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How a Middle School Health Science Teacher Preps Students for High School, College, & Careers with Digital Curriculum

"My kids use HealthCenter21 everywhere. They like HealthCenter21 because they can do this on their own and they can be in there as often as they want, so they've got everything they need right at their fingertips."

Mark Rodgers spent 15 years of his life as a successful surgical technologist.

But after a decade and a half of medical work, he discovered a new calling in his life: teaching.

That’s what he’s done for the past seven years. Mark started at Congress Middle School before moving to Jupiter Middle School in Palm Beach, Florida.

Even though he completely changed his career, Mark knows he made the right decision.

“I love what I do,” Mark says. “I found out what real teaching was at this middle school.”

Still, teaching is filled with both short- and long-term challenges — and those are all on top of the difficulty of getting through to middle school students in the first place.

In his seven years, Mark has completely changed the way his classroom works while helping his students succeed.

He’s even cut the time he spends prepping for classes in half.

So how does Mark do it?

He has a secret resource that covers everything from state standards to student engagement.


This is how Mark uses his digital curriculum to succeed.

1. Teaching the Latest Information and Meeting Standards


The first big issue for Mark was meeting Florida state standards for health science education.

“Each one of the grade levels has its own scope and sequence,” Mark says. “No matter what classroom you go into, we should all be teaching pretty much the same thing.”

That makes HealthCenter21 a great way to teach the specific information that students need to know according to state standards.

In fact, HealthCenter21 strongly correlates to Florida standards for a wide range of courses.

With those correlations already established, Mark just had to fill in the gaps of his curriculum and he was ready to go!

2. Managing 107 Students with Multiple Materials

In total, Mark teaches 107 students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade.

That’s no easy task, and it’s exceptionally hard to find a single classroom resource that covers everything he needs to teach.

That’s why Mark has five different resources that he uses together. Each one has strengths that another may miss, ensuring Mark’s students get a well-rounded education in any health science class.

  • HealthCenter21 (Applied Educational Systems)
  • Human Atlas (zSpaces)
  • Sixth grade: Healthcare Science Technology: Career Foundations (McGraw Hill)
  • Seventh grade: Anatomy, Physiology, and Disease: An interactive Journey for Health Professionals (Pearson)
  • Eighth grade: Health Science Fundamentals: Exploring Career Pathways (Pearson)

While Mark only uses three of these resources per grade level (the textbooks change), they form a solid core for his teaching strategy.

Do students need to learn some information before class instruction? HealthCenter21 is perfect.

Do students need to get their hands on a model so they can learn by doing? Human Atlas is in the classroom.

And of course, the foundational textbooks are available for any reading or background information.

All of these resources come together to ensure Mark’s students can learn in the way that’s best for them.

If they happen to need some extra help through remediation, Mark also has a plan for that.

3. Remediating Students Who Need a Little Extra Help

Remediation is one of the hardest parts of teaching. It requires extra time, and you usually have to sacrifice planning periods for one-on-one time with students.

And if you have multiple students who need remediation, you can’t just leave them hanging out to dry. That means pushing planning to nights and weekends, which means you sacrifice the time you spend with loved ones.

To make matters harder, this is all based on the idea that students will accept remediation in the first place. As Mark notes, that’s not always an option for middle school students because of how remediation is perceived.

“Remediation would mean that I’m going to have to tutor them or I’m going to have to put them with a stronger student and have them tutor,” Mark says. “A lot of students are embarrassed by being tutored by their teacher or by another classmate. They don’t really care for it.”jupiter-middle-school-fl-pre-medical-students

So when HealthCenter21 came along, Mark found a solution.

HealthCenter21 is completely based online. Teachers and students can access it from any Internet-connected device, which makes it accessible on demand for anyone with a smartphone.

Now, his students can remediate themselves anywhere, anytime.

