Explore Teaching Examples | Provide Feedback

Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) WarmUp Activity: The Future of Africa's Health with Technology

Laura Guertin, Penn State University Delaware County
Author Profile


1) What are the benefits and opportunities handheld technology can offer the health sector in Africa? Answer the question from the viewpoint of a health care provider and a patient. Does anyone else benefit? Explain.

2) What are the challenges to using handheld technology in the health sector in Africa? Answer the question from the viewpoint of a health care provider and a patient. Are any other people challenged by the implementation/use of this technology? Explain.

3) From what you've read and your own opinion, do you think this will work (handheld technology in Africa's health sector)? Is this something that should be continued to be explored? Can you think of any other pieces of technology that could help Africa's health sector? Explain.

Student Responses:

See the Just-in-Time Teaching page on assessment for information and ideas on how to evaluate student responses.

This topic for a JiTT Warmup exercise can produce a range of responses and questions from students. For example, some students felt that the suggested reading was difficult to navigate and does not do a good job presenting the material. Some students did not enjoy this topic because it did not solve any problems, that the focus should not be on the convenience of using a handheld computer but on new medications and new ways to raise standards of living. Instructors should be prepared for health-related topics that students will bring up, such as witchdoctors, Doctors without Borders, and Africa's HIV/AIDS crisis.

References and Notes:

Articles that students may be assigned to read for this set of questions include (but are not limited to):

SATELLIFE: Uganda Health Information Network, Handheld Computers in Africa: Exploring the Promise for the Health Sector, conference held May 2004.

The use of Just-in-Time Teaching is discussed in detail on the JiTT Starting Point page.

Additional information on JiTT is available in the book:

  • Just-in-Time Teaching: Blending Active Learning with Web Technology. Novak et al., 1999 The authors explain what Just-in-Time Teaching is, its underlying goals and philosophies, and how to implement it. They also provide an extensive section of tested resource materials that can be used in introductory physics courses with the JiTT approach. (citation and description)