Illustration by Edpuzzle Staff
Have you ever considered using technology to drive student engagement in health class? It’s a game-changer!
Let’s face it… health class isn’t given the same respect as core subjects like math or English, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t vitally important for your students.
In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has done research on the link between student health and academic performance, and the results are staggering.
The study found that D- and F-students as opposed to mostly A-students were 11 times more likely to have injected illegal drugs, 4 times more likely to have had 4+ sexual partners, 5 times more likely to miss school because their safety was at risk, and twice as likely to experience symptoms of depression.
This is exactly where the importance of health class comes in. The CDC has worked to ensure that “health education policies and practices reflect scientific evidence and are implemented effectively so that all students receive age-appropriate health information.”
But as with all education policy, it boils down to what happens between the teacher and their students in the classroom.
With Edpuzzle’s online student health certification, you can take your health instruction into the 21st century and set your students on a path to a lifetime of healthy living.
Module 1: Your Everyday Health
The first module is a fantastic overview of the importance of taking care of yourself in your daily life and creating healthy habits early on.
One of the first topics covered is personal hygiene, which is a delicate yet incredibly important subject to cover with students. By watching a video on the topic, students may feel more comfortable than discussing it with the teacher in front of all of their peers.
The next video dives into the importance of exercise. Beyond providing evidence as to why it’s so critical (it boosts your endorphins, mood and memory), it also talks about the benefit of team sports, which are available for all students to try out for at a majority of schools.
There’s also an exercise routine for beginners, which is perfect for students to try in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. It also stresses the importance of focusing on wellness rather than weight loss, which is of vital importance for students who could be suffering from eating disorders.
The final video is all about sleep, which is absolutely crucial for students. It’s full of practical tips your students can try out right away to get a better night’s sleep.
Module 2: Eat Smart
The next group of videos is all about eating healthy. Keep in mind that for many of your students, this might be new territory.
It may be difficult for them to eat healthy at home because of their families’ habits or financial limitations, so make sure to give some extra support by providing them with helpful suggestions. And of course, getting your school cafeteria on board with serving healthful, well-rounded meals is essential!
In this module, your students will explore videos on the link between the food you put into your body and how it affects your brain, what exactly a calorie is and how to balance them, the ChooseMyPlate.gov website for healthy meal planning, and even a video with easy recipes your students can replicate at home.
You could even have a healthy food day for extra credit to celebrate the end of this module, or have your students record their own recipe videos and upload them to Edpuzzle’s student projects!
Module 3: Mental Well-Being
The dialogue around student mental health has thankfully progressed by leaps and bounds in the past several years. Schools are now waking up to the fact that addressing mental health is of vital importance for their students’ safety and well-being.
Here students will explore how to control their own self-critics, practical ways to manage stress, how practicing mindfulness can quiet anxiety and stress, and quick tips to boost your confidence, including developing a growth mindset.
You can supplement the video lessons by doing a guided mindful meditation with your students in class. They might feel awkward about it in the beginning, but by providing students with a safe space for a moment of quiet reflection, you could be giving them exactly the relief they never knew they needed!
Module 4: Interpersonal Relationships
Teaching your students about how to cultivate healthy relationships is key, especially at a time when social interactions can be particularly tricky.
Students will watch videos on improving communication and the importance of active listening (truly listening and waiting to form a response until after the other person has finished). The module also tackles peer pressure and strategies to avoid it, like taking an alternative action.
Finally, students will learn what a healthy relationship looks like (that it’s based on respect, equity and communication) and on the other end of the spectrum, what characterizes an abusive relationship plus how to safely exit one.
Module 5: Sexual Health
Sexual education is vitally important for keeping students safe and healthy. From videos on puberty specifically for boys and girls, to defining STD’s and exploring contraceptives, this module will give your students the information they need to make healthy choices.
There’s also a video defining sexual assault to help students understand the importance of consent.
Module 6: Drugs and Alcohol
In the final module, you’ll find videos on dangerous recreational drugs, the effects of alcohol on your brain, and all of the reasons not to smoke (or vape).
Students will learn why they’re exceptionally vulnerable to drug and alcohol use because of the effects they could have on their brain development since at their age, their brains are still growing.
How to Use the Student Health Certification Course
The great thing about Edpuzzle’s online course is that you can use it as is, or you can copy the videos of your choice and add your own questions and comments as you see fit.
The course contains videos for elementary, middle and high school, so you can pick and choose which ones are right for your students.
When it comes to watching the videos, you can view them together as a group, have your students watch individually on their own devices, or assign them for homework so your students’ parents also have the option to get in on the discussion.
After all, school and family involvement can have a huge impact on student well-being. The CDC reports that “School and family connectedness during adolescence are linked to reductions in poor health outcomes in adulthood.”
Any way you choose to use the course, the knowledge your students will be gaining will do them a world of good that goes well beyond the classroom.
So, check out the course online and bring technology into your health class – the results will speak for themselves!