Interview with Dr. Charlene Wong

Researchers (from left) Mike Kaiser, Charlene Wong and Cjloe Vinoya
Researchers (from left) Mike Kaiser, Charlene Wong and Cjloe Vinoya (Photo by Emma Lee/WHYY) Link to WHYY NewsWorks story below.

Charlene Wong is a pediatrician in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program here at Penn.  I spoke with her about her recent study on how young adults use Healthcare.Gov to choose health insurance, and also about the ways in which the WIC was able to support her team in that process.

Q: Hi Charlene.  Tell me about the study you did.

CW: We did a study looking at how young adults are able to navigate and make decisions about the health insurance plans on HealthCare.gov. We were really excited because from the study we were able to make 6 recommendations about how to change and improve HealthCare.gov to better support people in making informed, smart decisions about health insurance.
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Summer in Weigle

linkedin photoThis guest post by Amanda Gisonni, a junior in the College studying Psychology, describes her experiences over the summer using various resources in the Weigle Information Commons to improve her technology skills.

If you have ever been in the Weigle Information Commons before, you know it is a great place to work with a group. There are booths, study rooms and free-standing tables, plus talking is always welcome. But did you know it is a technology hub, too? It’s a place where you can get access to the latest gadgets, use top-notch software programs, and take hands-on workshops. Ultimately, you can learn how to use a new program like Excel, Photoshop, iMovie and more, which is exactly what I did this summer.

At the start of the summer I barely knew how to use Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator or WordPress. Now I can navigate my way through all three Adobe programs, and I even created my own WordPress website. How did I accomplish this? I spent time in Weigle. I took some WICshops, watched Lynda.com tutorials, and experimented with my own projects in some of the software programs.

This is the front and back of a business card I created with Adobe InDesign in the "Making Business Cards with Adobe InDesign" WICshop.
This is the front and back of a business card I created with Adobe InDesign in the “Making Business Cards with Adobe InDesign” WICshop in July.

Weigle is a great resource for students, but it’s disappointing that not everyone takes advantage of it. Students often get bogged down with school work and claim they simply do not have time. I disagree. I think if students knew how to use the resources available at Penn, they would.

Here is a simple guide to get you started:

  • Sign up for a WICshop (aka a Weigle Information Commons workshop). Check them out this September! Try WordPress Basics, Photoshop Layers, Making mini iMovies, and Crafting a better resume with InDesign and more!
  • Spend some time in a booth or group study room using the software programs on all of the computers. Experiment with InDesign, Photoshop, Excel and more. Reserve a spot here!
  • Don’t have the time to take a WICshop? Reserve a time slot on Lynda.com and learn at your own pace and on your own time! Check out all the videos that Lynda has to offer on the Lynda.com website.
  • Lastly, if you have any questions, just walk in! The Weigle Information Commons staff are friendly and eager to help you out! For those who do not know, Weigle is located in Van Pelt Library on the first floor. Enter through the turnstiles and take a left after the elevators, and then continue straight and you are there!

Check out Amanda’s website at www.amandagisonni.wordpress.com or follow her on Twitter @amandagisonni

Learning how to teach (Excel)

ImageThis guest post comes to us from Nicolette Tan, a junior in the College studying political science. She wrote this reflection essay during her participation in MGMT 353 Wharton Field Challenge in fall 2013. WIC staff assisted students in the seminar taught by Arjun Bhaskar and Samaira Sirajee with guidance from Professor Keith Weigelt in learning how to present Excel skills to small business owners in Philadelphia.

It’s one thing to know how to use Excel yourself; it’s another to be able to teach it.  Today’s workshop definitely showed me that teaching is hard, and even more so when you’ve only met these people for the first time. The class got off on a high note, when Grace asked the class to “Raise your hand if you’re excited about learning Excel!” and people cheered and raised their hands enthusiastically. One thing that strikes me every time is the positivity that the students bring to the class, and how eager they are to improve themselves – regardless of age or background, and I have so much respect for that. Continue reading

Infographics in PowerPoint

georgehundt1George Hundt is getting his Masters of Environmental Studies.  As an assignment for Yvette Bordeaux’s class on climate change, he had to create an infographic, and Dr. Bordeaux suggested using PowerPoint.

George wisely planned the entire graphic out on paper first (see his sketches below) and then came into the Vitale Digital Media Lab for assistance in translating his ideas into PowerPoint.  (Having no prior PowerPoint experience, George had also watched the Lynda.com PowerPoint training videos that we make available to Penn students, faculty and staff.) He was here for several hours, but finished the entire thing in one day.

The final info graphic is included here, and you can see what high quality work can be achieved just with PowerPoint and a little elbow grease.

Thanks to George for letting me share his work in our blog!
Arctic Infographic  georgehundt2georgehundt3

Canvas Office Hours at the EC

Throughout August, we’ll be holding Canvas office hours at the Education Commons for extra support in getting course sites up and running for the fall semester. Please see the Canvas at Penn blog post for more details and register on the EC’s workshop calendar.

The EC office hours are in addition to the many Canvas workshops and office hours being held at WIC throughout August. Please see the Canvas calendar to register for sessions happening at WIC.