Tuesday, August 16, 2011

El acoso escolar no sera tolerado!

La escuela está a la vuelta de la esquina para los estudiantes. Los estudiantes de secundaria comienzan la escuela hoy y los estudiantes universitarios van a comenzar pronto. Mientras estaba en facebook hace unos días atrás todos estaban hablando de cómo se iban a vestir, con que se iban a juntar, y cuales clases iban a tomar. Pero había un mensaje en particular que me llamó mucho la atención. Decia, "solicitud especial a todos los niños que regresan a la escuela en los próximos días: Si ves a alguien que está luchando por hacer amigos o están siendo intimidado por que él / ella no tienen muchos amigos o porque son tímidos o porque no están tan bonita/o o porque se visten con ropa que no esta a la moda -POR FAVOR ayúdalos. Diles hola o dales una sonrisa por lo menos en el pasillo. Nunca sabes por lo que esta persona podría estar enfrentando fuera de la escuela. Su bondad sólo puede hacer una gran diferencia en la vida de alguien.” Las estadísticas del acoso escolar del 2009 dicen que entre el 15 y el 25 por ciento de los estudiantes en general son víctimas frecuentes del acoso escolar y del 15 al 20 por ciento de estudiantes intimidan a otros estudiantes a menudo. Cuando leí este mensaje de facebook me puse muy contento porque no a sólo más de 20 jóvenes les gusto el mensaje pero también había muchos comentarios positivos y finalmente este mensaje terminó siendo repartido en otros facebooks. Esto demuestra que los jóvenes están tratando de hacer una diferencia para ponerle un fin al acoso escolar.

El acoso escolar es cuando alguien sigue haciendo o diciendo cosas que tienen poder sobre otra persona. No sólo el acoso escolar afecta a una persona mentalmente sino también físicamente. Algunos de los efectos del acoso escolar son la depresión, estar nervioso y distante, no querer ir a la escuela, ansiedad y tendencias suicidas. Si usted o alguien a su alrededor está siendo intimidado hay algunas cosas que usted puede hacer para detenerlo. Ignorar al agresor y aléjate. También es importante hablar con un adulto de confianza acerca de la situación, te escucharan. Si ves a alguien siendo intimidado siempre debes de tratar de ponerle un alto a la situación, por que si no lo haces el mensaje que estás dando es que tu estas de acuerdo con el acoso escolar.

El SCPOC ha estado trabajando en un video para crear conciencia sobre el acoso escolar. Vaz a poder verlo en un par de semanas pero por ahora me gustaría animar a todos los estudiantes a que le pongan un alto al acoso escolar.

Bullying will not be tolerated!

School is right around the corner for students. High school students start school today and college students are starting soon. While I was on facebook a few days ago everyone was talking about what they were going to wear, who they were going to hang out with, and what classes they had. But there was one post in particular that really caught my attention. It stated “Special request to all you kids returning to school in the next few days: If you see someone who is struggling to make friends or being bullied because he/she doesn't have many friends or because they are shy or not as pretty or not dressed in the most "in" clothes -PLEASE step up. Say hi or at least smile at them in the hallway. You never know what that person might be facing outside of school. Your kindness might just make a BIG difference in someone's life.” The 2009 Bullying statistics say that between 15 and 25 percent of students overall are frequent victims of bullying and 15 to 20 percent of students bully others often. To see this post elated me because not only did it have over 20 “likes” from other teens but it also had many positive comments and it eventually ended up being on other teen’s statuses. This demonstrates that teens are trying to make a difference and put a stop to bullying.

Bullying is when someone keeps doing or saying things to have power over another person. Not only does bullying affect someone mentally but also physically. Some effects of being bullied include depression, being nervous and distant, not wanting to go to school, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. If you or someone around you is being bullied there are a few things you can do to stop it. Ignore the bully and walk away. It is also important to talk to a trusted adult about the situation, they will listen to you. If you see someone being bullied you should always try to stop it otherwise the message that you are delivering is that bullying is okay with you.

