Monday, October 31, 2011

Online identity. Why midwives should care and how they can develop a professional online identity

 This is the presentation I gave at the 2011 Australian College of Midwives conference in Sydney about online identity. This presentation includes tips on how to develop a professional online identity.

There continues to be considerable concern amongst midwives about how they can use social media in a professional way that does not incur litigation or charges of disrepute. One of the examples of a professional blog is that of Rachel Reed (Midwife Thinking) who is a midwife, lecturer and PhD candidate in Australia. She manages to blog about clinical issues in a professional way, passing on information in an evidence-based manner, yet she keeps a personal feel to her writing.  She has also done a good job of marketing her "brand" and being consistent across all social media platforms so that when we see her particular logo, we know who she is and what we can expect from interacting with her.

What tips would you pass on to midwives or health professionals who want to dip their toes in the social media waters yet keep themselves professionally safe?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Midwives starting to think about social media

Last week I attended the Australian College of Midwives bi-annual conference. While I was there I facilitated a workshop on the general use of social media and gave a presentation on online indentity.

The workshop went very well. Unfortunately I had just over one hour and I really needed two hours. But the activities I got participants to do, including  using post-its as tweets worked very well - a big 'thank you' to those of you who helped me develop that idea.

What I did notice was there was a much greater interest in social media than there has been - I had far more midwives attend my sessions than I expected. And I have been asked to submit an abstract to do similar sessions at the next big maternity care conference in Australia in 2012 - Breathing new life into maternity care. However, there continues to be major concerns about the use of social media from organisations and employers which is restricting the use of social media in health, in Australia. So changes are going to have to come at an organizational level especially if social media is to be effective at work.

Here is my presentation.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Starting to get an idea about my research topic for my EdD

I have been pondering for the last 10 months what direction my research would take for my EdD. I have played with the idea of being evaluating an aspect of one of the programs I teach in or implementing an innovation such as ePortfolio. But I have returned, yet again, to my great love...the topic I have been pursuing since I started my studies in 1992, and that is the professional development of midwives and health professionals.

I have narrowed things down to looking at online professional development which will incorporate a number of things I am interested in like open access and connectivism. I think I will focus on the Virtual International Day of the Midwife and the effect it has had on people over the last few years (and over the next couple of years). However, there may be another inter-professional medical education MOOC that is starting to gain traction. But I'll wait and see over the next few weeks to see if anything is going to come of that.

In the next couple of weeks I have to write an essay about the methodologies I will use to research this topic. If anyone has any advice about research methodologies and methods, and what is likely to be an appropriate approach to this research, I'd love to hear from you. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Anyone know of a nursing/midwifery/health informatics/education/e-learning conference I can go to in May 2012?

I have to be in the UK on the 6th May 2012 so I am looking for a conference I can attend and present at, to help justify the trip and get some funding. The conference can be either in the UK or USA...and needs to be something to do with social media....

If you know of any conference that is currently calling for abstracts, please let me know.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

'To infinity and beyond' workshop: Introducing midwives to social media

The aim of this workshop is to introduce midwives to social media and how they can use it for communication and collaboration.

By the end of the workshop, midwives will be able to:

1. list some of the common social media tools that be used for communication and collaboration including Twitter, blogs, wiki, Skype and Facebook;
2. identify how midwives can use these tools to build communities and networks of practice
3. describe some examples and case studies in which midwives use social media for professional development, support and mentoring including the Virtual International Day of the Midwife
4. construct a plan for how they can use social media in their own personal learning
5. construct a plan for how they can use social media for local, national and international professional communication and collaboration

Need for this workshop
There are a number of reasons why midwives must be introduced to social media and given strategies for managing it effectively:

1. Heath information
Women turn extensively to the Internet for information, thus midwives need to know how to publish credible information for women, to increase woman's ability to make informed choices about their care, and thus increase their satisfaction with midwifery care.
The Internet is a crucial tool for finding health information. Research has shown that in eight out of ten Internet users have used the Internet to find information about health. Women are twice as likely to look on the Internet for health information, which is likely because they generally take the responsibility for the health of their families.

2. Web 2.0 will impact on the woman-midwife relationship

Not only do health consumers look for information on the Internet, they also publish their own information and content. This is what we mean when we talk about 'Web 2.0' - the tools and process of a two-way interaction on the Internet. People control their own information and how it is disseminated on the Internet. Not only can I go to the Internet and find information on a website, but using social networking tools I can publish my own version of that information on my blog, Twitter, Facebook account and so on. I can talk about my experiences of being a pregnant woman...I can start a campaign to support home birth on Facebook...I can complain about my midwife on Twitter...
Midwives need to know how to connect with women and work in a more participatory relationship which is facilitated by Web 2.0. In other words, midwives need to be able to engage with more knowledgeable and articulate health consumers in the online as well as face-to-face environment.

3. Working with Gen Y and Z
In five to ten years we will be working working with young women who have grown up with the Internet and social media, and know no other way of communicating with each other. Not only will these young women be our clients, but they will also be the next generation of midwives. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and say we only work in the face-to-face environment. If we do, we run the danger of being unable to communicate with, or meet the information needs of this new generation of women.

4. Concerns about privacy and online identity

There are concerns about security, online identity and the appropriate use of social networking sites. But this should not be a reason for avoiding social media. Social media has much to offer midwives but it is worth understanding the appropriate way to use the tools and develop strategies for keeping 'safe' on the Internet.

