According to the
* 87 percent of adults use the Internet (Fox & Rainie, 2014).
* 90 percent of adults have cell phones, with 78 percent having smartphones (
* 52 percent of adults have tablet computer devices and 32 percent e-reader devices (
* 70 percent of teens (ages 13 to 17) and 79 percent of young adults (ages 18 to 24) own smartphones (
* 73 percent of adults use social networking sites,
* 42 percent of adults also explore other social networking platforms such as Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter (Duggan & Smith, 2013).
* 64 percent of social media users log in at least once a day (Smith, 2014), with almost 50 percent using smartphones to log into their social networks (
Just imagine what this means in terms of our students!
McCoy (2013) found the following when he interviewed 777 students at five different universities:
* Students use their devices in class an average of 11 times per day.
* During class, 96 percent of students text, 79 percent check the time, 68 percent check email, 66 percent connect to social networks, 38 percent surf the Internet, and 8 percent play games.
* 70 percent use their devices in class to stay connected; 55 percent use them to fight boredom; only 49 percent use them for class-related work.
So, how can we as faculty (who, of course, would not dream of using a smartphone or tablet in faculty meetings) capture the attention of our students? How can we get our students to use their devices for some meaningful purpose?
This article offers a simple lesson plan that you can use to engage your students as active participants, in a particular course over several sessions or even across the curriculum. By sharing the plan with colleagues, you can use it to thread patient-centered care and informatics across a number of courses such as public/community health, fundamentals, professional issues and research, or courses with clinical content.
BEFOR E GETTING STARTED
This plan, which focuses on consumer engagement, will allow students to put their mobile devices to good use in class while preparing them for the patients and families they will encounter as part of the e-patient revolution. It will help students understand how the patient and family need to be collaborative partners in their health care. I have previously written about the need for consumers, patients, and their families to become more engaged in their health care decisions (Skiba, 2013). Both the Health IT Pledge (Skiba, 2012) and the Blue Button Campaign (www.healthit.gov/patients-families/pledge-info) can be used to encourage providers and patients to access their health data to make better decisions.
I highly recommend having your students read "A National Action Plan to Support Consumer Engagement via
* HealthIT Website for Patients and Families at www.healthit. gov/patients-families has a video on gaining access to one's health record as well as information on privacy and security, the Blue Button Campaign, and patient stories.
The concept of connected health is integral to the notion of providing accessible health information for patients and families. According to Caulfield and Donnelly (2013), "
As a part of connected health, you should introduce students to the concept of mobile health (mHealth), defined by the
THE LESSON PLAN
Start with a Contest
Have a contest in class. Ask students to use their smartphones, tablets, and laptops to find articles and examples of mhealth. Ask them to explore who uses smartphones to access health information. Ask them to see how many health apps they can find at the iTunes or Android stores.
After they find resources, ask students to dialogue about health literacy, disparities among segments in the patient population, their role in promoting the use of mhealth apps, and benefits and challenges for patients and providers. Set up a debate about the pros and cons of using mobile apps.
Have students access free health care apps from the
Have students make recommendations for new apps or perhaps conduct a simple survey, posting the results to the webpage. Following is a just a sample of the apps that are available:
* 52 Weeks for
* Solve the Outbreak (CDC)
* Talking Glossary of Genetics (
* Prevent Group B Strep (GBS) (CDC)
* NLM Native Voices (NLM)
* MyFamily (Healthfinder.gov)
* MyMedList and Embryo (NLM)
* Electronic Preventive Service Selector (ePSS) (
After apps are downloaded, ask students to think about criteria they might use to judge an app. Remember how, in the old days, we would ask students to judge websites using certain criteria? Are there standards for assessing the quality of a mobile health care app for patients or for providers? Perhaps students, working in small groups during class, can adapt or develop criteria, test the criteria, and judge the apps they find for consumers.
The HHS.gov Digital Strategy website offers a wealth of information about strategies to meet the needs of people for better care, with numerous examples of websites and social media campaigns that can easily be used as classroom exercises. By bringing apps into the community, students can engage in service-learning projects and demonstrate the power of health IT tools to promote consumer engagement in personal care.
Here is one more exercise for mobile apps. Certain medical apps must be approved by the
To learn more about the
I hope I have given you some useful ideas about engaging your Connected Age students as active and interactive participants in their learning. By putting mobile devices to good use in the classroom, students will spend less time on their social networks and more time on learning. Please let me know about the interactive work you are doing with mobile apps and devices in your classroom and I will compile a list to be shared in a future column. Write to me at Diane.Skiba@ ucdenver.edu.
Caulfield, B., & Donnelly,
Duggan, M., & Smith, A. (2013,
McCoy, B. (2013, October). Digital distractions in the classroom: Student classroom use of digital devices for non-class related purposes.
Skiba, D. (2012). The Health IT Pledge. Nursing Education Perspectives, 33(5), 346-348. doi:10.5480/1536-5026-33.5.346
Skiba, D. (2013). Digital taxonomy: Evaluating and creating. Nursing Education Perspectives, 34(6), 428-429. doi:10.5480/1536-5026-34.6.428
Smith, A. (2014,
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