Why online seminars?
I have chosen to concentrate on developing online seminars for midwives because I am fed up with hearing about exciting things going on in the UK, but missing them because of where I live. So this is an attempt to redress this problem for those of us living in the Southern hemisphere.
I also believe that this is one way of supporting each other and forming communities of practice, which in turn will help in a small way in sustaining midwifery, and hopefully increase recruitment and retention. I am not unrealistic - I know this isn't going to change the midwifery world over night, but if it supports communication between a few people and helps start collaborative thinking in a small way then I will be pleased.
Using the MIDIRS webinar series as a model, I have started to develop the program for 2008. I have no funding for this so I am relying on midwives, researchers and teachers to volunteer their services as speakers for free. I am hoping that these speakers will see their reward as being able to contribute to global communication and collaboration.
I think the '10 minute lecture' followed by discussion used so successfully by Leigh Blackall and Bronwyn Hegerty is a good format to follow. As speakers will be donating their time free of charge, I am not wanting to create too much of a burden for them. If people feel that this is too big of a time commitment, they are much less likely to volunteer their services as speakers.
I hope to get enough volunteers so that I can run a seminar at least once a month from May until November. Because MIDIRS has a series of seminars that serves midwives in the UK and Europe, I am planning these seminars to mainly serve Australasian time zones.
PD for midwives wiki
Initially, I thought I would manage it all through this blog, but I changed my mind and decided to develop a wiki called PD for midwives. This is for several reasons:
- speakers can add their details to the wiki without going through me;
- midwives can write their own ideas for topics;
- people can edit and improve the information that I have started to develop, especially the information on how to use the wiki and Elluminate;
- I will develop my wiki skills.
Incorporation with my ePortfolio
I am really enjoying working in an electronic environment because I am finding it so much easier to manage this project, chart its development, reflect and incorporate it into my ePortfolio. I have the additional advantage of being able to get feedback from a much wider audience then I would have by managing and documenting this project in a traditional way.
Would you like to be a speaker?
I would love to hear from people who would like to be a speaker. You do not have to be a midwife, but obviously your topic should be of interest/relevance to midwives. It is preferable that you live in a time zone that suits people in Australasia. Feel free to drop me a message if you'd like to discuss this further.