Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Putting Web 2.0 into perspective

During the last eight months I have:
But it is Carolyn's latest post that has just put Web 2.0 totally in perspective for me.

The sum of my worries are whether I have enough broadband width or if Second Life is going to revolutionize midwifery education. Meanwhile Carolyn has reminded me of the terrible reality of the lives of millions of women throughout the world. Thousands and thousands of women die from childbirth related causes. Makes my concerns about how fat my Second Life avatar looks, superficial to say the least.

I would echo Carolyn's questions about how we can use Web 2.0 to support the midwives who are working with these women in the most challenging of conditions. And whilst I acknowledge that many of these midwives will not have access to electricity let alone computers, I also think we should not completely discount the potential that Web 2.0 offers midwives in developing countries.

Open access
to midwifery information, resources and education programs may be one way that we can aid these midwives. We can ensure that meetings, conferences, and education programs are made available using synchronous means such as the MIDIRS webinars or recorded in some way and openly stored on the Internet. This may present financial and political challenges to institutions and companies who underwrite the conferences, but I am convinced that this is one way that we can work toward global midwifery sustainability.

What do you think about this? What do you think we can do to support midwives in developing countries - does Web 2.0 have a role?

Image: 'Jammu (North India)'


Carolyn said...

Great post Sarah. Yes I think we do have potential to help share knowledge through open access education for midwives in these situations. They have so much to teach us too though don't they? Their reality of practice is so very different to ours with women who are malnourished, living in fear of military incursion with little or not access to specialist medical services when they are needed.

Anonymous said...

Sarah - I've come to your Blog via Alice's, and to be confusing I'm also Alice ;-)

I'm currently on maternity leave myself at present from Cambridge Assessment(the sort of parent of the OCR, ESOL, and CIE exam baords) where I am Web Tecnology Architect so work for me now (or did) revolve around Web 2.0 and Education.

Web 2.0 being such a notoriously vague term I'm wondering what you definition of it is and also what issues if any you have come against of forsee with the imbalance in techology in developing nations.

Also if you would like to pick my brains on any technical issues to do with Web 2.0 please feel free.

Sarah Stewart said...

Hello Alice, thanks a lot for your comment - I tried to leave one on yours but couldn't log in, for some reason.

Suffice to say, you have made me think that I should write a post about what I understand web 2.0 to be/mean, especially for those who are new to the term - I'll do that in the next couple of days. The second part of the question also lends itself to another post. So long story short, will get back to you about your questions.

Thank you for your kind offer of help-I may well take you up on that. cheers Sarah
PS: Best wishes for the birth of your new, lovely baby.

Leigh Blackall said...

I rejoice at this realisation coming out of Otago Poly midwidery and will commit more than my paid hours to support you in any effort to bring open access and even services to this challenge. I have many ideas and examples on how to bridge digital divides. Looking forward to more progress here...

Leigh Blackall said...

midwidery is midwifery going world wide btw

Anonymous said...

I think the idea of liasing with midwives and women in developing countries is exciting - however we also need to be cautious and sensitive in any approach or attempts at relationship building too - and take care not to take a we in the west have it all and know it all approach - as our intervention rates are not something we want to impose on these women. I still think there is potential for positive collaboration - but we need to have an awareness of how we may do harm as well - if that makes sense - little late and not being very articulate -