Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Project Suggestions

Based on a discussion with John Zuk, one of our APs, we came-up with some suggestions for our 20% Time students:

  • Reach-out to experts in your fields (using Twitter, Skype, GHO, email). You may be surprised how many will be willing to be interviewed.
  • Document in your blog your sources of information; Digital Research Tools (DiRT) seems to be a rich source for data interpretation. Readers will want to know where you found your information and if it is legit.
  • Why not make a table? For example:

Concept Link
Normal anatomy of human heart CHOP link
cardiomegaly Mayo Clinic link
  • Why not include some of these links in your blog? Readers would probably like to follow along with your thoughts and examine the original materials you used.
  • Use Google Scholar to find peer-reviewed research articles and the MyLibrary feature to save papers you have found.
Keep at the research. Why. Why. Why.

Friday, October 16, 2015


Last Friday was spent working on blogging skills and blogging goals. As mostly first-time bloggers, it went fairly well; co-authors worked-out editing permissions, I commented on their blogs and made suggestions (so did John Zuk (@ZukJ) , one of our APs) Today students spent their time researching their topics. Not just summarizing information. Delving. Interpreting. Slogging-through technical biochemical jargon.

I really enjoy having the freedom to not answer factual questions but instead point students in the right direction; I like driving the Struggle Bus. I like asking "Why?" Don't simply write that adult-onset diabetics either do not produce enough insulin or are are not responsive to insulin. Explain why. At the cellular level. Don't understand the vocabulary? Let your passion for your project draw you in, fight through and come out more knowledgeable.

We also had a guest appearance by JZ (actually it was a clinical observation). He took this very flattering pict of us at work. Never mind that I look like a balding, pot-bellied hunch-back. That's irrelevant.

I also showed my students tweets by @ShannonOFoster and @bobloch demonstrating the power and reach of their projects (Shannon, a former A&P instructor and current AP hails from San Diego, CA):

 Bob hails from all the way down the hall, in B-wing. It was pretty cool that the students saw first-hand, while they were looking at the overhead screen, Bob's tweet pop-up. It's nice to know that what we are doing in the confines of our classroom is being shared and critiqued by folks from across the country. And from down the hall.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Week 4 Check-in


Well, we are now four weeks into 20% Time.  There have been a couple of hitches (mainly technical) but overall 20% Time has been a huge success! Here are some roadblocks that we have had to overcome:

  • the inability to create some blogs from within school district network (IP address? firewall?)
  • inability to publish one or two blogs (not sure why?)
  • forgetting sharing permissions with a fellow classmate/co-blogger
  • blogging inexperience; most of my students have never blogged before (and I certainly am no wizard)
Success-wise, many of my students lose track of time every Friday during 1st and 4th periods; they are so engrossed and engaged in their projects. Here are their blog URLs. Please peruse and feel-free to comment; we all could learn something from you.

Anatomy Scavenger Hunt

Although we do lots of Simon Says to practice learning anatomical regions, anatomy can still be a little dry. Necessary but dry.

So, after trading thoughts over the summer with Texas A&P instructor Cara Johnson (@AHSAnatomy) and tweaking @alicekeeler's classroom Twitter account idea, I came-up with the Anatomical Scavenger Hunt. Cara's students tweet Syndaver selfies (#syndaverselfie15), tagging them with the appropriate anatomical region, as well as a brief description of that region. Alice's students fill-out a Google Form with their tweet request, filling a Google Sheet. She approves the tweet and one click later it is sent-out via the classroom Twitter account.

Here is what the checklist and tweet directions look like:

Feel free to follow our escapades!