Archive | July, 2014

HAPS and Twitter

28 Jul

HAPS_TwitterSo I think I might be finally starting to figure out Twitter.  I have been trying to climb aboard the Twitter train since January.  I took my first step and created an account in February.  (My twitter handle is @wendyriggs47.)  I tweeted my first shy tweet in March, and was hacked a week later.  Slowly my tweet-rate increased as we neared the HAPS annual conference and peaked somewhere during the middle of the conference. My tweet-rate then plummeted shortly after I returned home from the event.  I’ve been trying valiantly to re-tweet the twitterings of Kevin Petti and the Anatomia Italiana crew as they adventure through Italy (@AnatomiaItalian), but until recently, I continued to feel generally baffled by the whole Twitter scene.

And then, for some unknown reason, everything seemed to click and instead of dreading my Twitter-time,  I actually started looking forward to seeing who said what on my Twitter feed.  I think it took me awhile to figure out who to follow and who to NOT follow.  For example, back in February, (under the advice of my young brother), I started following the tweets from “Politico.”  I’m not kidding—those guys must have been tweeting something every 30 seconds.  I was horrified and overwhelmed by the massive quantity of their tweets and couldn’t even begin to sort through what things I might be interested in exploring more fully.

But lately, I’ve honed the list of tweeters I follow (bye bye Politico, hello Valerie O’Loughlin) and I actually enjoy checking out what is reported.  In the last few days of Twitter-time, I found an interesting blog post on flipping the classroom entitled 4 Tips for Flipped Learning by Joe Hirsch, a fantastic TED talk on the adolescent brain by cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, and a set of classroom-ready case studies for A&P from the Life Science Teaching Resource Community.  (Seriously?! How is it possible I’ve never seen this before?!)  It is exciting to see potential like this and I’d love to see the HAPS twitter feed (@HumanAandPSoc) become such a valuable and dynamic source of ideas.

So take this week’s poll to share how YOU engage with Twitter.

Musings on Video Lectures…

21 Jul
In this lecture, I received 2 phone calls,  1 text message, dropped my phone, and had a sympathetic nervous response when something fell off the wall in my office.  I think I should re-record this lecture.

In this lecture, I received 2 phone calls, 1 text message, dropped my phone, and had a sympathetic nervous response when something fell off the wall in my office. I think I should re-record this lecture.

Summer is such a luxurious time to reflect on my teaching and get fired up to make improvements.  It is so nice to feel my excitement growing as I get my class materials together for the fall semester, which is only a month away.

After settling into the decision NOT to flip Human Biology this fall, I decided to make use of all the extra time I would have to re-record my Human Anatomy video lectures.  I feel this is a little bit insane…this will be my 4th time teaching (and flipping) Human Anatomy and my third time re-recording my flipped video lectures.  It seems more than mildly insane to re-record lectures this often, but I understand that I am not only ironing out the wrinkles in my flipped pedagogy, but I am also ironing out the wrinkles in my presentation of CONTENT.  I have taken it for granted that in a traditional classroom I get to re-work my lectures and improve on my craft every time I teach the course.  This is a fantastic assurance that I will constantly GET BETTER.  But in the flipped scene, improving the lectures is much more time consuming.  Nonetheless,  I am clearly in need of creating a “new edition” of my lectures, though I am sincerely hopeful that THIS set of videos will last more than one semester.

As I prepare to record lectures, I can already tell that the videos will be better.  I have a better understanding of the big picture, which will make the individual pieces fit together more cleanly.  I have more experience with the tricky parts which allows me to emphasize the concepts that will be most helpful to my students.  And I am hoping to record the lectures at a more leisurely (and reasonable) pace, without the imminent deadlines that inevitably means I end up trying to present content in front of a video camera in my office by myself, exhausted and delirious, at two in the morning.  Ahem.  My fingers are crossed.

Why Join HAPS? So Many Reasons…

14 Jul
Join HAPS.

Check out the list of reasons why you should be a member of HAPS.

Are you a member of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society?  If not, it is time to make it happen.  Being a member of HAPS is, without a doubt, the single most important thing I’ve done in my career to become a better teacher.  Two years ago, when I was deciding to flip my Anatomy class for the first time, I posed several questions to the email listserv, requesting input and pedagogical advice that helped define and hone my approach.  Once, I asked the list about the wisdom of comprehensive exams.  Dee Silverthorn sent me a copy of her comprehensive exam as an example.  And I can’t even count the number of times that Valerie O’Loughlin has pumped me up with enthusiastic pep talks.  My students get wide-eyed when I tell them the authors of their textbooks are answering my questions (and theirs).   To me, this alone is worth the price of membership.  And yet this is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the benefits of being a dues paying HAPSter.

