Realityworks is Thankful for…

The team at Realityworks has so much to be grateful for this year. Here are the words that came to mind when asked what we are must thankful for this Thanksgiving:

A few team members shared more about what they are grateful for:

“I am thankful for friends, old and new.” – Sarah Philen, Account Manager

“I am thankful for my co-workers, some of the most supportive and hard-working people I know!” – Casey Kooiman, International Business Consultant

“I am thankful for all of the regular things…like kids, dogs and a warm house. But there are those that do not have what I have, and I am thankful for caring people who GIVE at this time of year so others can have also.” – Christine Medina, Account Services Representative

“I am most thankful for getting to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my family.” – Lisa Rolf, Marketing Intern

“I am thankful for all of the dedicated educators around the world that take the time to care, nurture, inspire, and prepare our youth for a successful life journey.” – Timmothy Boettcher, President & CEO

Teaching In-Demand Skills: How Healthcare Educators Engage Today’s Students

By Emily Kuhn, Realityworks Marketing Communication Specialist

Note: This article was originally published in the October 2017 issue of Techniques. ACTE members can read the complete article on page 19 of the current issue. Not a member? Click here to join and access this monthly career and technical education publication.

Healthcare educators are changing the way they teach patient care skills, and for good reason. Not only is U.S. demand for healthcare expected to grow twice as fast as the national economy in the next eight years, but older Americans are retiring in droves 800,000 in the last quarter of 2016 alone (Carnevale, 2012 & Kawa, 2017). As demand for nursing and geriatric care skills increases, so will the importance of using teaching tools and resources that truly engage the new generations of healthcare students — students with shorter attention spans, better technology skills and a stronger desire for authentic, real-world learning experiences than their predecessors (Hawkins, 2015).

“Curriculum may not have changed, but students are definitely changing,” said Kasey Carlson, RN, MSN, M.Ed. A nursing faculty member and educational technologist at a Wisconsin college, Carlson was a registered nurse for six years and has taught in the healthcare field for more than 10. “We used to do a lot of textbook and lectures, with very little hands-on experience. When I went to school, we didn’t have a whole lot of technology; a standard mannequin was a brand-new concept to us. But now we are looking at a generation that has been brought up with multimedia and video games. They are more real-life focused. They remember more if they have an experience.”

Teaching Today’s Digital Natives

You may have heard the term “digital native” used to describe today’s students, most of whom were born after 1995 and are therefore members of “Generation Z.” They are considered digital natives because they grew up with technology, and have never known a world without media. This means that the standard classroom model where an educator stands in front of the class and lectures just doesn’t work. Generation Z students want to be successful — in fact, the desire to change the world is a hallmark of this generation — but they will disengage with the discussion if they don’t feel connected or if they don’t see the relevance (Wotapka, 2017). Generation Z students are accustomed to immediate feedback. Current technology enables them to learn anything, anytime, anywhere. The world is at their fingertips. Thus, these students are not satisfied simply hearing about a topic. They want to see it, touch it and feel it.

That’s why Miranda Kessler, RN-BSN, is using interactive tools like age simulation suits in her health occupations program at Nicholas County Career and Technical Education Center in West Virginia. Not only do her feedback-hungry students thrive when given opportunities to engage in active learning opportunities, but such activities can help them develop employability skills like critical thinking, problem solving and attention to detail — skills that some hiring managers have found lacking in today’s students (Dishman, 2016). In the two decades she has been helping 11th- and 12th-graders prepare to obtain their state nursing assistant certifications, Kessler has seen firsthand the way her students’ learning styles have changed, and she strives to incorporate interactive teaching tools like simulators as often as she can.

“Years ago, everything was done with paper and pencil. You read the book, did the worksheet, took a written test and moved on until you got through the material and it was time for clinicals,” said Kessler. “Now, technology is front and center. Anything that captures students’ attention and can get them excited and make them want to learn is welcome in my classroom. And ‘cool tools’ like simulators always keep my kids’ attention.”