“My kids use HealthCenter21 everywhere,” Mark says. “They like HealthCenter21 because they can do this on their own, and they can be in there as long and as often as they want, so they’ve got everything they need right at their fingertips.”

With HealthCenter21 so accessible, Mark has noticed another benefit for his students.

They really liked learning on computers.  

4. Engaging Students for Long-Term Learning

Teachers throughout the United States all share one major problem in common — student engagement.

How do you get through to students so they can succeed in life? And is it possible to reach the students who don’t want to learn?

Most importantly, what’s the risk of burning students out on course material too early?  

jupiter-middle-school-fl-students“I always ask students if they get burned out [on HealthCenter21], but none of them complain about it,” Mark says. “They all like it. Actually, they get done and they want more. I’m telling you, these kids are on there a lot.”

Mark uses this teaching strategy to introduce new topics to his students before taking the reins with lecture, in-class work, and demonstrations.

That way, his students can actively participate in classwork with the knowledge they’ve learned on their own.

“That prior knowledge is so important,” Mark says. “So important.”

Best of all, this teaching strategy works well with the other classroom resources Mark has at his fingertips.

After learning anatomy and physiology from HealthCenter21, students can go into the classroom and work with Human Atlas to get a hands-on approach to the layout of the human body.

They can also supplement the information they’ve learned with chapters from their textbooks, which can provide additional background and contextual knowledge.

Best of all, Mark teaches health science at such a young age that ambitious students can get a leg-up on their future education and careers.

In fact, if students stay in the health science program in high school, they can earn enough college credits to graduate with an Associate’s degree.

Mark is responsible for helping those students achieve as much as they can before they graduate. All of their journeys through health science begin in his classroom.

All things considered, Mark’s classroom is an excellent example of blended learning to get students engaged with the course material.

With all of that, it’s no wonder Mark has seen so much success in his classroom.

But the last big benefit of HealthCenter21 doesn’t directly apply to Mark’s students.

It applies to him.

5. Cutting Out-of-Class Time in Half

Mark didn’t always have HealthCenter21 for his classroom. Still, he remembers what his professional life was like without it.

Today, he can quickly compare the years he didn’t have HealthCenter21 against the years when he did.

He can also consider what would happen to his work-life balance if HealthCenter21 disappeared overnight.

“It would at least double my time working,” Mark says. “To me personally, it would be crippling me in the classroom if we lost this. That’d be like taking my legs from me.”

Mark isn’t the only health science teacher who feels that way, either. In fact, he now knows more teachers who use HealthCenter21 than those who don’t.

“Most of the teachers that I work with and talk to all use HealthCenter21,” Mark says. “Everybody that I know in this field uses it.”

In a nutshell, HealthCenter21 has become a core part of Mark’s courses. It’s not only changed the way he teaches, but also the success of his students in learning.

At the same time, it’s cut his work time in half.

And unlike print classroom materials, HealthCenter21 is constantly updated with the latest information in health science.

That means Mark doesn’t have to worry about HealthCenter21 ever going out of date.

“I love that you guys continue to grow, changing and updating information,” Mark says. “If you know anything about the medical field, it’s always changing.”

Last, HealthCenter21 makes Mark’s life a little bit easier with its support and solutions teams.

“If I ever have any issues, man, you people are on it,” Mark says. “You are flat on it, and it’s fixed right away.”

Altogether, HealthCenter21 gives Mark the power to direct his classroom, help his students succeed, and sleep a little easier at night.

Get Mark’s Results (and Hours) with HealthCenter21

Mark is one of many teachers who have used HealthCenter21 to revolutionize their classrooms.

He decreased the amount of time required to make his students succeed, he’s introduced a variety of learning opportunities to his classroom, and he’s hit state standards all at the same time.

Do you want to get results like Mark?

You can!

All you have to do is sign up for a free 30-day trial of HealthCenter21. 

It only takes two minutes to get started, and it can change your classroom forever.

Get your free trial today!

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