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The prize: The project (which had already earned two A grades from teacher Lynne Sueoka for the students — one each in social studies and media communications) brought acclaim to the young filmmakers and their school from people throughout the state who judged the videos or otherwise took part in the festival. And the acclaim came after the disappointment of taking no prizes in the National History Day competition, the event for which they initially produced the video. The difference in reception of the same product reinforced a valuable lesson: losing a competition does not mean a work is mediocre. Different audiences look for different things.

The place: Honolulu, Hawaii. The contest: the 2003 Hawaii Student Film Festival. The winners: Moanalua freshmen Bao Jun Lei, Mari Maeda, and Gerald Rojo II, who researched, videotaped, and edited a short documentary on child labor as part of their work in an integrated studies/multimedia program at Moanalua.

Natasia Gascon works on a multimedia project on states’ rights.

Credit: Edutopia

Presenting to a Larger Audience

Credit: Edutopia

Sueoka encourages her budding cineastes to share their schoolwork outside the classroom and to enter contests. “I want to give my students the experience of competing with the best — akin to sports teams who come up against worthy opponents where, in a hard-played game, everyone is, indeed, a winner,” she says.

“We did try harder because we wanted to win,” concurs Bao, a straight-A student whose dream is to become a video producer, filmmaker, or computer networker. “But we’re thinking next year we can do it even better.

Natasia Gascon, a student who put together a Web package on states’ rights for the National History Day competition, agrees that an outside audience is a big motivator. “Since we’re going to be presenting this to professional judges, historians, and a big audience, it kind of has an impact on our quality of work,” says Natasia. “We want to make sure they’re impressed with what we’re presenting.”

Integrated Studies

Natasia and Bao are two of fifty-five students in the two-year-old integrated language arts/multimedia, social studies/multimedia program at Moanalua High, a sprawling, 2,000-student concrete complex seven miles northwest of Waikiki with a view of Pearl Harbor and the blue Pacific. Producing high school graduates able to meet the challenges of an ever-changing technological world is just one of the goals of the program. It also aims to eliminate the anonymity of large high schools, teach students to think for themselves, and give them the skills to present their knowledge in new ways.

The integrated program is an offshoot of Moanalua’s Media Communications and Technology Learning Center, dubbed MeneMac for the school’s mascot. Drama and communications teacher Dan Hale was sold on the idea of integrating core curriculum with multimedia when he saw the results with lackluster students. “All of a sudden their achievement started going way up and they got real interested in the class,” Hale says. “And we thought, ‘Hey, let’s try and reproduce this maybe on a bigger level.'”

Sueoka’s ninth- and tenth-grade integrated classes are the result. Lectures are down to a precious few. Instead, students mostly do their own research or lead their own discussions, including ones on class listservs. When the class read To Kill a Mockingbird, Sueoka briefly guided the discussion. Then the projects related to the beloved Harper Lee novel began, which included not only multimedia but crossed over into social studies and civics as well. Students held a mock trial, which they videotaped. They were also assigned to follow up on the theme of injustice by finding examples closer to home, and by creating videos. Bao did his on why students aren’t allowed into R-rated movies. Gerald did his on unfair grading policies. Other topics included handicapped parking spaces and discrimination towards new immigrants by longer-term immigrants.

For an assignment on metaphors, Bao Jun Lei did a video of himself as a Jack-in-the-Box.

Credit: Edutopia

Jack-in-the-Box Metaphor

Credit: Edutopia

In a study of metaphors in poetry, the students were asked to write about metaphors in five poems and create a Web site to hold their work. Then they were to use them in a video about their own identities. Bao, who came to the United States from China when he was one year old, compared himself to a Jack-in-the-Box. His video shows a puppet bursting out of a box as “Pop Goes the Weasel” plays. In the next shot with the same music, Bao himself pops out of a box and then goes running through the campus. “Most people say that Bao is a wild and crazy kid,” the wild and crazy kid says in a voiceover. “Bao is the one who’s always everywhere, and that’s why he’s like a Jack-in-the-Box.

Students also wrote metaphorical poems. Rojo’s “steed” was his bright red scooter. Online student portfolios are the primary means of assessment. The students also must provide examples of work that show they meet the six “learner outcomes” required of all Hawaii students: be responsible for one’s own learning; understand that it is essential for human beings to work together; be involved in complex thinking and problem solving; recognize and produce quality performance and quality products; communicate effectively with a variety of audiences for a variety of purposes; and use a variety of technologies effectively and ethically.

