Today is Labor Day, which for many of us means that summer has sadly come to an end and the new school year is in full force. But as we know, when it comes to diabetes, school is never really out no matter how long you've had it!

Late last year, intrepid CDE Gary Scheiner, author of the popular book Think Like a Pancreas, launched his Type 1 University series of online courses. Now, David Edelman, co-founder of Diabetes Daily, has opened Diabetes Daily University, another way for folks to learn about diabetes from the comforts of their own home. So how does Diabetes Daily's course offering stack-up?

Diabetes Daily University has initially launched with just one course, titled Workshop for Better Blood Sugars, which we tried for free courtesy of the organizers.  Unlike Type 1 University, which offers one-time webinar presentations by Gary with an opportunity for Q&A during the live talk, Diabetes Daily University courses are not hosted live, but do offer more interaction among students on an ongoing basis.

There are three components to the Diabetes Daily University class:

* An eight-week curriculum, made up of education "modules" that students can work through at their own pace. These are essentially online interactive "slide shows," that feature graphics, text and video content.  As you complete each page, you hit a "Next" button to move on. Each module takes about half an hour to complete.

Innovation 2015

* A special Forum area on the Diabetes Daily website accessible only to students of these classes, where they can interact about what they've learned, and share their answers to "Homework" challenges, presented at the completion of each educational module. These are things like "write down three problems you've had managing your blood sugars, and how you might go about solving them."

* Access to live scheduled chats with experts that complement the course material. For example, in this blood sugars class, students have the opportunity to interact with "Professor" Dr. Paul Rosman, one of the American Diabetes Association's Clinicians of the Year and a practicing endo in Ohio, in a first chat for workshop participants this Thursday, Sept. 8, at 7pm EST/4pm PST.

The first class, Workshop for Better Blood Sugars, costs $47 for all of these components.

Our overall impression was that Diabetes Daily University has a true community education feel to it. The slides incorporate some photos and video from well-known members of the Diabetes Online Community, like Bernard Farrell and Ginger Vieira. Plus, the Forum for students to interact with each other makes the weekly homework questions much more meaningful. I liked being able to see what issues other folks were going through, and seeing how the virtual classmates were able to help each other makes the effort worthwhile.

But this first class seemed to be a fairly rudimentary one, covering the basics of how and why blood sugars change, and providing a few key insights into how to "play detective" and fix these problems.  I felt that this workshop is best suited for folks who are newly diagnosed with diabetes, or who have had it for awhile but feel like they missed out on diabetes education.

However, there are several more sophisticated workshops coming down the pike, including comprehensive courses on Managing Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, Counting Carbohydrates (always a challenge!), Meal Planning with Type 2 Diabetes, and Sexual Health Treatments and Tips.

There was at least one aspect of the session format that I wasn't personally a fan of. Each slide automatically plays a voice-over narrating the introduction of the slide, which I felt was unnecessary, since the remainder of the slide doesn't have narration. Clearly, you have to be able to read to participate in the class, so I felt the narration as more of an annoyance than a help. I also had difficulty finding the workshop once I ordered it, but David says they're working on more clear instructions for how to access the class link for getting started.

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the other upcoming classes, hopefully with some more advanced tips and tricks!  And remember, Dr. Rosman's first chat is this Thursday, so if you are interested, get signed up for the class now in order to gain access to his online chat.

Happy D-Labor Day, Friends.

 
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