Cool Tools for Engaging Generation Z

When Kessler saw literature for the RealCare Geriatric Simulator at an education conference, she went straight to her administrator to share the discovery.

“When I told my principal about the simulator and he saw how excited I was to implement it into my program, he bought in immediately,” recalled Kessler. “He was actually the first person to try it when it arrived! He was amazed by how it changed his normal, routine activities and made everything feel much more physically demanding.”

The Geriatric Simulator sensitivity suit allows students to experience a variety of age-related physical challenges. It includes a weighted vest, ankle weights, wrist weights, elbow restraints, knee restraints, gloves, a cervical collar and visual impairment glasses. When students try to accomplish tasks like walking around, opening pill bottles and buttoning shirts, they begin to understand the way physical challenges like decreased mobility, stooped posture, cataracts and glaucoma can affect daily life.

“I wanted to be able to teach my students to be more understanding and empathetic with the aging process once we made it into our clinical rotation at the local nursing home,” Kessler said of why she incorporated the simulator into her program. “I wanted them to understand why the residents moved so slowly and I wanted them to learn to be patient and kind while working with them.”

According to Carlson, tools like wearable simulators can help healthcare educators address employability skills like empathy and sensitivity toward the elderly.

“Empathy is one of the most difficult things to teach a student. It’s something students have to experience and grow themselves, versus being told to do it,” Carlson said. “The hands-on component allows students to think critically through a procedure, but also focus on the patient, and on professionalism.”

ACTE members, log in to read the complete article on page 18 of the October Techniques issue. Not a member? Click here to join.

Safe, Spark-Free Welding Training

Over 50 percent of U.S. products require welding, including race cars, bridges, ships, computers, medical devices, farm equipment, gas pipelines, skyscrapers, automobiles, train tracks, airplanes and scooters.

Welding Training

Welding training programs are effective in many settings. One of the places these programs can be successful is correctional facilities.

Studies have shown that inmates who take part in education programs have a 43% lower recidivism rate than those who don’t.

What’s more, every dollar spent on funding prison education programs can drastically reduce incarceration costs in the first three years post-release.

Here are two more statistics for you: The U.S. will need 400,000 welders by 2025. Right now, 81% of manufacturers cannot find enough skilled workers.

Safe & Effective

The guideWELD® VR welding simulator is a safe, effective way to teach students and inmates alike valuable welding skills they can use to get a job in the manufacturing field.

Sparks are not generated. Internet is not required. All you need is a computer and a power source.

Learn More

See the guideWELD VR welding simulator in action.

For a limited time, you can SAVE $1,000 on the guideWELD VR welding simulator and guideWELD LIVE real welding guidance system. Click here to learn more.

Go Back to School with this Great Welding Promo!

Special Offer: Free YETI Cooler with guideWELD® Purchase*

Right now, receive a free YETI Hopper Flip™ 12 cooler when you purchase the guideWELD® VR welding simulator or the guideWELD® LIVE real welding guidance system.

guideWELD® VR welding simulator features:

  • Most affordable welding simulator on the market
  • GMAW/MIG welding and SMAW/stick welding available
  • Monitors assignments, student progress and gives personalized feedback
  • No licensing fees and unlimited seats for users
  • Curriculum included

guideWELD® LIVE real welding guidance system features:

  • Instant welding technique feedback inside helmet during live welding
  • Heads-up display shows guides for work angle, travel angle and speed
  • Comes with 18 Welding Procedure Specifications and ability to customize WPS’s
  • Curriculum included

See our entire line of Welding and Trade Skills products here.

*DISCLAIMER: No other discount applies. No credits on free items. One YETI Hopper Flip™ 12 cooler per purchase. Expires October 31, 2017.