Gerald Rojo II and Bao Jun Lei work on a video that eventually won the top prize at the Hawaii Student Film Festival.

Credit: Edutopia

A Critical Element

Credit: Edutopia

Sueoka views the technology as adding a critical element to the academic program, partly because it forces students to communicate in a different way — a way that requires them to really know the material. “It may be by having a voiceover. It may be by having a video clip. It may be by the provocative music they use in the background. And I feel when that happens, they have truly taken this information and rather than just given back in a term paper, they’ve made it their own,” she says.

Sueoka also sees great benefits — academic and social — in the smaller school-within-a-school, where she has the same students for three periods a day. “If you have them more often, and you have them for a longer period of time, you really then have the time to truly know them,” says Sueoka.

Schoolwork is a cooperative endeavor at Moanalua High School.

Credit: Edutopia

When Noise Means Work

Credit: Edutopia

Her classes do feel like a family affair. There is joshing and chatter that may qualify as chaos to traditionalists, but the good-humored banter is in the context of creating something together, hashing out ideas, discarding what doesn’t work and trying something else, and dividing work equitably and with an eye toward individual talents. There also is a good amount of quiet, focused concentration, especially as deadlines close in.

“When you talk about learning styles and diverse learners, technology does give students multiple ways to show whatever goals you have set,” says Sueoka.

Moanalua Principal Darrel Galera notes, however, that technology is a means to an end. “We’re not leading with the technology tools,” he says. “We are really starting with what the learning process is all about. We think that’s the secret.”

Whatever the philosophy behind the technology, Natasia knows she likes it. “The only reason I’m interested in school now is [because of] this program.”

To learn more about how Moanalua uses technology in language classes, see Ohayo Gozaimasu.

To learn how teacher Lynne Sueoka got interested in technology in schools and became expert enough to train other teachers, see One Teacher’s Story: Using E-mail as a Teaching Tool.

Diane Curtis is a veteran education writer and former editor for The George Lucas Educational Foundation.

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Helping Kids Get Into College

Helping Kids Get into College SMG students’ College AppAssist gives high schoolers a boost

Joseph McNiff (SMG’14) (left) helps Brighton High School senior Javier Plaza prepare for the SAT math section. Photo by Cydney Scott

It’s crunch time for Javier Plaza—he’s just one week away from taking the SATs. So at 11:30 on a Tuesday morning, Plaza meets up with Joseph McNiff in the Brighton High School library to help him prepare for the test. Books and worksheets are strewn across a large wooden table as the two review the formula for finding the area of a base of a cylinder.

“Area equals r2, so we have to solve for ‘r’,” says McNiff (SMG’14). Plaza starts to swipe his finger on his phone to pull up its calculator, but McNiff harkens back to his days of taking the SATs. “They don’t allow cell phones during the test,” he says, as he reaches into his backpack. “Here, I brought you an old-fashioned calculator to take with you.”

Plaza is enrolled in College AppAssist, a nonprofit organization formed by School of Management students that works with high schools to identify students who want to go to college, but lack a support system, and to match them with mentors who help them navigate the college admissions maze. The organization—made up of 11 BU students—is working with its first class, 10 Brighton High School seniors.

“When I met Joe for the first time I knew it would work,” says Plaza. “He helped me make a plan of going to a community college for two years, and then applying to a four-year school after that. I’m thinking about majoring in law, psychology, maybe music. I’m just excited to get there.”

College AppAssist works with students one-on-one, helping them with things that people with a strong home support system often take for granted—they tutor students for SATs, read over their Common Application essays, and help explain the workings of financial aid. A few weeks ago McNiff brought Plaza to BU to give him a college tour.

“College AppAssist started as a conversation between five friends our sophomore year,” says McNiff, the group’s founding president. “I like the idea that we’re only a few years older than the kids we’re working with, so we remember what it was like applying and how tough it can be.”

The organization was conceived in June 2012, but it had to secure IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status before it could get off the ground. “It was an intense, monthslong process that required us to answer questions like how are you organized and what is your mission statement,” McNiff says. “It pointed out things to us that we hadn’t thought about or had overlooked. We were forced to get our ideas down on paper, and in the end it was really useful.”

To encourage high school students to join the program, College AppAssist gives each $250 to use towards textbooks and tuition. The money comes from the more than $3,500 in corporate donations that the nonprofit has raised over the past year.

