Wednesday, August 27, 2014

USU’s pioneering teleintervention program supported by the Daniels Fund

Teleintervention encourages parent involvement.
Families of children who are deaf and hard of hearing received some help from the Daniels Fund earlier this month. The nearly $200,000 grant will train seven to ten service providers, who will in turn support more than 100 families in several states.

The Daniels Fund teamed up the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services (CEHS) to develop curriculum and technical assistance for delivering teleintervention services to children who are deaf or hard of hearing. It will allow families and providers to work together over distances, using technology to deliver services.

“Teleintervention has particular advantages for people in rural areas. Without it, many of them would have to go without both the quantity and quality of services they need,” said Karl White, a USU professor and Director of the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM). NCHAM and USU’s Sound Beginnings programs, located within CEHS, have pioneered teleintervention.

What’s more, USU research has revealed that teleintervention may also be the best option for delivering services to people who live closer to providers, simply because it draws parents in. The research was also supported by the Daniels Fund.

“It’s a more effective way because teleintervention gets parents more engaged,” Dr. White said. “The challenge with early intervention is always to get the parent more involved. With teleintervention, the provider is not in the room, and the parent has to do it. They have to jump into the water and swim.”

“We are grateful that the Daniels Fund recognized the need to provide vital early intervention services to families of children with significant hearing loss, particularly those living in rural and remote areas,” said Beth Foley, the CEHS dean. “This generous contribution will enable USU to develop new and innovative ways to deliver highly specialized services wherever they are most needed.”

 Bill Daniels, a pioneer in cable television known for his compassion for people and unwavering commitment to ethics, established the Daniels Fund to provide grants and scholarships in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The fund's priorities include early childhood education and improving lives for people with disabilities.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Nursing and Health Professions becomes its own department within College of Education and Human Services

photo of Travis Peterson
Travis Peterson is the Nursing and
Health Professions department head.
By JoLynne Lyon

While Utah State University has been involved in nursing programs since 2010, it is now creating a new department—Nursing and Health Professions—which finds its new home in the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services.

This means better opportunities for USU students statewide, and better outcomes for the people they serve after they graduate. These benefits will affect rural Utah, the Logan campus and the state as a whole.

Utah faces several challenges in the nursing field—hurdles that the new Nursing and Health Professions department will continue to address.

“Right now it is extremely hard to get registered nurses to relocate to a rural facility,” said Travis Peterson, the new department head. “We will be training people in those communities  who stay in those communities.”

Plans are in place to extend the USU nursing program to additional regional campuses, as well as the Logan campus.

Peterson was formerly the vice provost of USU’s Regional Campuses and Distance Education. He already knows of the successes of the nursing program. It currently operates from the Utah State University Eastern campuses in Price and Blanding, and the USU Uintah Basin campus in Vernal. The new department has fourteen full-time faculty members, and most of them are located in those three sites.

photo of building on Blanding campus
Utah State University Eastern's health professions
programs are already making an impact in Blanding
and other areas around the state.
The new department will better serve the needs of those faculty, Peterson said. However, the effects of the nursing program on their communities is already being felt. Fifty percent of recent graduates from the Blanding campus were Native Americans from the Four Corners region.

“Almost every one of them returned to their communities to work in areas that have tremendous needs related to health care,” Peterson said.

The Unitah Basin campuses serve a lot of nontraditional students who already have jobs and families, said Susan Rasmussen, who directs the nursing program in Vernal.

“They are serious and committed and understand the positive impact they can have on the health of their communities,” she said. For many, basic math and science courses were years in the past, and passing the prerequisites and the rigorous nursing courses demands the support and commitment of themselves, their spouses, children and extended families.”

The Nursing and Health Professions department will build on the foundation already provided by USU Eastern and USU Uintah Basin, Peterson said. What’s more, the new department offers some additional, allied health programs. A one-year certificate is currently available in medical assisting and an associate’s degree medical laboratory technician program is offered in Blanding. Certified nursing assistant programs are offered in Blanding and Price.

