Health Science 158 Class Integrates 21st Century Tech for 21st Century Care

In the past year, we have had some excellent examples of CASA professors using edu-tech in classrooms to transform the way students learn, collaborate, and share. One standout example can be seen in the work being done in HS 158 Health Communications & Technology, led by edu-tech innovator Frank Strona and TA Rebecca Krueger. The students develop health communication projects using 21st century web-media and other online technologies, which are then presented by students to community hosts and partners at the end of the semester. This is an excellent example of using technology to connect students, community partners, and solid pedagogical practices. Student groups dedicate an entire semester to creating a digital, interactive technology-based project or educational interventions. The most recent event was held Tuesday December 4th, 2012 in rooms 225/229 of the Dr. MLK Jr. Library from 3:00pm to 5:45pm.

Reflecting on last semester event, Krueger noted, “It was such a delight to see students from HS158 proudly present their semester-long projects during the annual Sampler Event and Celebration on December 4, 2012. As a Teaching Associate (TA) for the course, it was both a joy and a treat to watch these young professionals display their hard work and accomplishments, ultimately donating a semester’s worth of their good services to various health-related community efforts around the Bay Area. Frank Strona’s dedication to the utilization of 21st century technology in the classroom arms students with real-world skills and experiences that will prepare them to function in today’s diverse and interconnected workforce. I have no doubt that students in HS158 will be well prepared not only to meet the needs of the modern workplace, but they will excel in it!”

Dave Spath, from California Public Health Association-North (CPHA-N) one of Community Hosts for the end-of-semester event, noted on last semester’s event, “I was impressed by the creativity of the three groups particularly the design of the short videos. I thought that the use of their fellow students in the short videos was an excellent way to convey a very strong message to their peers on the subject matter i.e., the important health issue of STDs and why they should become involved in an organization that supports public health activities.  I was frankly amazed that these students who prior to taking the class had little experience in health communication and available technologies were able to produce such polished products in the time that they had available.  I look forward to my organization sponsoring additional projects in the future.”

HS158 attempts to engage its students in an active experience that explores the evolving roles of the Health Science graduate in the workplace today. Core elements of the course allow students to build on group skills, new digital technologies and the Internet as tools for health promotion, disease prevention, and health care. HS158 is founded on a belief that a health professional’s relationship in the team process is as integral to the professional today as is a thorough understanding and integration of how technology can act as a partner to improve local community health communication, increase access to programs and improve community health outcomes.

Upon successfully completing this course, students are able to:

  1. Understand the history, use, and potential of technology and new social media in Health Communication.
  2. Assess the scientific merit (evaluate) of information posted on the web, as well as other uses of non-scientific information for understanding community health and education/communication opportunities.
  3. Complete a comprehensive team project that will be used to explore and address health communication and technology.
  4. Assess and identify appropriate local and national Social Media Resources.
  5. Develop and present material in a professional manner, using current technology- based tools.
  6. Develop a digital, interactive technology-based project or educational intervention.

Look for a follow-up on this blog for info on future events for HS158.

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