The group relies on high school guidance counselors and teachers to recommend students who would be a good fit. The enrollees are all low-income students and most come from families without college experience. Alexandria Chong (SMG’14), for example, works with a high school student who lived part of his life in an African refugee camp. “His Common App essay is about what education means to him,” Chong says. “He’s estranged from his mother, so I’ve been helping him think of which schools he should apply to and what he plans to major in—he’s thinking of engineering at one of the UMass schools.”

College AppAssist members hope to expand to more local high schools next year and also to create a formal application process. They are considering starting branches of their nonprofit at other colleges.

McNiff is one of four seniors in the group committed to continuing their relationships even after they graduate. “We want to be seen as someone they can go to with questions as they navigate college,” says McNiff, who is thinking about law school after graduation. “Whether it’s which class to register for or a question about laundry, we want to be ongoing mentors.”

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13 Typing Games For Kids To Learn How To Type Faster

In today’s digital world, it’s essential for kids to know how to type. Even in elementary school, technology is the norm with most kids having at least a budget-priced laptop to use.

However, learning how to type fast doesn’t have to be a chore. Below are 13 free typing games for kids to get a head start on their typing skills while having fun.

Table of Contents

1.   TypeRush

TypeRush is one of many typing games for kids. First, the game gives children a series of sentences to copy.

Fancier cars are unlocked as the child types faster and racks up points.

In collaboration with teachers, TypeTastic created colorful and fun typing game for kids.

Designed for children of all ages, TypeTastic plays in a specific order. As kids build on their typing speed skills, they move on to the next level. TypeTastic offers different levels of games for children from kindergarten through high school.

Alpha Munchies is a free typing game for elementary school children.

Kids can start as beginners and work their way toward the expert level game. The goal of Alpha Munchies is to hit the flying and hungry alpha critters before they land and munch on the food by typing in the correct letter above them.

Key Seeker is a good choice of typing games for kids who are kindergarten age and younger.

This game is a matching and interactive tool that helps young children recognize letters on a keyboard. It teaches them to use the correct hand to strike the key by using color-coded letters.  

Dance Mat Typing helps children of all ages learn and improve their typing skills in a 12-step program.

By using cute characters and compelling obstacles, Dance Mat Typing starts kids off slowly. It teaches them correct positioning and typing techniques while challenging them to progress to the next level.

Children receive a printable reward certificate when they pass a stage in this free typing game.

Pro-Tip: For parents concerned about their child’s internet access to any site while using these educational tools on a SmartPhone, try one of these child monitoring apps.

Type-a-Balloon is a fun typing game for kids that is perfect for all ages.

The goal is to pop the balloons before they move away. To pop the balloon, kids must type the correct letter on it.

The game notifies children that typing an incorrect letter will cause them to lose points.

The strategy of this free typing game is to hit the right key at the right time.

Because Type Type Revolution focuses on recognition and timing skills, it’s best suited for older children who want to improve their typing speed.

To begin the game, children select one of ten songs. The object of this typing game is to hit the correct letter before it gets to the top row of letters.

Keyman moves through the maze eating the dots before the colorful ghosts catch him. Children navigate Keyman by typing the different letters that appear above, below, and to either side of the dots.

Every time a letter is typed, the navigation changes. It’s such a fun game that kids don’t even realize they are learning how to improve their typing skills.

The goal of this free typing game is to type text on the box to help the Ninja beat the monsters.

The game’s multiple difficulty levels make it a good match for kids of all ages. Each child starts with three lives.

For each monster a kid doesn’t beat, a life is lost. If all three lives are lost, so is the game. Beating all the monsters wins the game.

The Typing of the Ghosts is another free typing game designed for older children.

It’s a useful game for children who want to increase their typing speeds. The goal of the game is to type a word as fast as possible before the ghosts in the background approach you.

Each child starts with five lives. However, if a kid isn’t fast enough, a ghost can take away one of the five lives.

There is no timer in this game. So, it’s fun and appropriate for kids who are just learning the alphabet.

In Keyboard Climber 2, a monkey is stuck in a cave. Players help the monkey jump up rock platforms. They do this by recognizing the letters on the screen.

Each correctly typed letter gives the monkey a bunch of bananas. If the child types the wrong letter, a coconut falls on the monkey’s head, and the level restarts.

Typing chef is a free typing game where kids are apprentices working for a master chef.

Typing Chef measures speed and time as kids work their way up to a higher-level kitchen job by typing words before they move to the top of the screen.

The objective of Alphabet Shoot is to pass as many levels as possible out of a total of thirty.