Within a year, the Medical Assistant program will be available in Price as well.

The department is also exploring the possibility of a four-year, bachelor’s nursing program on the Logan campus. That would be good news for students who want to study nursing and eventually advance in their careers, said Sandra Nadelson, director of nursing programs and assistant department head.

It would also be great news for patients, who tend to have better outcomes in hospitals with a higher percentage of nurses with four-year degrees.

In addition, more nurses with baccalaureate degrees would be good for the state of Utah. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine recommended that the number of nurses with four-year degrees in the United States should increase to 80 percent by 2020.

In 2012, the number of nurses with baccalaureate degrees who took the NCLEX Board Exam in Utah made up just 25 percent of the total. (NCLEX is the licensing examination used for nursing in the US.) Nationally, 41 percent of those who took the exam had bachelor’s degrees.

The numbers show the need, and they explain the enthusiasm Peterson has met while he works to build a new department. The new structure will help meet the needs of students, faculty and the community they will serve, he said. “We’ll be enhancing the quality and curriculum of those programs.”

Degrees currently offered:

Practical Nursing Program (working toward LPN licensure)

Associate Degree Nursing Program (working toward RN licensure)

Medical Assisting (1 year certificate)

Medical Laboratory Technician (associate’s degree program)

Certified Nursing Assistant (less than one year)

For more information, visit the USU Nursing and Health Professions website, or contact Travis Peterson.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Four TEDxUSU presenters have CEHS ties

The TEDxUSU lineup for 2014 has 19 presenters, including Olympic medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace and science fiction novelist Orson Scott Card.

Of the remaining 17, four have ties to the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. If you want to know how to navigate the tricky waters of cross-cultural interactions, feel more energetic, understand tween activism in the virtual world, and explore the dramatic side of science, this is the event for you. It takes place on Oct. 29.

Dr. Melanie Domenech Rodriguez, a psychology professor will address diversity on a personal level.

photo of Melanie Rodriguez
Melanie Domenech
From the TEDxUSU website:  "While institutions use policies and procedures to structure and integrate diversity into organizations, the manner in which individuals navigate cross- and multicultural exchanges can be much more treacherous. Many individuals often fail. … Dr. Domenech Rodriguez makes the case for continuing to engage--to "fail better"--with each interaction.

Dr. Deborah Fields will speak on tween activism online. She is an assistant
Photo of Deborah Fields
Deborah Fields
professor in the Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences department who pioneered craft technologies at USU.

From TEDxUSU: For better or worse, virtual worlds and online sites have figured much more prominently as centers for play in kids' daily lives. And as in reality, where there are "playgrounds" there are inevitable and familiar social tensions. Drawing on nearly a decade of research in a popular virtual world, Deborah Fields illuminates the ways that kids responsibly confront these challenges. 

photo of Jenna Glover
Jenna Glover
Dr. Jenna Glover, an adjunct faculty member of the Psychology department, focuses on energy.

From TEDxUSU: How might your life be different if you were able to increase the amount of energy you felt each day and used this energy in more efficient ways? This talk invites you to consider how small changes in your day-to-day activities can lead to a more meaningful and fulfilling life.
photo of Nicole Martineau
Nicole Martineau

Nicole Martineau is a biology education major and a theater education minor. She has incorporated drama-based teaching strategies in a high school biology class, using the arts as a way to engage students.

From TEDxUSU: Incorporating the arts into math, science and technology classrooms has its challenges, but also has great potential as a teaching tool that can bring greater depth and understanding to students.

Tickets to TEDxUSU will be available Oct. 15. More information can be found on the event's website.

Friday, August 1, 2014

USU research: Water treadmill training shows promising results

a research participant and a researcher, both smiling
The aquatic treadmill research took place at the John Worley Sports Medicine Research
Center at Utah State University
By JoLynne Lyon

Research from Utah State University shows that intervals of high intensity training on a water treadmill significantly benefited people with osteoarthritis.

