Tech for Teach

Depression and a Family Conference Call

HangoutsI was just nodding off, one of those rare afternoon naps. The phone rings. Daughter Nicole (Nick) calling from Portland. “Hangout,” she says. I know the drill. I hang up. Move to Google+ page, and select hangouts. We’d done one with the whole family last week, so I clicked on that one. Set off ringing at my wife’s computer (she was out shopping), and Nick’s older sister Julia, in Waikiki.

Turns out Nick has a research paper proposal due tomorrow for her college freshman writing class, and wants to brainstorm. Something about mental illness. Julia graduated last year and did a lot of work in sociology and cultural psychology, so they got started right away. Nick needed a research question, some description, some probable outcomes, and some resources for her proposal.

depressionnotesShe had already set up a Google Doc, and shared it with us. We spent the next half hour bouncing ideas off Nick. She bypassed schizophrenia, drug use, and suicide, and settled on depression. Using her expertise as a person from Japan, she will do a cultural comparison.

In that half hour she was able to throw together an impressive amount of information as we added links to good stuff (me pulling from my Evernote archives, Julia from her old school work), and Nick from her library resources (any JSTOR article she wants, and lots of other journal access).

Two tools, Hangouts and Google Docs, used in parallel, between 3 people, all 5,000 miles apart from each other. It was fun missing my nap. Oh, and Mom popped in at the end from the mall using her iPhone. That adds mobile (Hangouts works great on my Android phone too).

Do you have any good stuff about depression in the US and Japan? I’ve set the Google Doc to allow comments, so you can add a link if you want. Just make a comment. Appreciated.

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