To pass on to the next level, kids must aim and fire by moving the mouse and pressing the matching letter.

Speed is determined by how long a child holds down the letter key before releasing it. There is a limit to how many shots are allowed for each letter.

Make Learning Fun With Free Typing Games For Kids

If learning is fun and the online educational tools you use are well built, kids are more likely to want to learn. Colorful animations and fun typing games for kids will help children of all ages learn how to master a keyboard and improve their typing speed.

45,000 Pcworld Readers Name The Brands They Love (And Love To Hate)

Although so many modern conveniences are eminently disposable—think ball-point pens, cheap umbrellas and any article of clothing purchased at a drugstore—this reality has failed to resonate with discerning technology enthusiasts. Computer and gadget buyers still want their gear to work well, to look good, and to last for the long haul. To find out how consumer technology products have been faring, PCWorld launched in August its annual survey of satisfaction, reliability, and service, polling more than 45,000 PCWorld readers (we tabulated the results in mid-November).

You can jump straight to the results by hitting the links in the next section of this intro, but first we encourage you to learn a bit about how we conducted our study.

A new approach

This year’s approach represents a simplification of prior years’ methodology, in which we reported the results as below average, average, or above average. Now we provide actual satisfaction scores, usually on a scale of 1 to 10, which should make the results clearer and easier to compare.

We investigated five categories, asking readers about their laptops, desktops, and printers, as well as about their smartphones and tablets (you can see the results for the latter two categories on our sister site TechHive). And for the most part, users seem to be fairly happy with all of them. Overall, the numbers are positive and seem to be improving from year to year. Measures of device reliability, for example, have improved considerably since 2011.

For starters, last year an aggregate of about 28 percent of users reported a significant problem with their smartphone. In 2012, only 16 percent reported a problem. The picture is similar for laptops: In 2011, about 23 percent of users cited issues with a device. In 2012, just 15 percent did.

Winners and losers

Of course, not everything is rosy across the board in the world of tech. Although satisfaction and reliability numbers are seemingly on the rise, we still found clear winners and losers in the survey.

The biggest winner in 2012: Apple. In overall satisfaction, the company took top honors in laptops, desktops, and smartphones, and sat near the top in tablets. Both Samsung and Asus did well in multiple categories; Asus snuck past the competition to grab the lead in tablets, while Samsung topped printers. Lenovo also showed well in several categories, hindered only by a relatively poor showing in the tablet arena.

In keeping with history, market-share leaders Dell and HP did poorly on most categories, with both their home and business products. Both companies trailed in laptops, and had a fairly weak showing in tablets. HP’s printers landed squarely in the middle of the pack, while satisfaction with Dell-branded printers wound up at the bottom of the list. On a more positive front, both companies did a bit better in desktops, with their home PCs scoring respectably. In addition, they made significant gains in reliability: For desktops and laptops, reports of problems fell this year, sometimes by 10 percent. HP’s business laptops ranked as the second-most reliable.

Slicing the data a different way, we also discovered distinctions in surveyed consumers’ satisfaction with different categories of devices. The desktops and printers categories had the highest overall satisfaction numbers. Smartphones and tablets, less-mature products that companies are still refining, got the lowest scores.

You might think that device reliability would be closely tied to satisfaction levels, but that turned out not to be the case. As a category, tablets received relatively low product-satisfaction scores, but tablet “satisfaction with reliability” scores were high (8.5 out of 10, on average), and only 12 percent of surveyed tablet users reported significant problems. With 18 percent of users reporting trouble, and with a 7.7 rating, smartphones ranked as the least-reliable category. And 58 percent of those reporting a phone problem said it was bad enough to seriously impair their operation of the device.

Survey methodology, and what the measures mean

We surveyed more than 45,000 PCWorld readers who responded to email messages about our survey. We analyzed their responses to understand their satisfaction levels with the tech brands they own, as well as the reliability of the products and the effectiveness with which the companies supported them when problems arose.

It’s important to note that our survey results don’t necessarily represent the opinions of a given company’s customers as a whole. And because our data comes only from PCWorld readers who chose to take the survey, our results don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of PCWorld readers in general.

Surveyed PCWorld readers rated hardware vendors in five product categories: laptops, desktops, printers, smartphones, and tablets.

Each category contains satisfaction measurements of various features and characteristics of the products, such as “design,” “video quality,” and “touchscreen responsiveness.” We also asked several questions to evaluate users’ satisfaction with the value of the product, as well as their likelihood to recommend the product to others—perhaps the greatest indicator of overall satisfaction with a brand’s products.

