter followers are going to care that we didn’t “like” something or post a picture of our kids having fun at the park. Maybe instead we need to be less distracted and take time at the park to engage with our kids. Maybe I need to take my own advice as I sit in the waiting room with my daughter about to go for dental surgery typing up my blog and looking for You Tube videos to link. But then I would fall behind and have more stress to distract me. I apologize for the shorter blog post but I am going to snuggle my girl for a few minutes and disconnect.


Virtual Simulation/ High Fidelity Simulation in Nursing

To be honest I have been a nurse using technology such as IV pumps and fetal monitors for many years. When I started teaching for the nursing program in 2007 I primarily relied on email for communication and textbooks/journals as my resources. I developed the odd power point and used case studies and lecture as my primary teaching tools. In the past few years I have been forced to change my ways and adapt to the changing technology times. We started using high fidelity simulation in the last 4 years and I remember my initial feelings well.  I thought it was intimidating for instructors and the students and thought why can’t we use real situations in real settings to teach our students. I have come to realize that it serves a powerful purpose. With the abundance of students in many different fields, acute care clinical placements have become difficult to secure for every student in every area. What this means is that a student completing a pediatric rotation will not always be placed in a hospital setting. The high fidelity simulation allows instructors to develop scenarios and have students work through situations in a safe environment. Often times students are given preparation material so they do not come into the lab with no idea of what to expect.  That being said every single time I have walked into the “briefing” room to meet the students they appear anxious and voice concerns of being scared and nervous. I can only imagine how I would have felt as a student!!   The instructors watch the scenario unfold and the situation is recorded so the students can watch their performance. We then debrief and I give verbal and written feedback. Often times 2 or 3 students are working through a scenario together and this also poses challenges if one student struggles or has trouble working with his/her peers. As an instructor it is difficult to “watch” every thing as it unfolds. We do have the ability to watch the recordings after but there is a  policy that only allows the students directly involved to have access. I have always thought that it would be nice to have the students watch all the recordings and give each other feedback. I do think working though a situation in a safe environment has benefits but it also has its shortcomings. I have included a short video of a sim lab.

Another tool that I use is virtual simulation.  According to the website virtual simulation can,”Develop clinical decision-making skills, competence, and confidence in nursing students through vSim for Nursing | Maternity and Pediatric, co-developed by Laerdal Medical and Wolters Kluwer Health. Designed to simulate real nursing scenarios, vSim allows students to interact with patients in a safe, realistic environment, available anytime, anywhere.”

I find this tool effective as a group exercise and also for individual learning. Students can work through scenarios at there own pace and I am able to view what has been completed. The biggest downfall is the cost. It ranges from $100-200 and has a time limit for use. Due to this students have complained. The company has granted an extension from 1 year to 2 years. The program is not transferable so all students are required to purchase and cannot resell. I would suggest the proponents of this piece of technology is the company selling it. I have included a short video of what this looks like.

What do you think???


Educational television…a controversy

“Parents embraced “Sesame Street” for several reasons, among them that it assuaged their guilt over the fact that they could not or would not restrict their children’s access to television. “Sesame Street” appeared to justify allowing a four- or five-year-old to sit transfixed in front of a television screen for unnatural periods of time.Neil Postman (Neil Postman)

We talked this week about educational technology in my ed tech for the non-tech class. Furthermore, we spent some time discussing whether educational television has the ability to be a “tool” for children to learn by. Who remembers Saturday morning cartoons? I remember growing up with 9 siblings and if I wanted any chance of picking the show that morning  I needed to be dressed and in front of the TV before my 2 older brothers. I also remember my mom saying “not that show” or “change it to something more appropriate for your younger siblings”  I don’t remember watching Sesame Street by choice but I do remember shows like Mr. Dressup being a “strong” suggestion from my mother. I wonder if in the chaos of raising all of us if she thought maybe we would get the learning she didn’t have time to teach. The article posted this week for class was very interesting and perhaps my mother had some insight about educational television even before the research was presented about Sesame Street. I think the the quote above by Neil Postman may also have some truth. I wonder if parents who were busy would have thought that they were justified if the TV helped to provide informal learning. For 30 years Sesame street has been viewed in peoples homes as a form of educational television for children. It had a goal of addressing specific topics even before there was much thought about the impacts of educational television. Moreover, it had a mission of preparing all children with a specific focus on  underprivileged children for formal schooling.  Here is some music to listen to as you finish reading my blog

We were asked to unpack this quote by postman “…We now know that “Sesame Street” encourages children to love school only if school is like “Sesame Street.” Which is to say, we now know that “Sesame Street” undermines what the traditional idea of schooling represents.” I disagree with this statement as I don’t think as a child I expected school to be like Sesame street or Mr. Dressup. TV and school were different. However,  I do think children need to be entertained and stimulated in school so that they are not bored. I have a child with ADHD and if the schools continued in the traditional ways of teaching that focused on lecture based learning, I hate to imagine where my son would be today. I am not sure I agree with going paper free in classrooms and using electronics for every subject but I do think they have a place in the classroom. As far as the idea of schools having policies for  BYOD I am a concerned parent!!! What does this say to parents who cannot afford devices? How will the child feel who has to be the one “that uses the one for the children that can’t bring one” And how does the ADHD child keep track of this expensive device when it is the last thing on his mind? Who replaces the lost or stolen device? Our eldest child started his education at a school that had a BYOD policy implemented in grade 5. I remember questioning the principal on this policy and his opinion was “if you can’t beat them, join them” Perhaps in a school that has a population that can afford these devices this makes sense, but I question the ethics around this.  What do you think?????