Monday, June 9, 2008

What have you got for lunch?

Very slowly I am building educational midwifery networks throughout the world. Having access to web conferencing software like Elluminate and Skype allows me the opportunity to network my students with midwifery students all over the world.

What next?
We had a great meeting with midwifery students in Nashville on International Midwives' Day but I feel like I have a number of questions left hanging over me such as:
  • why do I want to facilitate web meetings between students?
  • what will they gain?
  • what will we talk about?
  • how can we sustain networks?
  • how can web meetings be incorporated into the curriculum?
  • how can I motivate students to join the online meetings?
One idea
I think what I would like to try is the midwifery equivalent of Jess McCulloch's International Lunch Box Project. Jess is a teacher who teaches Chinese to students in Australia. Jess has students from three countries in the project and they use the idea of what is in their lunch boxes as a basis for their interactions on Skype. It is a way to get the students talking and practicing their language skills.

What do midwives eat for lunch?
How I see this working is that students join in online meetings to discuss the midwifery equivalent of lunch such as a clinical practice issue. They can explain what happens in their country; how social, economic and political contexts influences that practice issue and discuss how they can work together to improve practice.

So if you are a midwifery educator who has pre and/or post-registration students, and you're interested in this idea, please let me know. If you're a student, is this something that would interest you?

Image: 'Bento' slambo_42

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