Finding Inspiration

By Diane Ross, M.Ed., Realityworks Senior Field Account Manager for NC, SC, VA, WV

I attended the NC WORKS Conference last month and walked away truly inspired.  I work in sales for Realityworks and keeping a pipeline of customers is essential for company survival.  Inspiration comes from seeing students become successful in life as a result of our products.

NC WORKS is not really focused on just finding jobs for people, but that is a GOOD thing.  They are focused on preparing people for well-paying careers and they have a great plan in place.  The pipeline starts with Career and Technical Education Directors looking at middle school, where kids explore careers suited to their intellect, their interest and their lifestyles.  That pipeline extends to high school, where students begin to make career choices, such as healthcare, or welding, or electrical trades, for instance.

Students choose a life career pathway that leads them to a certification, such as Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).  But, the NC WORKS group does not want the student to stop there.  They want the student to get that certification as a step into post-secondary, where the community college might take the student from CNA into an allied health field, such as respiratory therapy.

The goal is to get a student highly skilled so that they can best support themselves (salary) in their communities. That salary amount depends on where they choose to live, such as the higher end for areas like Charlotte and maybe less for more rural areas.

The bottom line here is the planning that goes into making sure we are pointing students toward careers that will allow them to live and prosper, create and support their families and be productive citizens.

The good news is that the products that my company is offering align directly in the pathways laid out by the NC WORKS commission.  Our products allow students to experience workplace skills, such as geriatric nursing, welding or electrical trades in a safe environment and allows a student to find out early if they are well-suited for this line of profession.  That makes me feel good.

This is a big charge to take on especially with and this month’s proposed Presidential Budget.  It is aimed at cutting Career and Technical Education funding by a national average of 15%, this certainly won’t help this initiative.  In North Carolina alone, according to ACTE, the state could lose 28% of federal funding under the President’s proposed budget.

Let’s hope they keep working on that budget and keep education in focus.

6 Reasons to Meet Realityworks at the Association for Career & Technical Education’s CareerTech VISION Conference

Every year, the Realityworks team journeys to the largest annual gathering of Career & Technical Education (CTE) professionals in a single location: The Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE)’s CareerTech VISION Conference. We typically plan for this conference a good year in advance, and this year is no exception. Held in the Las Vegas Convention Center from November 30 – December 2, this year’s conference will be attended by thousands of technology education professionals, educators and industry representatives. From product exhibits and presentations to interactive demonstrations and more, there are countless reasons to meet Realityworks at ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2016 Conference at Booth #529. Here are our top 6!

  1. Preview interactive products and simulators for nursing skills training, including injection training, elderly nursing care and catheterization
  2. Explore the new RealCareer™ Geriatric Sensory Impairment Kit, a set of wearable simulators that mimic hearing impairment, arthritis and hand tremors
  3. See the new Birth Process Kit, which includes six large, lifelike models that depict each stage of the birthing process
  4. Get a SNEAK PEEK at our one-of-a-kind animal science and plant science models, including detailed animal and stomach models and a plant science kit (available in 2017)
  5. Try virtual reality welding with the guideWELD® VR welding simulator
  6. Conduct live welding with the guideWELD® LIVE real welding guidance system

guideweld

Additional ways you can interact with Realityworks at VISION 2016 include:

  • Attend the “Baby Basics and Best Practices” pre-conference workshop we are co-hosting with the National Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences on November 30
  • Join us at the NATFACS Awards Reception, ACTEBabywhere
    we’ll be raffling off a new
    RealCare Baby 3 infant simulator
  • Attend the “Create Student Engagement Through Experiential Learning Tools” pre-conference workshop we are is co-hosting with the National Association of Agriculture Educators on November 30, where we’ll be raffling off one of our NEW animal science models
  • Attend the Health Occupations Student Association (HOSA) Luncheon we are co-hosting with HOSA on December 1, where we’ll be raffling off a RealCare™ Geriatric Simulator and sharing more details on our new experiential learning tools for health sciences
  • Share your selfie for a chance to win! tweet a selfie with your favorite Realityworks product in our booth and tag us @Realityworksinc and the show #VISION16 for your chance to win a Realityworks mug!

