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Health Science Teacher Brings College-Level Courses to 10th Graders with Digital Curriculum

"I am comfortable that if students go through the program, that when they come to lecture, I don’t have to spend time going over a lot of the basics. We can delve more into detail or more practice."

At Health Sciences High and Middle College (HSHMC) in San Diego, California, Jeff Bonine is preparing his 10th grade students for advanced health science courses and certifications.

The school motto is “A diploma that matters,” and it’s obvious that Jeff takes that to heart when it comes to his students.

While Jeff is excited to prepare the next generation of health care workers, he’s had a few bumps along the way.

Like many high school health science instructors, Jeff struggled to find instructional materials that truly worked for his students.

The Challenge of Teaching Health Science to 10th Graders

At HSHMC, Jeff teaches Medical Terminology and Anatomy & Physiology. While these courses can sometimes be introductory, the program at HSHMC is a bit unique.

Because Jeff is helping lead his students towards advanced courses and health science certifications, he needs to cover content typically geared towards older students.

The greatest challenge Jeff faces in the classroom is getting that college-level content to resonate with his 10th grade students.

“How do we get that high-level content down to our 10th graders?” Jeff asks. “Textbooks are not accessible and are often not engaging or interactive.”

This focus on student engagement and understanding is what led Jeff to find a new resource.

When Jeff discovered the HealthCenter21 curriculum online, he knew he found the solution he needed.

Blended Learning Helps Students Better Grasp Concepts

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Now that he’s using HealthCenter21, Jeff has seen some great results in the classroom.

Because it’s a digital curriculum, HealthCenter21 is perfect for blended learning, which HSHMC is moving towards.

Jeff sees his students one day a week in the classroom, and they also have an internship day at a local hospital.

During the class, Jeff uses HealthCenter21 to introduce new information, especially the information that students will need for the next internship day.

Students work through HealthCenter21 during class, and what they don’t finish they complete as homework.

After the allotted class time for HealthCenter21 is up, Jeff brings students together for some lecture time where he can interact with the students. That’s when he reviews what they’ve learned online and delves deeper into the more complicated concepts.

Most importantly, he uses the time to answer questions or clear up any misunderstandings students may have.

 The change in strategy has become integral to Jeff’s teaching style, which has proven to be effective.

“HealthCenter21 provides strong areas of content,” Jeff says. “I am comfortable that if students go through the program, that when they come to lecture, I don’t have to spend time going over a lot of the basics. We can delve more into detail or more practice. The lessons are really straight forward, not wordy, and are clean. Content is broken up into small chunks. It’s presented in a way that is not overwhelming for the students,” he adds.

But what about keeping those students engaged so they truly care about learning that material?

HealthCenter21 has been able to help Jeff with that challenge, too.

HealthCenter21 Bonus: Increased Student Engagement

Another bonus from HealthCenter21 for Jeff’s classroom is more engaged students. Because the program is digital, it’s never been easier to engage students.

 “This type of program, with its narrations and images, is much more engaging than traditional textbooks,” Jeff says. “In addition, the extra features make the content much more accessible to all students.”

Additionally, HealthCenter21 meets the needs of a diverse range of students, resulting in better engagement and understanding.

“Hearing the program read along with the text on the screen is a huge support for some students,” Jeff says.

Overall, with the digital aspect of HealthCenter21, Jeff successfully teaches college-level concepts while keeping his 10th grade students engaged.

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