5. Huge potential for online communities and networks of practice

In these days of economic retrenchment, midwives must look at alternative ways to face-to-face meetings to collaborate, mentor and support each other, provide and access ongoing learning opportunities. Social media allows midwives to network and connect, and develop communities and networks of practice in a way that cannot happen using traditional communication methods. Web 2.0 fosters academic freedom, breaks down barriers to knowledge sharing and provides unique opportunities for communication and collaboration on national and international levels. The 'open access' and 'open source' movements encourage open and free access to communication tools and knowledge. Midwives cannot afford to be left behind the times as other health professions and consumers forge ahead and capitalise on the opportunities that social media offer. The more networking, connecting and sharing we do, the stronger we will become as a profession.

Workshop program

1. Introduction
  • Definition of what social media is
  • Aims for the workshop 
  • Why we need to engage with social media as midwives
2. Group discussions about social media
  • Current knowledge
  • Use 
  • Application 
  • Concerns about risk of social media 
  • What would you particularly like to know today 
3. Presentation about social media
  • How I use it and how it has impacted on my practice, learning and professional development
4. Demonstration - My eight top tools

5. Group work which each group playing a role:  hospital midwife, self-employed midwife, student, manager, lecturer, researcher, woman
  • What are the issues that concern you? eg marketing, access to internet at work, privacy, 'branding'
  • How will you use SM? 
  • Set up an Twitter account – think about issues of name, how you write profile (160 characters), write on butchers paper and stick up on the wall 
  • Feed back to workshop what you've thought are the issues...what you've called yourself...and what you've put on your profile. 
  • Take sticky notes and put name on it and post on everyone's butcher paper. Make sure you answer the notes on your account...join in the conversation 
  • Feed back to workshop  - how did that go, what did you learn,what went well, what issues arose? What questions do you still have?
6. Construction of personal social media plan
  • How are you going to use social media for your own personal learning?
  • How will you use it for local, national and international professional communication and collaboration?
7. Conclusion

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Giving Prezi a second chance

For those of you who do not know, Prezi is a presentation alternative to PowerPoint. It is a web-based application but you can download your presentations and play them without internet access once you have put them together.

To be honest, I haven't been a big fan of Prezi. I have seen some diabolically boring Prezi presentations full of text...and some have made me feel sea sick with all the zooming around. I don't think people know how to use Prezi any better than they know how to use PowerPoint, which proves the old adage that it is the way you use the tools which is the problem...not the tools themselves. And, once you've seen half a dozen, they all start to look the same.

But I have decided to give Prezi a second chance...especially now I have found out you can download your Prezi onto your computer and use without internet connection. I have to give a talk next week about why midwives need an online profile at the Australian College of Midwives conference. Prezi will be new and exciting to the audience there, so I think I'll give it a go and see how I get on.

Have you ever used Prezi? Do you have any particular tips or tricks about how to use it effectively that you could pass on?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Any ideas on how to teach social media without a computer or internet?

I am off to the Australian College of Midwives' conference in a couple of weeks and will be facilitating a workshop on social media. I will be able to do a 'show and tell' because I'll have my computer and projector, but workshop participants will not have their own computer to play with.

So I was can I get people involved so they get the idea of how Facebook, Twitter etc work...using more traditional media such as paper and pen?

If you have any ideas or advice, I'd love to hear them.

Image: 'What Are You Doing?'

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Down and out

Well...this is it for the next four years...England out of the Rugby World Cup and I get to pack away my cap, shirt and flag until next time.

I have to say that I am very disappointed that England has got no further than the quarter finals although I am not very surprised. England have been playing very poorly and whilst they have won their games, it has been without any particular flare or conviction. If they had put as much passion into their rugby as they did their drinking, carousing and dwarf throwing they might have got further in the competition.

Meanwhile...I am about to "discover" a long lost Welsh relative which will give me the right to start eating leaks, wear a daff on my lapel and become a fan of Wales.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Free $100 book voucher for educators

Ok...I'll be honest with have to do me a favour before you can be in to win the book voucher!

If you are a lecturer or educator working in higher or adult education, go to the 'Mind the gap' wiki and have a look around....

...then complete the survey that is attached to the wiki...on the first page..

....leave us your email address and I will put you in the draw for the book voucher.

 The wiki is part of the research I have been carrying out for Ako Aotearoa, looking at video resources that are available to support teaching and learning in higher and adult education. If you have a video resource that you'd like to add to the wiki, that would also be fabulous.

If you have any questions about the research or the wiki, don't hesitate to get in touch with me.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Publication bootcamp with Queensland Health

One of the projects I am just about to finish is a 6 week publication bootcamp that I have been facilitating with ClinEd at Queensland Health in Brisbane. This project is based on the wiki: How to write a paper in six weeks.
We have done most of the work online, by web conference but last week I was in Brisbane and was able to meet up with the group face-to-face.

I do a lot of work online and am very comfortable with this space, but I have to admit, there is nothing like meeting face-to-face to fully appreciate the people you are working with.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Meeting Twitter friends

One of the things I love about social media and social networking is the friends I make on Twitter, Facebook etc. And the highlight is always meeting them face-to-face. It never fails to amaze me the depth of friendship that can be developed via social media and how I always feel like I am meeting best friends even though we have only communicated via tweets or brief Facebook messages.

Last week I had the privilege of meeting Malcolm Lewis who I have been talking to for a couple of years. We have a shared interest in how social media can be used to promote health education. Malcolm is interested in online health promotion campaigns and I would like to evaluate or research them. Hopefully we'll come up with an idea that we can collaborate on.

While we were plotting and planning, Malcolm gave me a tour of the very lovely Toowoomba Japanese Garden and took me to a teapot exhibition which made me feel home sick for the old fashioned afternoon teas I used to attend at the church hall when I was a little girl.