The SCPOC has been working on an awareness video on bullying that you will be able to see in a few weeks but for now, I would like to encourage all students to do their part and put a stop to bullying.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Health Literacy: Your Health is in Your Communication

In a previous article about health literacy, "Warning: Your doctor and pharmacist's ineffective communication may be dangerous to your health", we discussed the importance of using plain English to ensure comprehension.

As a team member and contributor to the Travel Fit Club program, I have been thinking about a discussion I would like to host at a senior center. The discussion focuses on health literacy and how your health is in your communication.

Based on my experience in communicating with doctors while living abroad, I understand the challenges that accompany communicating with health professionals. Health settings can be stressful and scary, whether you are at a doctor's office, in the hospital, or at an imaging center for scans. Add specialized vocabulary, use of jargon, legal forms, complex procedures and processes, and you have the recipe for communication failure.

Studies show that if you are a typical patient, you remember less than half of what your doctor tries to explain.

Being literate means being informed and having knowledge and understanding. If you do not understand, how can you make the appropriate decisions about your health?

The three biggest obstacles to understanding are:

- The amount of time you spend with your doctor to be able to understand information.

- The embarrassment you feel when you do not understand what a doctor or a health professional says.

- The difference in power when you are half naked and you have a doctor in a white coat in front of you.

Limited health literacy affects everyone, regardless of age, race, income, or education. However, research shows that older adults, people with limited education, and people with limited English proficiency are more affected. For non-native English speakers, understanding may be compromised due to specialized vocabulary that health professionals use to communicate health information.

What can you do to be proactive to ensure you understand when you communicate with a doctor or a health professional?

Take the initiative!

- Plan ahead by making a list of questions and concerns to take with you to the doctor. Be sure you also include a list of the medication you are taking at the moment.

- If the doctor says something you do not understand, ask the doctor to repeat in simpler language.

- Take notes or take along an advocate who can take notes for you.

- If you are given a new set of instructions, repeat them back to the doctor to confirm your understanding.

- If the doctor gives you a new device to use, demonstrate how you think you are to use it.

- Insist that conversations about serious medical matters take place when you are dressed and in the doctor’s office.

Always remember that you are responsible for your communication, and ultimately, your health. By taking responsibility and actively participating in the decision-making process about your medical treatment, you can work with your doctor for your highest good.

The more you understand, the better you will be able to make decisions that affect your health.

You may reprint or publish this article if you provide my name, contact information, and website link at the end of the article.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Testing Mobile Websites using Mobile Emulators

I am a keen follower of Mobiforge.com (formerly known as dev.mobi) since they provide a great set of practical guidelines for mobile development.

In a recent post, Mike McQuillan provides one of the clearest set of guidelines I have seen recently on how to use mobile emulators for testing mobile websites.

With around 4500 mobile devices on the market today, testing across all platforms and devices is a big challenge. Emulators are a big help in this area (even though from experience, they come with a caveat of never being able to completely replicate 100% of what individual handsets will do).

Emulators are broken down into three main types:

  • Device emulators - These are generally provided by device manufacturers and simulate the actual device. Device emulators are excellent for testing your site or application on a particular device or set of devices.

  • Browser emulators - These simulate mobile browser environments. Whilst useful for determining the functionality available in a particular mobile browser, they are useless for device-specific testing.

  • Operating System Emulators - Microsoft provides emulators for Windows Mobile, and Google provides an emulator for Android. These run within a simulated mobile device environment and provide access to applications running within the operating system, e.g. a Web browser.

Web-based/browser emulators are the quickest to install and access. A good point Mike makes is that despite Nokia still being a leading handset manufacturer, there are surprisingly few handset emulators for their devices.

In order to access all the emulators from device manufacturers, you will need to register on the relevant Developer Portal. If you are looking to test a mobile website for iPhone and don´t have a MacBook there is no need to panic.

You can find a PC-friendly iPhone emulator at: http://testiphone.com/. I actually tested this with my blog (which is mobile-adapted) but the emulator failed to reproduce my website correctly, so I would treat this emulator with caution.

You can find more detailed instructions on each emulator (including set up screenshots) in the MobiForge article by clicking on this post´s title.