I am still thinking about how Second Life can be integrated into midwifery education.
Petal through the looking glass
On a personal level, I am learning more about Second Life thanks to people like Jo Kay, Clare Atkins and Kerry J. Last night, I joined an EdNA party to have a quick look around one of the islands of jokaydia and have a play with drums, followed by a drink around the bar. Up to recently I have not seen the attraction of Second Life compared to web conferencing programs like Elluminate. But as I become more confident in SL, I am beginning to realise that it adds an extra dimension to communication. Even though the environment and people are 'virtual', somehow things seem very real. Which as I said, makes communication so much more meanginful.
There were a number of things that struck me while I was in joykadia. Probably the biggest impression was made by Jo and Kerry who were incredibly enthusiastic and supportive - they made me feel very welcome to the proceedings.
The other highlight was meeting Konrad Glogowski who has been working with Leigh Blackall to develop a virtual classroom - more on that later.
Virtual maternity unit
The obvious thing that Second Life can be used for is to build some sort of maternity unit where students can practice clinical scenarios, meet and network. I have had a look at several inworld hospitals such as the Anne Myers Medical Centre and Second Health Hospital but to be honest, I haven't found them to be very engaging.
I keep thinking about what Clare Atkins said about replicating real life; why replicate real life buildings when SL give us opportunities to think outside the square, experiment and stretch our boundaries in way that we are unable to do in a more traditional setting.
This brings me back to Leigh's virtual classroom which he built as a sustainable building, based on the family, sharing and group learning. I am very interested in following a similar type of concept with regard to thinking about place of birth and midwifery education in the SL context. I am also very interested in exploring how women and students could be included in the development of a place of birth, such as I am imagining.
Anyway, I'm still learning about SL and trying to think beyond the obvious. If you have any thoughts and feedback yourself about any of this, please let me know.