In fact, the benefits outweighed those derived from other forms of land-based exercise—probably because the study participants could receive a good workout without fear of falling or putting too much strain on their joints. What’s more, the pain experienced by the study subjects was significantly reduced.

The results were so encouraging, some study subjects didn’t want it to end. “To this day I have people asking me if they could participate again in aquatic treadmill research,” said Eadric Bressel, the study’s lead author and a professor at the Health, Physical Education andRecreation Department in the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services.

Bressel said he runs into former study subjects in grocery stores and on campus, and they want to come back for more.

For now, the training at USU remains part of a research program, so its availability to the public is limited.

“It is possible that people who do not have access to an aquatic treadmill may still derive the benefits in a traditional pool environment by engaging in high intensity efforts for 30 seconds to three minutes,” said Bressel. “However, our research did not test this mode of aquatic exercise.”

Research shows that high intensity interval training may have additional health benefits when compared to traditional moderate exercise, he said—whether the person who does the workout has osteoarthritis or not.

The study was funded by the National Swimming Pool Foundation and published this month in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. It found that its participants experienced significantly less joint pain, improved balance, and better mobility after participating in a six-week exercise regimen. After the completion of the six weeks, participants’ walking speed was nearly identical to that of people without arthritis.

photo of a smiling participant in the pool
These benefits came without adverse effects, other than mild to moderate muscle fatigue.

You can find the article online or in the August issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Additional study authors are Jessica Wing  and Dennis Dolny of Utah State University and Andrew Miller of Arizona State University.

For more information, contact Eadric Bressel.

Friday, July 25, 2014

TeacherLINK TechBytes Newsletter for August 2014

In this Issue...
  • 5 Free Courses for Teachers’ Professional Development.
  • Building Houses with 3D Printers
  • Will 3D Printers Change the World?
  • 3D Printing Goes Commercial
  • Enhance Your Google Searches With These Tips and Tricks
  • New Flexible OLED Displays
  • Free Online Event: Become a Google Tools Expert
  • TextHelp Launches a Free Fluency Tool
  • - Free Video & Audio Tools
  • Free Webinar Series: GLOBE and Next Generation Science Standards Alignment
  • Louisiana Tech University Online Course — Steps to STEM: NASA Education Resources for STEM Engagement
  • REGISTRATION OPEN: Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2014
  • Free iOS Apps: Duolingo; National Archives DocsTeach; To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis; CK-12 studyNow
  • New Technologies: Pano 100” multi-touch table; iOptic Augmented Reality Contact Lens; Youm Flexible Displays
  • How to Stop Auto-Playing Videos in FaceBook using Chrome
  • Neurobridge
  • Rio Firefly Handcycle

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

TeacherLINK TechBytes Newsletter for July 2014 is now available (Free!)


This free ten page PDF file is filled with links to great teacher resources!  If this is something that is useful to you, please check out the earlier newsletters at the same URL.  The newsletter is provided courtesy of the Adele & Dale Young Education Technology Center (the YETC), part of the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education & Human Services.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Award-winning designs were created here at CEHS

Two Utah State University students won awards for their high-tech craft designs earlier this month, demonstrating that technology can have a playful side.

The Sensors Contest was a partnership between Radio Shack and Instructables, an online, do-it-yourself community. It challenged people to incorporate sensors into a design and create a step by step "instructable" that could be shared with the community. Students Suzanne Fluty and Kenneth Larsen both created projects in the Craft Technologies class and submitted them in the contest.

They walked away with two of the contest's five second place prize packages.

Larsen created the Lily Pad Arduino Sensor Demo Mat. A YouTube video shows how it works:

Fluty created the Tilt Activated Cloud Light. If you don't know what that is, you can see it demonstrated here:

The Craft Technologies class is taught by Deborah Fields of the Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences department. Both second place prizes included a quad copter, a sensor kit and an xbee kit--and the winnings can be used to create more playful designs.