We will soon begin a series on the blog describing all the benefits of joining HAPS.  You might be surprised at some the resources you have access to as a HAPSter.

As the chair of the Communication Committee, I am excited to help increase membership.  So tell me true.  Why are you a member of HAPS?

25- HAPS and Social Media

7 Jul

I am the chair of the HAPS Communication Committee (affectionately known as the HAPS ComCom).  Our committee’s task is to promote HAPS via social media.  This is a really interesting task.  HAPS currently has active accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.  We are exploring Instagram as well.

Wow...there are a lot of ways to share your thoughts via social media.  But who's listening?

Wow…there are a lot of ways to share your thoughts via social media. But who’s listening?

But when I think about all the possible social media outlets, it is easy to become overwhelmed.  How can we increase our audience?  And how many HAPSters participate in social media anyway?  It actually became a rather amusing quest for me at the annual conference in May to find HAPSters who tweet…let me just say tweeting HAPSters were few and far between.  Thankfully, we did find Sarah Balizan, (also known as the HAPS Twitter Queen), who’s doing an inspirational job of keeping the HAPS Twitter account active.

Right now, and for the next couple of weeks, we will be engaged in a bit of a social media experiment with the Anatomia Italiana crew while they are on their exciting Italian field trip starting this week.  Team leader Kevin Petti has generously agreed to provide us with lots of social media fodder to share.  He will be writing posts for this blog, as well as doing daily updates via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.  Our Communications Committee is mobilized to re-tweet, favorite, and otherwise share his Italian updates.   I’m excited to see if our team can generate some increased interest in our social media presence.

So I’m curious.  How do HAPSters use social media?  Are you interested in following Anatomia Italiana around Italy?  Do you tweet?  Do you use Facebook?  Have you explored Google+ or LinkedIn?

So weigh in on this poll and follow the hype for the next couple of weeks.  Then let us know what you think.  In the meantime, happy communicating!

HAPS in Italy Starts Next Week!!!

2 Jul

Buongiorno a tutti!!!

On Sunday, July 6, a total of 28 anatomists will convene in Italy for Anatomia Italiana 2014. This summer marks the third year of a program Connecting Art and Anatomy. We will visit the world’s oldest anatomy theaters at universities in Padua and Bologna. We will examine 250 year-old wax anatomical sculptures that are works of art in their own right at the University of Florence. Renaissance masterpieces in Rome, Florence, and Venice will be considered from a fresh perspective: Did the artists and sculptors of 15th and 16th centuries conduct human dissection to enhance their art?

More of us are incorporating cultural concepts into our classes, and this lived experience provides the underpinnings for such interdisciplinary endeavors. Indeed, this entire experience is intended to enrich the teaching and learning of our colleagues and their students.

The diversity of this year’s group demonstrates how these ideas are spreading. Participants are coming from as far away as Qatar and New Zealand! A variety of professionals are enrolling too: scientific illustrators, oil portrait artists, and midwives are seeing the value of Connecting Art and Anatomy.

Some folks enrolled in the HAPS-I course option, and are getting graduate credit. Just this week we finished the last of our Skype sessions discussing journal articles exploring the history of anatomy in Italy, and the role of anatomy in Renaissance art. In just a few days we will go beyond the books, and live the history. Click here for more information about the HAPS-I course option.

If you like, you can follow us while abroad. I plan to utilize social media on a daily basis. You can follow Anatomia Italiana on Instagram @Anatomia_Italiana; on Twitter @AnatomiaItalian (notice the subtle difference in spelling), or on Facebook at facebook.com/AnatomiaItaliana. I will be using the hashtags: #HAPSinItaly and #AnatomiaItaliana2014

If this whole social media thing is too much for you, no worries as I will also post to this blog on a weekly basis. No matter the medium, it will be fun and instructive to keep an eye on your HAPS colleagues as we stand in the room William Harvey dissected, and before the lecture podium of Galileo. And my apologies in advance for the photos of fresh pasta, fine wine, and the Chianti countryside!

Buona giornata, e ci sentiamo presto,

Kevin Petti, Ph.D.
San Diego Miramar College