Tag Archives: Technology

SMACC are you going?


Social-Media-IconsThe 2013 SMACC (Social Media and Critical Care) conference will be held in Sydney from the 11th to the 13th of March. It is the coming together of emergency medicine, critical care and social media. You can check out all the details at smacc.net.au. It is the future. Whether you like it or not. I am a new convert to social media and up until a few years ago avoided all forms of technology based endeavours. My husband handled the home stuff, and my kids helped me out with the TV remote (and I hate to admit it but sometimes still do). However now I make sure they take the time to show me things instead of doing it for me, much to their frustration as it would definitely be quicker for them to just do it for me, but these days I insist.

My foray into the world of blogging, (which started with me reading them on a regular basis) has been a tentative step and one that I have relished as time goes on. There are things I’m planning on doing with my blog in the future and I am interested in new possibilities that arise almost daily, but I find I just need to take my time and work through them, with or without help, but ultimately doing it myself is the only way to learn.

As a student nurse in a hospital training setting 22 years ago we were spoon fed during our lectures, we did not use personal computers and had no on-line resources. I did know how to use a library though. I have always learnt best in a practical setting and by writing stuff out, reading information from a screen doesn’t seem to work for me when required to retain the knowledge. And by the way our lectures went from 8am to 4.30pm monday to friday for the entire “block” which was anywhere from 3 to 6 week stints. Of course during university study later I had a crash course in using a computer for assignments and online research. At the time I was studying I was pregnant with my first child and spent 16 weeks vomiting and extremely unwell and after deferring for 12 months I returned to study with a baby/toddler. During the last semester of my study I gave birth to my second child and attended lectures with him in tow (I was amazed at the anti-discriminating nature of university). So needless to say, I was a little distracted and my heart not completely into mastering the technology required at that stage of my life.

I am sure there must be lots of nurses with similar circumstances. Perhaps of the same age? So for all you whippersnappers out there, who were born into a world where you can’t imagine life without Facebook and wonder how my generation ever kept in touch with our friends, if you see my struggle, be patient, I am trying and so are many others from similar backgrounds. There are others of the same generation who are streets ahead in the technology department and the world of social media, I admire them and I am also so jealous. But for the moment I will just be proud of what I have achieved so far.

I now need to log in and do all this years mandatory competencies in the new online format whilst I’m on holidays. I will not have the opportunity to take the time I need at work and be disruption free. It will take a little while to get my head around it all the first time. And maybe the second time as I will have forgotten how to do it by next year. There is no off-line time given for this at work unfortunately.

So don’t forget to check out smack.net.au and if you’re not already into it, read a few more blogs, follow the ones that interest you, have a look at some online education. Don’t know where to start? Google. Search something that interests you, read and watch, refresh by reading up on something you came across at work today. You will eventually find sites that suit you and you can like and favourite them. What is the one thing you haven’t had the chance to see or do yet? Google it!

I would love to hear about your favourite online resources. I have slowly been increasing the people and journals that I follow on twitter, each one leading to discovering more and more interesting sites. I am connecting with similar people through Linked in and I have a few medical apps, the latest one called “Upshot” which I’m still sussing out at the moment. I have about eight podcasts that I listen to regularly, my favourites are probably the EMCRIT and EMRAP podcasts. If you haven’t already then you should check them out. My favourite nursing blog is currently Impactednurse.com. So please share your favourites in the comment section below, or plug your own!

Stay safe, be happy,

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Teenagers,Technology and Trust.

Teenagers,Technology and Trust.

I recently had a friend of mine ask my advice about what we do regarding our daughters laptop use. Her daughter will be getting one next school year.
All of the advice given to parents says, keep computers out of kids bedrooms. Then they get to grade nine, aged fourteen and the school laptop program kicks in. Provided by the school, paid for by parents, each child is given their own laptop. This is to be used in class, used for assignments and used for homework. It has Internet access and school based programs and filters. You really can’t say no thank you, we won’t have one. The school then has several guest speakers visit and talk to the kids and the parents about Internet safety. Most of which is quite frightening.
Our daughter up to this point had been doing homework at her desk in her bedroom. Driven there mostly due to two little brothers and the household’s evening noise and chaos at the dining table and lounge room. So her bedroom is where the laptop was being used. One of her first assignments after being given the laptop was done as a pair and this required our daughter to be talking to her friend over the internet whilst doing the assignment together. Back in my day we would have needed to be driven to our friends place to do the assignment together. It would have been a combination of chatter and work. Which was exactly what was going on online during this assignment too.
My husband and I discussed this computer being in our daughters room, neither of us was very happy about the position we were in. To follow the advice of the experts we needed to remove her and the laptop from her room to the dining room table, have no television, and keep two boys settled and quiet until 8:30pm every night. She would also spend many nights studying and working on assignments until very late and that would mean one of us should stay up and supervise what she was doing. Technically we should have been able to see her screen and be able to see her working. Imagine  for a moment changing your evenings in your household to this extent. Possible but not desirable.
Our daughter has always had our trust, she is mature, smart, sensible and reliable, she understands that she has our trust and she realizes that if anything happens to change that then the activities she does and the freedom she enjoys will stop. She also gets good grades at school and in the end what we decided to do in our household is to allow our daughter to have the laptop in her room. We reiterated all the safety information we could and let her know that if her grades dropped or anything happened that was inappropriate then she would be removed to the kitchen table.
Two years later she has continued to get mostly A’s and she continues to have our trust too. With so many things in our children’s lives once they are out of our sight and supervision we leave them open to all the same risks we worry about online so I believe that it is important to teach your children appropriate strategies and actions, keep an open line of commutation and talk regularly with your children about what is happening in their lives and what’s happening with their friendships. I have also been the instigator of dinners and contact lists with her friends mum’s, we are becoming good friends and we are able to share information with each other and we have all seen first hand what a great group of girls they are. We are all very lucky.
I trust my daughter to go to the movies and spend time with her friends, knowing that her behaviour will be appropriate and responsible. I know she is not going to engage in behaviour that she knows I won’t approve of because she also knows that those things are either stupid, risky or unsafe. When out with her friends, just like when using her laptop in her room, she has the potential to be approached by a stranger, or someone who is not who they say they are. What I have to do is trust her to respond appropriately in either case. As hard as it is to let them go we cannot keep then locked in the house all their lives. And I know that this will probably be a controversial opinion but we allow our daughter to use her lap top in her room because we trust her to respond appropriately and know that she will speak to us if she ever has a problem online.
What strategies do you use in your household to monitor your children’s use of technology?
I would love to hear what you do!
Stay safe, be happy,

Technology in the Bedroom???