Thursday, October 30, 2008

Beyond today - shaping the future

I have been asked to give a presentation next week in Surfers Paradise, Queensland at the 2008 Community Care Conference. The conference delegates are people who work in aged and community care. The invitation comes following a presentation I gave to Aged Care Queensland, back in July when I talked about setting up an e-mentoring program for supporting staff. On Thursday my talk is titled "Are you networked? The potential of computer-mediated social networking for supporting practice."

I have 30 minutes including time for questions, to introduce people to the concept of 'web 2.0' and how they can use it for professional development, life-long learning, communication and collaboration. I don't have a lot of time, so thought I'd talk about:
  • the principles of web 2.0 ie sharing, collaboration, freedom, collective wisdom/intelligence, participation, networking and openness;
  • how the tools can be used - advantages of social networking in terms of professional development, support, life-long learning, connections, development of communities of practice which all hopefully lead to greater job satisfaction and increase of recruitment and retention, especially for people who work in rural areas;
  • challenges that need to be overcome in terms of computer and Internet access (infrastructure and policies), attitudes, skill levels, quality of information, confidentiality and privacy.
Concluding advice
I thought I would conclude my presentation with five top tips for health professionals and five top tools to use. These are my thoughts based on the work of Sue Waters "Listen to the wisdom of your network", Clinical Cases and Images "5 Tips to Stay Up-to-Date with Medical Literature" and Maged Boulos "e-health and web 2.0/3-D Web: Looking to the future with sociable technologies and social software".

5 top tips for newbies
  • Takes time to build up a network.
  • Social networking isn't 'playing' but is legitimate 'work' and learning.
  • Takes time to see the value of the tools and become competent at using them. Worth becoming reasonably competent them before you introduce them in the work setting.
  • Start introducing social networking by using tools that people quickly can see a direct benefit eg wiki or Google documents for collaborative work such as policy development.
  • Give it a go, keep an open mind, don't be frightened of it.
5 tops tools to get you started
  • Blog - start your own, read and comment on other people's blogs.
  • Wiki -collaborative platform.
  • Delicious - social bookmarking, sharing resources.
  • RSS feeds using readers - keeping up to date.
  • Skype - synchronous communication, free, web cam.
What tips or tools would you recommend for health professionals who are new to web 2.0 and social networking? Do you agree with the list, or would you suggest other tools and tips?



Sue Waters said...

One of the key tips I picked up from my PLN survey was the importance of mentors.

Having people who mentored me, gave me advice and guidance was really important for me when I set up my PLN but was an aspect I hadn't taken into account when advising others with building their own. Probably because it was just how it was.

So my advice would be to find people who will willingly mentor you and help you kick start your network is really important. All of these tools are lonely, strange places without the people who willingly help.

Sarah Stewart said...

OK, Sue. So how do I frame this up to an audience who may be the ones who start this approach to workplace learning etc ie who mentors the mentors. Do you see what I mean?

Carolyn said...

Lucky you, 30 minutes is quite a long time for a conference presentation. you should be able to cover quite a bit and give them a taste for online communication. maybe you should do what Bill Perry did to you and get live demo going.

Sarah Stewart said...

Umm, that's an idea. I had thought of doing something with Twitter but decided Twitter was a tad too 'complicated'. I've got to leave 10 minutes for questions, so that only leaves 20 minutes which actually isn't that long. I could have something planned and see how I got with time.

Sarah Stewart said...

The other thing I could do is show a short video. Any suggestions other than the Common Craft guide to social media?

David McQuillan said...

Re: Top 5 tools

Hard to pick a top 5 for everyone, as I'd say it depends on what you want to do. I would definitely agree with delicious, feed reader, blog & skype but I would say Google docs (or other document sharing programme) would be more immediately useful for people who are working collaboratively on policy, or any kind of project - Easy to pick up, a simple step from what people are already doing, and add a lot of value to this kind of work.

Sarah Stewart said...

I must admit I thought about Google docs compared to wikis - might be a better option...umm...can't make up my mind!?

illysa said...

This is all new to me, but it looks like valuable information to share-wish I could attend. Good luck!

Sue Waters said...

The mentors don't have to be in the same field as their job is to provide guidance and a kick start in building their personal learning network. Most of my mentors are from a wide range of fields and each provide different attributes.

Maru said...

Hi Sara!

Thanks for your comment on my Formal Second Paper I relly needed feedback. I posted my reply there, you raised important issues, when you have time please visit to continue the conversation.

Congrats for your presentation Sara, I see that the tools you have gathered are very good. I agree with David but that will depend in which kind of wiki you're planning to use Wikieducator, from my point of view, is the easiest one.

To have a centered conversation I would suggest YH groups but maybe you´ll use Moodle.

If you have the vision of a more friendly environment I'll suggest Ning, Wikis are too formal for my liking.

Sue is right, try to enrol moderators or mentor as you call them to get your network flying. I have a moderator in my BaeL project who doesn't speak Spanish and he does great with a Google dictionary. I'm in the need to pay that favor forward so please consider me a non subject expert volunteer to moderate your network. Think about it and let me know.

See you around.
Maru :X