In my previous post I was pondering how we could make the learning experience of student midwives more social in Second Life.
Pregnancy in Second Life
One of the things I am learning is that there are a number of people who role-play pregnancy and birth in Second Life. I have been reading the blog of Sai Pennel who has just started her SL pregnancy. Her thoughts on why she is doing it and what other people may think about it is fascinating.
My question is: how can we hook up with women who are having virtual pregnancies? Is there any way we can bring these women together with student midwives to enhance the learning of students, and add to the women's experience.
Then it hit me...why don't we do what we do in 'real life'?! Arrange 'follow-through' experiences where a student midwife works with a pregnant woman in Second Life, just as we do in 'real life'.
The student could attend the woman's ante natal checks and birth, and be around when she has her new baby. And the joy of a SL pregnancy is that it only usually lasts a few weeks.
Learning communication skills
The key learning would be how to communicate and build relationships with women the students have never met before, which is the focus of their 'real life' follow-through experiences.
The down-side of this idea is the aggravation of organising it - it is hard enough organizing real life 'follow-throughs'. I have no idea how many women role-play pregnancy so have no idea if we'd be able to get enough SL follow-throughs.
Virtual life working alongside real life?
But as we sometimes struggle in 'real life' to get the students adequate experience, maybe following a virtual pregnancy is an alternative idea. What do you think?
If you are a pregnant woman in SL, would you be prepared to work with a student midwife? If you're a student midwife, what do you think of the idea? What do you think are the potential problems with this idea?