Education

New ways of presenting education in the twenty-first century.

  • VR: A Medical Direction December 18, 2016
    Over Coffee® is on Christmas hiatus.  We’ll be rebroadcasting some of our most popular episodes from 2016 for the next few weeks.  Have a great holiday!

    What if you had to spend a week in a hospital room?

    And what if your doctor could use virtual reality to help you “escape”–to just about anywhere else?

    That’s exactly what Dr. Brennan Spiegel is currently exploring.

    Dr. Spiegel, who is the  Director of Health Services Research in Academic Affairs and Clinical Transformation at Cedars Sinai, has been conducting studies in which he gives his patients virtual-reality headsets  to “transport” them out of their hospital rooms.   In addition to freeing the patients from what he calls the “biopsychosocial jail cell” that is hospitalization, Dr. Spiegel has had some surprising preliminary findings.

    Could virtual reality actually be more effective than narcotics, in managing pain?

    Nothing is conclusive yet.  However, during his presentation at the IDEAS Los Angeles conference, in June of 2016, Dr. Spiegel told his audience that virtual reality, in his studies so far, appeared to have been more effective than opiates, in pain management!

    Currently, Dr. Spiegel is involved in a larger study of virtual reality and its uses in different hospital environments.   (Here is a link to that study.)

    After the IDEAS conference, Dr. Spiegel explained how he first came to implement the use of virtual reality to help patients “escape” their hospital rooms.  He also discussed his experiences, recent findings, and his vision for virtual-reality therapy in the future.

    On this edition of Over Coffee® you’ll hear:
    • How Dr. Spiegel first became aware of the possibilities of virtual reality in a hospital setting;
    • His experiences with introducing the system to patients on the first day of the experiment;
    • The reasons some patients may not be eligible for a VR study;
    • Positive reactions and responses from some patients who have used therapeutic virtual reality;
    • His plans for a larger upcoming trial among Cedars-Sinai patients;
    • The projected date for results from the larger study;
    • Some of the best experiences Dr. Spiegel has had during the initial study of therapeutic virtual reality;
    • What a patient may experience while wearing the virtual-reality headset;
    • How the brain is functioning during the patient’s use of virtual reality;
    • Dr. Spiegel’s vision for the future, with medical use of virtual or mixed reality.

      (This post is for informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.  Please contact a healthcare professional if you have medical questions.)

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  • Opening Up Innovation December 7, 2016
    Over Coffee® is on Christmas hiatus.  We’ll be rebroadcasting some of our most popular episodes from 2016 for the next few weeks.  Have a great holiday!
    beth-beck-3

    “(Women) really are life hackers,” says Beth Beck.

    Beth, who is the Open Innovation Program Manager in the Office of the Chief Information Officer at NASA, is encouraging them to take those skills to the next level.


    In 2015, Beth came up with the idea of the “Open NASA Data Bootcamp”.  This is a day-long free event, geared specifically to women and newcomers, to take the mystery–and the scary parts–out of coding and problem-solving.

    beth-beck-what-is-code

    Participants get comfortable with these in a STEAM setting: learning to make light-up wearables, for example, or seeing binary code explained visually.   Then, these new skills give them the confidence to participate in  the NASA International Space Apps Challenge hackathon.

    beth-beck-what-is-my-role

    The NASA International Space Apps Challenge is a free, weekend-long event to which everyone is invited.  It’s a “hackathon for good”, during which participants team up to use NASA open data.  Working together,  teams use this data–along with provided technology–to find innovative solutions for global problems.   The Challenge culminates in team presentations, on Sunday, with the winning teams receiving prizes, such as JPL tours or the opportunity to see a space launch.

    beth-beck1

    At the 2016 Women in Data Bootcamp, at Pasadena’s Cross Campus facility, Beth talked about her background, her experiences designing the Data Bootcamp and the ways creativity is shaping the future.

    NASA just announced their 2017 International Space Apps Challenge hackathon dates!   Space Apps 2017 happens Saturday and Sunday, April 29th and 30th.

    Locations can apply to host Space Apps starting December 8, 2016.  Here’s the link to their Facebook page for information.

