7 Ways to Save Time in Your CTE Health Science Class Blog Feature
Sarah Layton

By: Sarah Layton on April 28th, 2016

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7 Ways to Save Time in Your CTE Health Science Class

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.

health science class

It's comments like Sandra's and so many other teachers that inspire us as we develop, update, and change HealthCenter21. Our primary goal at AES revolves around "helping teachers prepare students with the career skills they need for lifelong success."

What you may not realize is that to support that goal, we ask ourselves daily, "How can we help teachers save time in (and out) of the health science classroom?"

Because if we can help save you time with some of your responsibilities, then you can spend that time doing what is most important: connecting with students and helping them learn and succeed.

There are seven ways HealthCenter21 can save you time in health science class:

  1. Standards-based curriculum
  2. Ready-to-use lesson plans
  3. Automatic grading
  4. Differentiated instruction made easy
  5. Teacher resources
  6. Certification exam preparation
  7. Easy-to-use resources

1.) Standards-Based Health Science Technology Curriculum

How much time do you spend looking for curriculum that meets your required standards?

Not only is HealthCenter21 based on popular national and state standards, correlations are also available. So you can rest in knowing that the curriculum is standards-based, and you’ll have the documentation to back it up.

You understand what we're saying here, right? The AES Development Team take the most popular standards for your health science class and use them in the "Understanding by Design" method of backwards design to make sure that the HealthCenter21 curriculum is leading students toward mastery of those standards.

Unfortunately, standards change...and that means your curriculum must also adapt. We do our very best to get the most current curriculum into your students' hands. For example, the AHA made changes to CPR methods in 2015. We made sure to incorporate those changes into HealthCenter21, as well.

You don't need to spend time researching changes in standards or updating your curriculum. You don't even have to install or download the updates. We put them into the system and the changes show up for you and your students.

2.) Health Science Technology Lesson Plans

Developing lesson plans for your health science class can eat up some serious time. Lesson plans are a necessary evil…as in fail to plan, plan to fail. I’m sure there’s not a teacher alive that would argue that lesson plans aren’t critical…but oh the agony and time it takes to develop them!

Here’s the thing…developing curriculum and lesson plans is hard work. Believe me, we understand your pain. It takes us many hours by many people and lots of dollars (approximately $10k) to develop ONE curriculum hour of content. And we aren’t even teaching class, grading papers, observing clinicals, or working on professional development at the same time.

And that’s just one curriculum hour, based on one or two standards or outcomes. Multiply that times 90 or 180 hours, or the number of standards that need to be covered and it seems an impossible task for one teacher.

I asked a teacher friend of mine about lesson plans, and here’s what she had to say:

health science class

The worst part of teaching? Based on the amount of your time it takes to create lesson plans, I'm not at all surprised.

But the good news is, HealthCenter21 has ready-made health science technology lesson plans. These lesson plans are just one of the many teacher resources that have been developed with the express intent of saving you time. They are printable and editable. So if you are teaching a blended learning health science class (to which we would give you great applause) you can take the lesson plans in HealthCenter21 and simply add in the other things you are doing in that lesson outside of HealthCenter21.

3.) Automatic Grading  for Quizzes, Tests, and Exams

When was the last weeknight or weekend you didn't spend any time on grading for your health science class? I'm guessing you can't remember a time you weren't grading something!

HealthCenter21 includes quizzes and tests and the ability to create exams. All of these assessments are graded automatically. This particular time-saver doesn't necessarily help you during your health science class, but it sure can help you have a better work/life balance. You might need to find a new hobby for your evenings and weekends!

And the instant feedback to students is a wonderful motivator. You can set up your health science class so that students can reset their own quizzes a number of times. This allows the students to do the assessment, go back and review material they missed, and then take the quiz again. You can reset quizzes, tests, and exams for students if you want them to retake anything.

4.) Differentiated Instruction for Health Science Courses

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  can often mean extra planning time for teachers. Its a challenge to find "extra" time when there's so little left for teachers. What if there is a way to have differentiated instruction without it taking up any more of your time?

You can achieve differentiated instruction in your health science class using HealthCenter21. HealthCenter21 is perfect for independent learning. Independent learning allows students to move through the curriculum at their own pace for learning and understanding.

Additionally, you can assign HealthCenter21 to students to move ahead while you spend time with the rest of the class making sure they are ready to move forward. Or you can move forward with a group while another group that needs more review time can work through HealthCenter21.

One of the winning aspects of differentiated instruction is that it fosters student engagement. Our product manager, Ken Richard, thinks differentiated instruction is “key to student engagement.” He recommends differentiating lessons by “mixing it up, so you want to use some lecture, you want to use some PowerPoints, you want to give the students some worksheets to fill out. The digital curriculum is a great resource.

5.) Teacher Resources

While lesson plans can take teachers hours to create, there are other teacher resources that you need for your health science class. These resources take time to find or create.

HealthCenter21 includes ready-made lesson plans, but it doesn't stop there. It also includes a number of other time-saving resources.

PowerPoint presentations are ready for you to lead the class to start (or end) a unit or topic in health science. These presentations include teacher notes to guide you through the presentation. And they are editable.

Electronic and  printable student worksheets and study guides are available. And answer keys are included for you.

There are skills checklists for practicing health care skills. These checklists have been praised by many health science teachers for their simple and direct approach that is easy for students and teachers alike to understand and follow.

Optional projects are included that you can use with students in your health science class.

All these resources come with the curriculum provided in HealthCenter21. Serious time-savers!

6.) Certification Exam Readiness

CMAA certification exam readiness, along with other exams, weighs heavy on the minds of teachers. Getting students prepared for these exams is serious business. And it can take a lot of time to make sure that everything you are doing in your health science class is leading towards certification success.

There are many "test prep" products out there that provide sample questions and the like. While HealthCenter21 is not what anyone would label as a traditional "test prep" product, it is certainly a critical part of the foundational knowledge that students absolutely must have to obtain certifications.

Before you can even think about sample test questions, you have to have the knowledge and skills to answer them. In that way, HealthCenter21 is an important part of CMAA exam readiness in your health science class. If you're wondering what results others are seeing, here's what Paige Shoup, a health science technology teacher at Kiamichi Technology Center, OK shared:

"For me, AES is used primarily for the core: CPR, First Aid, and Anatomy and Physiology, and I think it's really helped our students succeed in their National Health Science Exams that they take at the end of the core." 

7.) Easy-to-Use Resource for Your Health Science Class

An often overlooked time-saver is resource usability. Even if we dangled the most wonderful time-saving tool in front of you, but it would take you weeks or months or even a year to learn how to use it effectively, I bet you'd say no thank you. Because as time-stressed as you are, how could you possibly carve out the additional time needed to learn how to use it?

Let's revisit our daily question of "how can we help teachers save time in (and out) of health science class?" This mindset has made us very conscious of developing the most easy-to-use resource out there. You can create a course and get students enrolled in less that 5 minutes from the time you start your free trial. It really is that simple.

One of my favorite aspects of HealthCenter21 is that it's extremely difficult if not impossible to mess up. And so it gives you the confidence to get started and try new things without consequences.

If you need a little confidence boost, or any other kind of support, we are here to walk you through processes or answer any questions you might have.

The bottom line is that you don't need to put off trying out the time-saving advantages of HealthCenter21 until you "have more time"! Frankly, you're not likely to have that time until you start using it!

Get a Health Science Curriculum Trial

About Sarah Layton

Sarah is a contributing author to the AES blog. She is committed to helping instructors and students succeed both in and out of the classroom.