You can still register for ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2016 Conference online by clicking here. We hope to see you there!

3 Reasons to Meet Us in Vegas for RealCare® Baby Basics and Best Practices

Every year, the Realityworks team journeys to the largest annual gathering of Career & Technical Education (CTE) professionals in a single location: the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE)’s CareerTech VISION Conference. In fact, we start planning for this conference a good year in advance! For the first time, we are planning a pre-conference workshop on Wednesday, November 30 all about RealCare Baby. Designed for current and prospective users, this pre-conference session is an opportunity for you to learn from a subject matter expert in person! Why join us in Vegas on November 30?

img_0301

1. Get RealCare Baby program best practices. What are the best ways to engage students with RealCare Baby? How can you use this powerful tool to make an even bigger impact on your students? What are seasoned users doing to succeed? We’ll answer these questions and more!

2. Discover career exploration activities. Did you know that RealCare Baby can help your students prepare for careers in education and human services? Join us to get ideas and activities that will help you prepare your students for careers.

3. Get our NEW RealCare™ Preemie Baby. Have you heard? The RealCare™ Preemie Baby is our newest experiential learning tool. It’s modeled after a preterm infant born at 30 weeks and is designed to help students, caregivers and parents-to-be understand the unique challenges and often complicated medical problems that can be associated with preterm birth. By attending our pre-conference workshop, you’ll receive a complimentary Preemie Baby from Realityworks!

preemie-withjanelle

What: RealCare® Baby Basics and Best Practices
When: Wednesday, November 30, from 1-5:00 p.m.
Cost: $150

Ready to register? Visit the conference website here.

Realityworks to Unveil Seven New Products at National Career & Technical Education Conference

By Janelle Krause, Realityworks Public Relations & Events Specialist

EAU CLAIRE, Wis., November 3, 2015 – On November 19, Realityworks, Inc will join over 5,000 educators, education influencers and corporate representatives from across the nation at the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE)’s CareerTech VISION 2015 Conference in New Orleans, LA to demonstrate and display seven new products, present a series of educational sessions and exhibit current programs and products. The experiential learning company has been helping educators teach students with interactive educational products for over 20 years, and these new products will further help educators teach the hands-on career and life skills students need to succeed in college and careers.

“Realityworks is consistently listening to and examining the education market for ways we can assist in educating our youth,” said Timm Boettcher, President & CEO of Realityworks. “Our employees are passionate about bringing educators materials and ideas to improve the human condition, and we are looking forward to hearing feedback on our new product offerings while at the ACTE conference.”

Three of the featured new products will be added to Realityworks’ flagship RealCare® line, which includes RealCare® Baby: the RealCare™ Geriatric Simulator, which helps educators teach topics related to aging and care for the elderly by enabling participants to experience age-related challenges; the RealCare™ Fetal Development Kit, which gives students hands-on understanding of human development stages; and the RealCare™ Pregnancy Torso, which provide an in-depth look at embryo and fetal development.

The RealCare™ Fetal Development Kit

The RealCare™ Fetal Development Kit

Realityworks will also be featuring the RealCareer™ Employability Skills Program, which is designed for use in any Career & Technical Education course to educate students on important soft skills to advance their college- and career-readiness.

The RealCareer™ Employability Skills Program

The RealCareer™ Employability Skills Program

The remaining featured new products will be added to Realityworks’ RealCareer® Welding Solutions line: the RealCareer™ Weld Defects Kit, a hands-on tool that teaches students how to identify and correct common weld defects and discontinuities; the RealCareer™ Bend Tester, a bend test machine with curriculum that can train welders how to evaluate the quality of their welds, qualify a bend-tested weld and determine a welder’s skill level; and the guideWELD® VR welding simulator, which will now feature both GMAW/MIG welding and SMAW/stick welding.

