Health science high school instructors are always looking for ways to be more effective in the classroom, without spending hours at home prepping and making updates to curriculum. For instructors in Volusia County, Florida, using HealthCenter21 has made a huge difference. Jim Schultz was able to meet with Kathleen Rich-Zois, a health science instructor at New Smyrna Beach High School, and Kate Barnette a CTE Health Science Specialist for the school district.
With the digital curriculum, Kathleen Rich-Zois and the other instructors are experiencing 4 big benefits:
- Regular updating of content ensures standards are met
- More easily meeting the needs of diverse students
- Easy access ensures students don’t fall behind
- Helps prepare students for industry certifications
Easily Ensure Your Lessons are Always Up-to-Date
One benefit Kathleen and Kate have experienced by using HealthCenter21 is the up-to-date content. The AES Product Team reviews industry and educational standards to ensure HealthCenter21 has the most current information provided for health science instructors and their students. Because HealthCenter21 is a cloud-based digital curriculum, updates are pushed out automatically with no downloading or work on the teachers’ end.
“A big way HealthCenter21 has made our lives easier is the updating of materials. We purchase the product and it’s kept up-to-date, as opposed to having to buy new textbook versions when changes are made.
With HealthCenter21, content is being updated when textbooks aren’t. An example is with the changes to CPR procedures... you’d have to buy all new materials every five years in order to stay up with those changes. Those books aren’t expensive when just buying one, but when you have to buy a whole class set…” - Kathleen
Along with less worrying about purchasing new materials, another reason the teachers like that HealthCenter21 is up-to-date is the assurance students are receiving correct information. With so many different (and outdated) health science textbooks and websites out there, it can be stressful for a teacher to double check every piece of information their students look at. Kate has seen HealthCenter21 take a huge burden off of her health science teachers:
“When students do research, they don’t always know the correct site to get their information from. I know Wikipedia can sometimes be a good site because they update it, but other times it may not be the best source. I know when they are on HealthCenter21, they’re getting the correct information. I don’t have to worry about it.”
Narration, Visuals, and Text Help Increase Student Understanding
Like most health science high school teachers, Kathleen has a diverse student body. Some students are more auditory learners, while others need to read along in order to fully understand a concept. Because HealthCenter21 has on-screen text, narration, and accompanying visuals and interactions it helps meet the needs of all students:
“Some students read a little bit faster than the narration, so they mute the narrator and read the on-screen text. Other students like to listen to it, they want to hear it. Sometimes as they listen to HealthCenter21 they are drawing, because some students need to do that. I think the visual pictures help with understanding, too.” - Kathleen
The narration of lessons is doubly helpful, since there are so many medical terms the students need to learn how to properly pronounce.
“What I like about HealthCenter21 is that they can listen to it. A lot of times students can’t pronounce the medical terms right. So for them to hear it and know how it’s said, that’s a good thing.” - Kathleen
With Digital Curriculum, Students Don’t Fall Behind on Classwork
While every teacher must deal with absent students, Kathleen has a unique situation with teaching in the Medical Academy. Many of her students decide to enter the program because of a medical condition they or a family member has. Because of this, some students tend to be absent frequently. Luckily, due to the accessibility of the HealthCenter21 curriculum, students can’t fall behind:
“Some students come into the Medical Academy because they themselves have a medical condition or a family member does, so they may miss a lot of school. If they are absent, they can easily make up the work with HealthCenter21 so they won’t be behind the rest of the class.”
The easy access and usability of HealthCenter21 also helps when the instructor is absent. Rather than have to stress about providing a substitute with plans, or be a day behind schedule, Kathleen’s students can keep working:
“If I’m out sick, I need the students to keep working because I don’t want them to lose a day. I don’t have that time to waste. I will have them use HealthCenter21, so they are continuing through lessons or reviewing for a test even if I am out. With HealthCenter21 the sub doesn’t need to do anything, they just need to be here to look over everyone. I think it’s perfect for that. I really love it.”
Providing Industry Certifications for High School Students
As with any high school health science program, the students at New Smyrna High School are working towards obtaining an industry certification. Providing a regular curriculum along with certification preparation materials for those students can be daunting for any health science teacher. Kathleen and Kate have found that HealthCenter21 is a great fit not only as a foundational curriculum, but to prepare students for certifications:
“We have some very high pass rates for CNA since using HealthCenter21. I was reviewing the data and we’re actually at a 63% from 40% the previous year. And HealthCenter21 has definitely helped with the CMAA because it covers that content.” - Kate
Kathleen finds that because HealthCenter21 is updated as changes are made in the health care industry, certification preparation is another worry gone. For example, when the CMAA certification was changed in 2015, teachers using HealthCenter21 continued as usual, without needing to purchase new materials.
“For certifications, we need content to be constantly updated and we can buy books, but then things change. So then we’d have to repurchase materials. With HealthCenter21, you’re keeping it constantly updated so it’s great to ensure students are prepared for the current certifications.”