Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Virtual International Day of the Midwife 2012: My personal reflection

Already more than a month has gone since the 4th annual Virtual International Day of the Midwife, and I am only now getting around to reflecting on how the day went. Our final VIDM committee meeting for this year is due any day, so I have had to get organised with a few thoughts about what went well and what I would like to change for next year.


My own personal experience of the day was initially a stressful one. I was on holiday in England, and was making my way up to Liverpool to join my family. We had rented a private house for a couple of days, so I was stressed to the max...worried sick that we'd break down..get lost...the Internet wouldn't work...we'd get caught in bank holiday traffic. This was especially worrying, because I was taking the first block of master facilitation. I needed to get things working well, to get the conference off to a great start.

Out on a limb
My other major concern was how well the technology would hold up. This was the first year we had used Adobe Connect, and it was the weekend with no institutional support. On top of that, I was in the UK with little or no access to the IT team back in New Zealand.

Night shift
Thankfully, everything went like clock work, and I had the best internet connection ever. I did the night shift which meant I didn't miss any time with my family, and was able to rest easy once my "shift" was done because Adobe Connect worked as well as it could. Any problems we had was either due to human error, or internet connection at the users' end, which we had no control over.

Overall reflection
From a personal view I feel that the VIDM is getting better and better each year because we (the VIDM committee) are improving our facilitation skills, and getting better at managing the event. I have been able to hand over some of the work load, which is extremely hard for me to do, seeing as the VIDM has been my baby. Having said that, it is wonderful to see how others are coming on board because they are as excited about this event as I am. It is also gratifying to see that the VIDM is supporting digital capability building, so we're having more and more people with expertise and competence, volunteer to help, which in turn allows me to stand back.

The future?
The immediate future is to research the impact of the VIDM to see if it is a relevant and appropriate means of professional development, and to see what the impacts are on learning outcomes. This is turning into the topic for my EdD research.

As for me, I have said I will facilitate the VIDM for one more year and then hand over to someone else.  Will that "someone else" be you?

In my next post I will take a closer look at the various aspects of the VIDM 2012, and make recommendations for 2013.


Gloria Lemay said...

It has been amazing to me to see the numbers leapfrog up every year. I'm so pleased to be part of it, Sarah. It's really getting known now and is much easier to promote to midwives. Thanks for all your work and for your vision. Gloria Lemay, Vancouver BC Canada

Sarah Stewart said...

Thanks for your support Gloria. I know you have made a significant contribution with everything you do for us.

As for a room next year, hopefully we will have access to an Adobe Connect room that has 200-250 seats. I would prefer to stick with Adobe next will give us a chance to consolidate our skills with that particular web conferencing software. I don't really want to keep changing software every year because I think it won't help our digital literacy cause. However, if we cannot get a room that provides at least 200 seats, I'll take you up on your offer of a Wiziq room. thank so much :)