The reliability measurements express how many brand owners have experienced a serious problem with their device within a reasonable product life span, as well as a measurement of the user’s overall satisfaction with the reliability of the product.

Customer service measurements reveal the companies’ success at solving problems through online, phone, and in-person support methods, as well as users’ overall satisfaction with customer support.

Usually we measured satisfaction levels on a 1-to-10 scale where 1 means “extremely dissatisfied” and 10 means “extremely satisfied. If a vendor received fewer than 30 responses in a subsection, we discarded the results as statistically insignificant. This threshold prevented us from rating some smaller companies.

In the smartphones and tablets categories, we measured several aspects of the ease of use of the products. In the smartphone category, we also measured users’ satisfaction with the wireless Internet service quality and voice call quality that their wireless carrier provided.

Reliability measures

Any significant problem (all devices): Based on the percentage of survey respondents who reported any problem at all during the product’s lifetime.

Overall satisfaction with reliability (all devices): Based on the owner’s overall satisfaction with the reliability of the device.

Service measures (laptops, desktops, and printers)

Unresolved problem: Based on the percentage of survey respondents who said their problem was never fixed despite their contact with the company’s support service.

Service experience: Based on readers’ responses to a series of questions focusing on 11 specific aspects of their experience with the company’s service department.

Accessing Multimedia Using Qr Codes

Students of all ages are required to read text for a variety of purposes. With a large emphasis placed on teaching skills that help children tackle nonfiction, it’s important to think about the different ways that students are gathering facts and details as they take in information. Teachers need to think beyond traditional text and make sure that their students have the necessary skills for processing, evaluating, and comprehending multimedia.

Not a Trend, But a Tool

Locating and sharing high quality multimedia content can be difficult. Even when you’ve found the perfect text to share with students, the next step can be logistically challenging. Getting articles, audio clips, images, and videos into the hands of your students is often easier said than done. I’ve shared the many reasons why I think QR (Quick Response) codes can make everyday classroom tasks simpler. When it comes to helping your students access multimedia in any form, try using QR codes to distribute the link and keep your classroom organized.

Many tech-enthusiastic educators have written off QR codes as a passing trend that can be replaced with augmented reality triggers. Scannable technology, especially augmented reality, is exciting and useful. It can be included in a variety of learning environments, and I encourage you to explore augmented reality and how it can be used with your students.

For teachers just getting started with technology, or those looking for flexibility in a BYOD (bring your own device) environment, QR codes still have an important place in a tech-friendly classroom. Students can use any device that has a QR code reader app to scan a teacher-created QR code and instantly view a hand-picked website. This is perfect in classrooms that have a mix of devices — iPad, iPod Touch, webcam-enabled laptop — and works well when teachers have to share devices with colleagues in their school. As long as their tablet or smartphone has a camera and a QR code reader app, students will be ready to scan the QR codes you’ve created and will be able to access multimedia text.

Curating and Sharing

Any multimedia found on the Internet can be linked to a QR code. Students can be sent to a specific YouTube or Vimeo clip using a link to that video. If teachers want their students to look at a primary source document, they can send them to a link connected to that image as opposed to a website that has a variety of pictures. This gives you the power to curate resources you’ve located on the Internet and even differentiate your instruction by sending different students or groups of students to multimedia that is connected to a leveled task.

Even though there are tons of great resources online to share with students, you might have an audio clip, movie file, or document that you want to place in their hands. File sharing services like Dropbox let users share files of any type through a URL or Web link. We often use this type of link to share a file with someone when it is too large to attach to an email. Another option that’s perfect for the classroom is turning this link into a QR code so that students can scan the link and access any file a teacher has chosen for them. It’s a great way to curate multimedia resources for your students, whether it’s a current events article to read, a radio broadcast to listen to, or a news clip to watch.

Our students are digital natives, born in an age where they use Google at the library instead of searching through a card catalog. Teachers already know how to find the right resources for their students. Whether they are connecting multimedia to their curriculum or differentiating an assignment for groups, it’s now easier than ever to put high-quality information in the hands of students. By attaching multimedia to a QR code, you can help students quickly access the perfect video, audio, or text using their mobile device.

Helping Parents Help Their Adhd Child

Helping Parents Help Their ADHD Child Research shows that training caregivers to train parents is effective

Low-income children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder could be better helped if their parents received skills counseling, Silverstein says.

