A Digital Revolution: Games, Simulations, and Virtual Worlds in Nursing Education

In this article, author Laura Stokowski, RN, MS, provides a brief history of simulation in nurse training. Beginning in 1911, nursing students practiced their skills using a life size doll. In 1949, students worked with “chicken bones and a lamb’s jaw, in doll-sized beds,” to learn how to apply traction to patients with fractures. More recently, the Annie doll has been used to practice CPR.  Advances in computer technology now support the use of computer simulations, virtual worlds and video games to “bridge the gap between theory and nursing practice.” Stokowski suggests that these new technologies complement traditional classroom learning and can be used to support critical thinking and decision making before students encounter real patients in a clinical setting. Games and virtual worlds can also be used by experienced nurses to learn new skills or upgrade mandatory skills.


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The Ethical Challenges and Opportunities of Social Media

Canadian Nurses Association
Ethics in Practice for Registered Nurses
According to the Canadian Nurses Association, when using social media the line between what is considered “private” and “public” may become blurred. Therefore, using social media in a personal or professional context may lead to ethical challenges, some which are illustrated in 5 story vignettes within this article. The primary concern for all nurses using social media is patient privacy and confidentiality. In addition, using social media to distribute unreliable information or opinions about a health care or professional organization may negatively impact the credibility of the organization.

This article provides a list of social media guidelines that nurses should consider when using social media.


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The Quantum Perspective of Learning

According to authors Katherine J. Janzen, Beth Perry, and Margaret Edwards, educational theory has has not kept up with practice.  The authors propose a new learning perspective that takes learning beyond the theories of constructivism and connectivism.  Their proposal can be accessed through the following link.
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“The Neighbourhood” Online Virtual Community

“The Neighbourhood” is an amazing online virtual community developed by the University of New Mexico College of Nursing to promote student engagement and concept-based learning. The scenarios unfold over three semesters and involve interactions between families and community agencies, such as hospitals, schools, and clinics.  After the students interact with the community characters in real life scenarios, they participate in classroom learning activities that are based on the scenarios.



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How do we break the “unbroken chain?”

According to Bowen (2012), college teachers “have no formal preparation for teaching, so they teach as they were taught, going back in an unbroken chain to the founding of Bologna, Paris, and Oxford universities in the 11th and 12th centuries”  (p. 20-21).

Having never personally experienced the flipped classroom or any other kind of innovative classroom learning, one of my goals during my PIDP journey will be to determine how to break the “unbroken chain” and discover new and exciting ways of facilitating learning within a classroom setting.

Bowen, J.A. (2012). Teaching naked: How moving technology out of your college classroom will improve stent learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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The Traditional Lecture

When I first started going to univerisity during the 80’s, I attended many, many traditional lectures in large lecture halls with 100+ students.  What I remember most vividly from those lectures is how little I learned.  Most of my learning occured after class in the library or in small, interactive tutorial sessions with teaching assistants.

According to information posted to the EDUCAUSE (2012) web site,  students are unable to fully absorb all of the content that is delivered during a traditional lecture.  As a result, they risk missing or misunderstanding important lecture content. 

Eventually, I switched from taking courses through the traditional lecture format to taking online courses, so that I could work at my own pace without having to spend time attending lectures.

With the advancement of technology, content can now be learned through interactive videos, while classroom time can be used to apply, synthsize, and understand content.


EDUCAUSE (2012). 7 things you should know about flipped classrooms. Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/library/resources/7-things-you-should-know-about-flipped-classrooms

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“Technology to Humanize the Classroom” (Khan, 2011)

In this TED talk, Salman Khan, the creator of the Khan Academy, talks about how students in a flipped classroom are using interactive videos to learn K-12 content at home, at their own pace. Instead of listening to a “one size fits all” lecture from the teacher, they can now pause, repeat, and review content when they need to. Instead of giving and preparing lectures, teachers are able to spend more time teaching students one to one and facilitating interactions between students.

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