    In this episode of Over Coffee®, you’ll hear:
    • How Beth’s background nurtured her disruptive-thinking perspective and talents;
    • How the 80-20 ratio of men to women in Space Apps led to the creation of Data Bootcamp;
    • How Beth’s research findings laid the foundations for engaging more women in Space Apps;
    • Some new Space Apps participants’ experiences, after Data Bootcamp;
    • Beth’s recommendations for girls’ education for their future careers;
    • Some resources for new coders, to learn coding;
    • Beth’s observations about the reasons women may hesitate to try something new;
    • The trends she sees for innovators on the cutting edge of something new;
    • How Beth’s current dissertation explores innovation and creativity;
    • Why chaos and a difficult innovative process are okay;
    • How the Data Bootcamp has grown since its start in 2015;
    • Some new Data Bootcamp tools for 2016;
    • AND–a  NASA innovation for “citizen scientists”, announced during 2016 Data Bootcamp!

     

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  • Empowering a More Caring World October 14, 2016
    (Graphic courtesy of Reenie Images, and used with permission.)

    (Graphic courtesy of Reenie Images, and used with permission.)

    Willy Wilkinson is all about pioneering–with compassion and respect.   And he’ll be doing a live reading at San Gabriel Valley Pride’s fifteenth Pride Festival on Saturday afternoon, October 15th!


    As an award-winning transgender author, advocate and public health consultant, Willy’s work has involved implementing all kinds of “firsts”.

    He has trained, literally, hundreds of organizations on providing equal access to the LGBTQ community.  In the 1980s, he was the first transgender community health outreach worker to offer street-based HIV education to San Francisco’s sex workers and drug users.    (He was also the first Asian to do so.)   He was a founding board member of both Oakland’s Transgender Law Center, and San Francisco’s  Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center.   At the Transgender Law Center, he launched the nation’s first program to train healthcare providers in creating equal access for transgender patients.

    In his memoir Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency , Willy shares the story of his own journey.   (His book won the 2016 Lambda Literary Award, in the Transgender Nonfiction category!)

    With honesty and humor, Willy’s book offers a firsthand look at the challenges transgender individuals face on a daily basis.

    Growing up in the Bay Area as a child of mixed heritage (his mother’s Chinese, his father Caucasian), Willy always identified as a male.  However, since he was born female, his family’s expectations for him were very much at odds with his authentic self.  In the 1970s, he found no resources to combat the discrimination he encountered.   Today, his work involves  creating exactly these types of services, as he educates staffers in schools, medical organizations and workplaces.

    Having now transitioned medically from female to male, he also explores the health and discrimination issues facing the transgender community.  His book offers tools and checklists for starting dialogues and creating supportive environments.

    Willy talked about his background, his experiences as a dad and ways to support and welcome people of all gender identities.

    Come hear Willy read from his book, “Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency”, as San Gabriel Valley Pride Festival celebrates their fifteenth anniversary!   “XV on the Fifteenth” is a family-oriented, free celebration, happening Saturday, October 15th at Pasadena’s Central Park.  The address: 275 South Raymond Avenue, near Del Mar.  (Note: this is a new location.)  Hours are 11 am to 6 pm; Willy will be reading in the Authors’ Lounge at 1 that afternoon.  Here’s the link for more information.

    In this edition of Over Coffee® you’ll hear:
    • How Willy asserted his identity as a transgender child;
    • His journey, in the 1980s, to coming out as a transgender male;
    • One of his favorite stories about his experiences as a transgender dad;
    • The sobering facts about suicide in the transgender community;
    • Information on a new suicide-prevention resource specifically for transgender individuals, The Trans Lifeline;
    • Information about another resource for LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project;
    • Some of the considerations involved in creating service-provision environments that validate all members of our communities;
    • Ways to become more transgender-affirming in workplaces, schools or service-providing environments;
    • How to politely and respectfully approach a transgender person about appropriate terms and pronouns;
    • Information on a new school program Willy’s implementing;
    • One of his favorite experiences as an educator for cultural competency;
    • Where one person can start, to take action towards creating equality;
    • The political changes that need to happen, on a federal level, to ensure gender-identity protection from discrimination.

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Share and Enjoy

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