About 11 percent of American children between age 4 and 17 are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

So says Michael Silverstein, a Boston University School of Medicine (MED) associate professor of pediatrics and a pediatrician at BMC, MED’s teaching hospital. The generally accepted best ADHD treatment, he says, is so-called collaborative care, where a case manager serves as a liaison between the child’s pediatrician and a specialist, such as a psychiatrist, tapped for his or her expertise. Yet most patients never get that background specialist (although the Affordable Care Act has begun to plug that hole in medicine), Silverstein says. Worse, low-income children with ADHD likely wouldn’t benefit even from collaborative care, Silverstein adds, for three reasons: research shows 30 percent of those children have mothers with either depression or ADHD themselves; low-income ADHD children typically have other problems, such as learning disabilities, complicating their health needs; and parents don’t always follow through on doctor’s orders for their kids’ treatment.

Silverstein wondered if those families would be helped by enhanced collaborative care: training the case managers to inquire, in “nonjudgmental” language, about issues in the family’s life that may impede sticking to the therapeutic plan and then gently motivating parents to do so. He led a study that over the course of a year tracked 156 urban 6- to 12-year-olds whose doctors had requested they be tested for ADHD (40 percent ultimately were diagnosed with the condition). The researchers randomly assigned half the children to receive collaborative care and the rest to its enhanced cousin.

The results, published in April 2024 in the journal Pediatrics, found that while the condition of all the children improved during the year, those who received enhanced care and were ADHD-diagnosable showed the greatest decrease in hyperactivity, inattention, impulsive behavior, and trouble with social skills.

BU Research talked to Silverstein about his research.

BU Research: ADHD tends to fade as a child ages. How important is it that we get proper care, and particularly this enhanced collaborative care?

Silverstein: There’s very convincing data that children with ADHD have worse outcomes than children without ADHD well into their 20s. Studies demonstrate that kids with ADHD have a more difficult time maintaining their relationships and holding down jobs in their early adulthood than children who didn’t have it. ADHD is not merely a constellation of irritating behaviors that get better; ADHD is a constellation of symptoms and behaviors that have meaningful impact over the course of an individual’s life. We don’t know whether treating ADHD effectively in the school-age years improves outcomes decades later. But we do know that kids with ADHD aren’t perfectly fine in their 20s, which pushes most of us to want to address and treat the condition during the school-age years.

Why did you look at that undiagnosed population as opposed to kids already diagnosed with ADHD?

We felt that that was a more patient-centered approach. It’s easy to use conventional labels—depressed, not depressed; schizophrenic, not schizophrenic; ADHD, not ADHD. But from the family’s perspective, whether you call it ADHD or something else, it’s still a constellation of concerning behaviors. Every child who was in that study had behaviors that made the parents concerned enough to bring them to the doctor and made the doctor concerned enough to do a formal evaluation for ADHD.

We saw substantial differences 12 full months after in the kids who were actually diagnosed with ADHD and received enhanced care.

Substantial differences meaning…?

In their inattention, in their hyperactivity. Everyone improved. But the people who were given the enhanced collaborative care model improved over and above the people who were in the standard collaborative care model.

There’s nothing in your study to suggest that enhanced collaborative care might actually reduce or eliminate the need for pharmaceuticals that are now used in ADHD?

You’re completely right. We weren’t asking the question, “Do these interpersonal, behavioral strategies take the place of medication management?” We were asking, “If you use a system where care managers are communicating with the families in a well-thought-out, client-centered way, are those kids going to get better?”

One of the benefits, I take it, might be that parents would be more attentive to giving necessary medication.

Yes, exactly. I have a suspicion, based on talking to the docs, based on interacting with some of the families myself, and based on the data of the study, that through this strategy of communicating with the families, they felt more empowered. It started a cascade of events: better communication between the physician and the families, better adherence to recommendations, and probably some modifications to parenting strategies that happen at home. I would call them more positive parenting techniques, adherence to treatment guidelines.

At a time when the health system is trying to eliminate excess costs, this sounds like a more expensive standard of care.

Care management and the coordination of care across disciplines, across generalists and specialists, is now the expectation for how primary care is going to be delivered. For example, in our hospital, if we can demonstrate that we adhere to these principles, we get better reimbursement rates through Medicaid. Reimbursements are going to be tied to quality and things like that. Enhanced care adds two to four days of training, not much more than that.

Based on the results of your study, is enhanced collaborative care going to be standard operating procedure for ADHD kids at BMC?

We’re definitely working on it. Translating research to practice is always a tricky thing and a challenge.

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