Monday, September 17, 2007


I just love this phrase 'midwikery' which was thought up by Leigh Blackall. I did a quick Google search on the phrase and it only comes up as a spelling mistake for 'midwifery'. So it looks as Leigh has coined a new word which I am going to define as a midwifery wiki or the process of using a wiki.

I just love this whole concept of Web 2.0 and realize now that my interest has gone back as far as 1997, although it has only now received an official name, as far as I am concerned. I set up a midwifery email discussion group in 1997 when I first moved to New Zealand. I had been a member of American and Australian groups but I felt they did not serve New Zealand midwives' needs. So I set up this group purely as email, I did not know about listserv at this stage. We had 20 people, who emailed me and I then sent the email to everyone manually. We joined a listserv a couple of years later and then I resigned as list owner/moderator a couple of years after that. I understood it was still going, but couldn't find it when I carried out a search for it today.

Today, my interest in the Internet as a social networking tool has led to my PhD project: e-mentoring. When I get around to it, I will post something about my PhD, especially as it feeds into what I am learning about Web 2.0. Meanwhile, life goes round in circles, one thing feeding into another - I just realized all my imaginary is circular: the spinning head and the roundabout.

Meanwhile, I have really got into blogging although I am finding it a lot more time consuming than I thought it would be. It is not just a matter of writing a post, but also searching for blogs to comment on so that you can slowly but surely build your blog network. As for wikis, at first I was not convinced. It seemed to be a great idea in theory, being able to collaboratively work on a project without a lot of email going back and forth, which can be very hard to track. But the wiki programs seemed to be a lot harder to come to grips with, compared to this blog program.

At first, I was introduced to wikispaces. I have set up a fun page for midwives: developing an information leaflet for pregnant women about the pros and cons of eating cake. Initially, I did not find Wikispaces very easy to navigate and I am very concerned that midwives will find this off-putting. However, I have been working with Carolyn McIntosh on another project and I am now finding my way around it and finding it easy to use - now I know how.

The project I have been working on with Carolyn is the development of an abstract for a workshop that we are going to submit to New Zealand Rural GPs Network conference in March. This is only a small project but has been a great way to find my way around the facilities that are offered. It is also very useful to use the 'discussion' page to email each other as we go along with ideas and comments; that way we can keep a running record of the decisions that are made. This can then act as evidence for further reflection, maybe in our professional portfolios or if we ever get around to submitting a paper about the midwikery process.

Wikieducator is the wiki that I have not quite got my head around yet. I think it has a much better appearance than Wikispaces; a lot cleaner and tidier which inspires more confidence in its use. My plan for the next couple of weeks is to think how it can be used for my midwifery students, especially those who are in their third year of practice.


Carolyn said...

When I registered with wiki-educator I had to choose a user name. I choose midwikied which was a combination of midwifery/wiki/education. I am becoming rather fond of this name now. Although I think midwikery is probably even better. I think I should use my midwikied page for something and I am thinking about that. Why don't you start a section in our wikieducator midwifery page on ementoring and put some of your information in there. I am going to do something on communities of practice as soon as I have time. I have a really busy week this week.

Sarah Stewart said...

Thanks for your suggestion, Carolyn. I had thought of it but do not have time and want to concentrate on the midwifery education section especially as you have made such a great start to it. Cheers Sarah

Catherine Légaré said...

Hi Sarah,

I am interested to know more about your e-mentoring project. Can you tell us more in your future postings?

I did my PhD thesis on e-mentoring applied to career counseling for youth. Unfortunately, it's written in French. You may be interested by reading a resume of it. You can fin one by following this link:


Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Catherine, I am very excited to get your comment because it's the first from someone other than my personal mates. I've been meaning to write something about my research for a while but am a bit despondent about it at the moment so am in denial mode. But you're comment will spur me on to doing some writing here. Thank you.

Catherine Légaré said...


By the way, I forgot to mention that the link I gave you in my first message is a paper in English...