Go Global

Within our NIEHS outreach and engagement community we are committed to healthy homes in the U.S. Wouldn’t it be great to go global!

Efficient safe stoves are good for the environment, economy, and the health and safety of families in third-world countries.

I will be going to a noon-time talk this Wednesday to hear about Aprovecho Research


Learning from Adversity

ASCD has some new video clips in preparation for the 2011 Annual Conference. One hit home. When trying to get faculty and personnel to adopt new ways of doing things, it is easy to get defensive and take things personally, because it can get so frustrating. It is important to not take lack of interest personally and let egos take control. Just continue to share what is possible.

Video: Heidi Hays Jacobs on Learning From Adversity

Heidi Hayes Jacobs edited a book called, Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World. The way it ends to describe changes in the classroom also hits home for how we can make those changes.

  • We need to move from knowing the right answers to knowing how to behave when the answers are not readily apparent;
  • We need to shift from transmitting meaning to students to finding ways for student to construct meaning;
  • We need to move away from just external evaluations (by the teacher, of student work) to more self-assessment, which breeds improvement.

Time to Embrace Health 2.0

Authenticity is key to connecting with people around their health.

Utilizing technology to create behavior change takes an entrepreneurial spirit, passion to make a difference, and a holistic view of health.

A possible explanation for the reason that Health has generated its own “2.0” term are its applications across health care in general, and in particular it potential in public health promotion. One author describes the potential as “limitless”. (Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_2.0)

The Health 2.0 Conference is the leading showcase of cutting-edge technologies in health care, including Online Communities, Search and lightweight Tools for consumers to manage their health and connect to providers online. Above all, Health 2.0 remains a venue where innovation in technology is introduced and ground-breaking ideas are shared to drive change in the health care system.

Articles and videos from this conference are quite thought-provoking for our outreach and engagement coming out of academia.

See What’s the point of Health 2.0? for a video and article coming from this conference.  A final quote from the video:
“Use Technology to Expand the Human Element”

In 2007, I presented and wrote about PatientsLikeMe.com, a site that allows patients to share and help one another. I knew this idea was valuable to patients!

In the time since launch (2005), the company has expanded to 9 disease categories, with plans to expand to many more. The company was named as one of the “15 Companies that Will Change the World” by Business 2.0 and CNN Money.[2] It was also featured in a March, 2008 New York Time Magazine article entitled “Practicing Patients”[3] and in December 2008 on a television segment with Sanjay Gupta for the CBS Evening News.[4]

Wikipedia reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PatientsLikeMe

Empowering Uses of Technology

From The Northwest Educational Technology Consortium (NETC)

You’ll know your integration is effective if it is:

  • Supporting diverse learners needs (SPED, ELL, TAG) /Meeting more diverse learning needs
  • Enabling a wider range of teaching styles /Augmenting teachers’ instructional style
  • Increasing the range of “hard-to-master” teaching strategies
  • Creating more positive teacher/student relationships
  • Building cooperation between students
  • Allowing teachers to see and appreciate students’ strengths rather than their deficits
  • Allowing more precise “on-the-fly”/”real-time” identification of barriers to student learning
  • Helping teachers use data to modify instruction
  • Expanding students’ appreciation and understanding of other people and cultures – both in class and globally
  • Helping students “shine” in the classroom
  • Targeted clearly toward identified school /classroom improvement goals
  • Introduced and taught in the context of core curriculum activities and projects rather than as standalone technology skills units

The Word of the Day is “Engagement”

Student engagement, engaged learning, community engagement, outreach and engagement…. Some form of the word “engagement” is all around us.  It was the focus of the main speaker at OSU’s University Day 2010 with a topic entitled: Engaged Learning: Fostering Success for All Students. It was the topic at our recent annual NIEHS meetings with discussions on changing our core name from Community Education to Community Engagement.

I think it’s a great way to go.  So how can we be successful in our engagement efforts?

I think engagement builds on the momentum of great communication and solid relationships.  This come first for our programs. If we are not engaged in our work, it will be hard for us to create engaging activities that have a ripple effect on our learners and stakeholders.

So now that we are passionate about our work and engaged with others on creating a program that will have great impact, what comes next?  Incorporate high impact purposeful activities into your program. An obvious one for our outreach programs is to provide a platform for students to do service-learning projects. I came across the Journal of Community Engagement in Higher Education. There is an interesting article on a service learning project for pharmacy students. Another interesting article was on a course for students on Engaged Citizenship, which is an important topic for creating healthy environments and healthy communities.

Organizing and Evaluating Professional Development Workshops

Earlier this year we piloted EH@Home in-person workshops. Creating a model for organization and evaluation was a very important part of this project.

Organizing each workshop involved a series of cyclic steps outlined below. From each workshop came feedback that was incorporated in future workshops. This enabled us to have near real-time improvement and help us meet the needs of participants.  Community engagement is key to effective workshops.

Conclusions to Share

  • The majority of participants learned about the workshops from friends and colleagues. Therefore, an effective way to promote workshops is through listservs, professional organizations, and networking.
  • Using pre and post quizes was very valuable in showing participants immediately how much knowledge they gained in the course.  Across workshops locations, the pre-workshop quiz average was 57% correct and post-workshop quiz resulted in 90% correct, demonstrating a significant increase in knowledge on workshop topics. This also indicated a need for additional professional development on these environmental health topics.
  • The use of a commercially available on-line recruitment, registration and survey instrument (Constant Contact) proved to be highly successful and effective in reaching audiences and facilitating follow-up information collection.
    • Most workshops were filled to capacity because of the convenience of on-line registration, ability to promote registration via web and email and for ease of sharing between colleagues.
    • 84% of participants completed the on-line pre-survey, which contributed toward workshop planning.
    • 51% of participants completed a post-follow-up survey two months after the workshop. Questions related to the extent they incorporated their new knowledge into their professional and personal lives and effective methods for future communication and professional development.
    • When asked about the preferred method for professional development in the future, 54% wanted a mix between in-person workshops and on-line education.
    • Almost all participants recognized they shared content and knowledge from the workshop with their friends and family. Therefore, the impact of workshops go beyond their professions and into their personal lives.
    • By far, the majority of workshop participants wanted to stay informed through our eNewsletters via Constant Contact.

Science Education Through Music

I think this is the way to go….

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