Sunday, January 31, 2010

What the disaster in Haiti teaches us about the importance of open education resources

The earthquake disaster in Haiti has emphasized the importance of midwives and midwifery educators making their educational resources available to all in open, online and digital formats.

Midwifery education in Haiti
The school of nursing and midwifery has been hit very hard in Haiti. A large class of nursing students and a very influential midwifery educator has been killed. And education resources have been destroyed. The mortality and morbidity rates in Haiti are extremely high so it is imperative that midwifery and nursing education gets up on it feet as soon as possible.

Digital teaching materials
A request has gone out from Patti Abbott (, the moderator of the GANM (Global Alliance for Nursing and Midwifery) email list, asking midwifery educators to send digital teaching materials to her so she can forward them to midwifery educators in Haiti. Aid workers do not have room in luggage for textbooks and paper resources - digital resources are far easier to transport.

Open Midwifery Education Resources
When I think of all the videos, PowerPoint presentations, quizzes, learning activities, articles, text books etc that are generated all over the world for midwifery students, I feel that it is a real shame that the Haitian midwifery educators can not find all they need somewhere on the Internet.

My challenge to you
So next time you give a presentation, make a video, develop a learning resource..... have a think about how you can share it online, in a digital format, so it can be re-used by midwifery (or any profession) educators in places in need.

Image: girls at camp petionville Inside Disaster

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