The RealCareer™ Bend Tester

The RealCareer™ Bend Tester

For more information on Realityworks visit us at www.realityworks.com or call 800-262-3806.

About Realityworks, Inc.
Established 20 years ago to better address parenting skills, teen pregnancy prevention, child abuse and neglect through educational products, Realityworks, Inc. is dedicated to creating experiential learning tools that engage students while improving the human condition. Most famous for their RealCare® Baby infant simulator (formerly known as Baby Think it Over® or BTIO®), Realityworks has developed several other programs over the last decade that address career preparation areas like business management, finance and entrepreneurship and most recently, welding. Realityworks’ RealCareer® Welding Solutions line includes the guideWELD® VR welding simulator and guideWELD® LIVE real welding guidance system. With products in 62 percent of U.S. school districts and programs in more than 90 countries around the world, Realityworks has made a worldwide impact. For more information, visit www.realityworks.com, or call toll-free 800-830-1416.

# # #

Media Contact:

Janelle Krause
Realityworks
Public Relations and Event Specialist
Janelle.Krause@realityworks.com
715-858-7121

Realityworks is gearing up for ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2015 Conference

by Emily Kuhn, Realityworks Marketing Automation Specialist

Every year, the Realityworks team journeys to the largest annual gathering of Career & Technical Education (CTE) professionals in a single location: The Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE)’s CareerTech VISION Conference. In fact, we plan for this conference a good year in advance! This year’s VISION 2015 conference will be held in New Orleans November 19 – 22, and our team couldn’t be more excited about the product demonstrations, presentations and exhibits we have planned for attendees this year. Don’t miss your chance to see Realityworks in person at VISION 2015 (Booth #723)!

We’ll be exhibiting our full line of experiential learning tools for Family & Consumer Sciences, Health and Health Occupations:

NewProduct-FetalDevKit-200wide

We will also be displaying our full line of experiential learning tools for Welding Education & Training:

NewProduct-BendTester-233wide

Our online simulations for Business Education will be available to explore:

  • RealCareer® Business Management Simulation
  • RealCareer® Entrepreneurship Simulation
  • RealCareer® Business Finance Simulation

And we’re excited to debut a brand-new product for Soft Skill Development & Career Preparation:

NewProduct-Employability-2332ide

Our subject matter experts are looking forward to presenting at several Idea Labs scheduled throughout the conference:

  • Integrating 21st Century Technology for Special Populations
    Friday, November 20 | 12:15 – 1:15 p.m. | Room 254 | Session Code 2201
  • How Industry-Education Collaboration Can Address Area Workforce Needs
    Presented by Realityworks President & CEO Timm Boettcher | Friday, November 20 | 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. Room 264 | Session Code 2196
  • Using Technology to Create Future Welders
    Friday, November 20 | 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. | Room 268 | Session Code 2205
  • Career Exploration Lessons for the FACS Classroom
    Friday, November 20 | 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. | Room 261
  • Integrating Experiential Learning Technology & Game-Like Interfaces into the Classroom
    Saturday, November 21 | 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. | Room 346-347 | Session Code 2198
  • Give Your Students an Advantage Through Soft Skill Development
    Saturday, November 21 | 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. | Room 350-351
  • Using Gamification to Drive Student Engagement
    Sunday, November 22 | 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. | Room 333 | Session Code 2117

You can download the VISION 2015 program guide here.

Other opportunities to interact with Realityworks:

