As a health science curriculum provider, we talk to thousands of health science instructors across the United States. When talking to these instructors, many of them are in search of new curriculum, but don’t know what would work best. Very often, these educators ask questions like: “Which curriculum is best? The Cengage DHO Health Science textbook or the HealthCenter21 eLearning curriculum?”
Is your Microsoft Office curriculum ready for Office 2016? Microsoft Office 2016 was released in the summer of 2015. So it's just a matter of time before your school computer labs and laptop carts begin to migrate, if they haven't already. If you teach computer applications, you need to make sure you are ready to go with compatible curriculum.
What keeps you from trying new things in your CTE health science classroom? If you are like the many health science technology teachers that we encounter every day, then likely the reason has something to do with time and maintaining the status quo. We get it! Finding time to learn new things, let alone figure out how to implement them, is like searching for Bigfoot. And the status quo is one small comfort in the chaotic, unpredictable daily lives of health science technology teachers. For new health science technology teachers, the challenges are that much more intimidating, particularly that first year. But unlike the elusive Bigfoot, you really can find some amazing, time-saving, easy-to-implement curriculum resources for health science.
What could you do as a CTE teacher with just a little more time on your hands? My guess is that you don't even have the time to consider that question! But with the right tools in your health science class, you can not only form a response, you could even actually achieve your answer.
Have you ever asked another teacher: "What health science textbook would you recommend for a Principles of Health Science course?" Many CTE Health Science teachers came from industry, and we know the last thing they want to do is research textbooks.
Have you ever asked another teacher: "What middle school textbooks would you recommend for Computer Applications?" If you are teaching middle school computer applications courses, at some point you'll be on the hunt for middle school textbooks and resources for your classroom. That search will take you on an Internet textbook safari, trying to track the best resources in regards to content, usability, and value. But unless you've discovered some kind of crazy time-creating device, you likely don't have the time to give the research it's due. In that vein, we've compiled a list of popular middle school textbooks for computer applications courses.
Do you have domestic violence curriculum in your health science courses? Some states are already requiring this content, which means that other states are probably not far behind. So it's critical that you include this content. But how do you approach this uncomfortable topic and make sure you prepare your students to address potential domestic violence situations with patients? The best plan is to find a curriculum resource that has already done the research and the approach for you. AES recently released one such resource in HealthCenter21. We've taken our expertise in instructional design and applied it to this topic. We'll review that Domestic Violence curriculum here.
Do you know how to start teaching Google Apps in your technology curriculum? If you said no, you are in some pretty good company. It turns out that many middle and high school teachers are looking for these resources. Because we've provided technology curriculum to teach Microsoft Office for middle and high school for years, it was a logical transition when teachers started asking us about Google Apps technology curriculum.
Do you know how to implement blended learning curriculum into your CTE courses? CTE teachers often talk to us about the struggle of keeping students engaged. These same teachers are challenged by classrooms of students with a wide range of abilities and needs. We've found that one way to address both of these challenges is by incorporating blended learning curriculum into daily lessons. While blended learning curriculum provides a great solution, it also can require a lot of work from the teacher. But it can be done. There are some great tools and resources out there to help alleviate the workload that can accompany blended learning curriculum. Here's one teacher's story:
Do you ever consider the pros and cons of differentiated instruction? If you teach middle or high school career and technical education or elective courses, chances are you are incorporating some kind of differentiated instruction in your classroom. The reality is that, unlike core courses, CTE and electives have a greater variety of individual learners at different levels. We know that's true because in our daily mission to create curriculum to help CTE teachers, we get valuable feedback. It's always been clear that we need to address the need these teachers have for curriculum resources that are easily to implement as varied instruction. But while differentiated instruction is the perfect solution for some, it may not be for others. There are definitely some pros and cons of differentiated instruction. Let's take a look at them!
If your state participates in career and technical education textbook adoption, in recent years, you may have found more than traditional textbooks on that list. States, districts, and schools have been increasingly open-minded to including digital curriculum resources along side of textbooks on state adoptions lists for CTE. And there are some really solid reasons for including digital curriculum as an option. We understand that the reality for many teachers is that they get stuck with a textbook for up to 6 or 7 years or more because of financial restrictions, especially in elective courses.
As a health science teacher, incorporating different activities and projects in your lessons is a great tip for keeping students engaged. Sometimes finding relevant health science activities can be difficult, and creating them yourself takes a lot of time.
What's your biggest challenge with middle school technology curriculum? This niche has quite a few. We know this to be true from talking to so many teachers throughout the school year and beyond. If you are responsible for middle school technology curriculum, then you know what we're talking about. Let's take a look at some of these challenges and some possible solutions.
Are you being pushed towards using Google Apps exclusively in your classroom? What? No more Microsoft Office?! This trend is growing in classrooms across the country. Which means you need Google Apps lesson plans.
If you teach health science, you know all about the national health science standards (NHSS) developed by the National Consortium for Health Science Education (NCHSE). But do you know what goes into developing those national health science standards? And do you know why they are so important to you and your students? In January 2016, NCHSE held their annual board meeting in San Diego. Our Anne Kuser was there to take it all in as part of the Publishers Coalition.
Do you buy into common myths about technology in secondary education?
Teachers know that modern digital curriculum can be a real time saver. However, it can take a considerable amount of time just to research and figure out WHICH health science curriculum is the right choice for you and your classroom. We know, because we talk to teachers just like you every day who are struggling to find the time to try out and test digital and cloud-based curriculum options. There's a fear of wasted time on a tool that ends up not being the right one for you. But there's also the fear of passing over something that might have been your teaching lifesaver! In our efforts to help with those real fears, we've taken a look at the popular Today's Class and our own HealthCenter21. Our hope is that we can save you a bit of time by helping you get a better understanding of these two options.
So you left your industry career to teach. Admirable! But what is it really like for new CTE teachers? While I'd love to say rainbows, unicorns, and engaged students, I hope we all know better! But while it's certainly not all bad, there are a few things that new CTE teachers should be prepared for when stepping into the classroom.
What's more important in today's computer applications courses? Building important competencies and skills? Or teaching students to use a specific application?