Screenshot of The Adventures of Patoo

“Dr. Kendall Ho, professor in UBC’s department of emergency medicine, and his colleagues in the digital emergency medicine unit have developed a classroom-based program to teach students between the ages of 9-14 how to safely navigate and assess health information on the internet. The program, called Learning for Life, aims to encourage kids’ healthy pursuits and reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes.” Read more on this launch here.

In addition, Dr. Ho and his team designed a series of teachers’ resources including their Learning for Life Toolkit, instructional samples, student workbook, and comics. The instructional samples encourage students’ creativity by motivating them to think about ways to solve issues and to develop health and wellness strategies. The comics are fantastic and great conversation starters on topics such as sleep hygiene, digital health, and mental health as featured below:   

I see several uses for this material that travel beyond the classroom. If we consider the potential that the patient lounge area and exam room have to teach, then the toolkit and educator resources may be wonderful additions to a physician’s toolbox. Just starting a conversation on a topic can be tough and using these visuals may be one avenue to opening up the dialogue with a young patient. One final thought is swapping the anatomy posters found on the walls of many exam rooms with illustrations that convey a story with meaning, ideas, and solutions.

A big thank you to Dr. Ho and his team for addressing the need to build children’s digital health literacy skills and for designing such a creative platform! More projects from the Digital Emergency Medicine crew here.

Warm regards,


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