  • Exhibitor Workshop: Using Technology in the Welding Classroom to Increase Student Knowledge & Engagement
    Friday, November 20 | 11:00 – 11:50 a.m. | Workshop #2 | Exhibit Hall
  • 2015 National Association of Agricultural Educators Convention
    Are you an agricultural educator? Join 600+ of your peers at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, where RealCareer® Product Manager Jamey McIntosh and a seasoned guideWELD® product user will be exhibiting our welding education and training tools. If you’re registered for this event, we’ll see you there!
    Friday, November 20 | 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • NATFACS Awards Brunch
    Are you a FACS teacher? Join RealCare® Product Manager Denise Bodart at the NATFACS Awards Brunch on Saturday, November 21, where we’ll be giving away a RealCare Baby 3. If you’re registered for this event, we’ll see you there!
    Saturday, November 21 | 10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Ernest N. Morial Convention Center | Room 252-253
  • FACS Division Showcase: Best Practices Table
    Join Realityworks Account Manager Eric Bechtel to learn more about our experiential learning tools for FACS and Health educators, get RealCare Baby tips and more. If you’re ready for this event, we’ll see you there!
    Saturday, November 21 | 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. | Ernest N. Morial Convention Center | Room 262

You can still register for ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2015 Conference online by clicking here. We hope to see you there!

Realityworks President Named to EdNET 2015 Advisory Board

[Eau Claire, WI] – January 12, 2015 – Realityworks, Inc., is proud to announce the selection of company president Timm Boettcher as an EdNET 2015 Advisory Board member. Boettcher’s pulse on the education industry and past work with education-focused organizations will assist him in bringing insightful new ideas to the board as it plans its annual conference.

2015 ACTE Business Leader of the Year

Realityworks President and CEO Timm Boettcher was recently named to the EdNET 2015 Advisory Board.

“I am excited and honored to become a greater part of an organization that helps to connect educational leaders and spark ideas among them,” said Boettcher. “By having a larger role in this organization, I hope to learn more about the trials that face educators today and assist in alleviating these challenges with innovative solutions.”

Boettcher is passionate about making sure today’s youth receive the best education possible and has worked to inspire collaboration with organizations across the country to reach this goal. In 2011, Boettcher saw the need for business leaders to advocate for Career and Technical Education (CTE) as critical in preparing tomorrow’s workforce for industry needs. With support from the Association for Career and Technical Education, Boettcher founded the Industry Workforce Needs Coalition (IWNC), a group of American business leaders with the common goal of strengthening and raising awareness for CTE in the United States. In addition to supporting CTE’s positive impact on students and the economy, the IWNC advocates for CTE programming, curricula and funding on federal, state and local levels. Boettcher recently supported EdNET by authoring a series of articles posted on EdNET Insight, a news information service for K-12 educators, as well as completing online speaking engagements to the EdNET audience.

As President and CEO of Realityworks, Inc., Boettcher has led the development of new products that provide hands-on experience in career preparation areas such as family and consumer sciences, health education business management, entrepreneurship and welding. Established 19 years ago to better address complex social and community challenges, Realityworks, Inc. is dedicated to creating experiential learning tools that engage students while improving the human condition through educational products. Under Boettcher’s leadership, the company’s products have been adopted by 62 percent of U.S. school districts and located in are in more than 90 countries.

For more information on Realityworks visit www.realityworks.com or call 800-262-3806. For more information on EdNET Advisory Board, click here

About Realityworks, Inc.
Established 19 years ago to better address teen pregnancy prevention, parenting skills, child abuse and neglect, Realityworks, Inc. is dedicated to creating experiential learning tools that engage students while improving the human condition through educational products. Most famous for their RealCare Baby infant simulator (formerly known as Baby Think it Over or BTIO), Realityworks has developed several other programs over the last decade that address career preparation areas like business management, finance and entrepreneurship, and welding with guideWELD, a live welding guidance system. With simulators in 62 percent of U.S. school districts and programs in more than 90 countries around the world, Realityworks has made a worldwide impact. For more information, visit www.realityworks.com, or call toll-free 800-830-1416.

About EdNET
EdNET is comprised of professionals within the education market who are focused on being informed and staying connected to the industry in order to share ideas about the kindergarten through 12th grade education. They support their members by providing informational newsletters and hosting networking opportunities like EdNET 2015.

# # #

Media Contact:
Janelle Krause
Realityworks Public Relations and Event Specialist
Janelle.Krause@realityworks.com
715-858-7121