Sorry about the picture…noone wants Trump on their blog…
Skimming through the British Medical Journal, I came across a blog called Breaking bad news in maternity care. It’s a lovely piece about the new learning resources I worked on with the Miscarriage Association.
I coordinated the development of these resources, working with the National Director of the Miscarriage Association, the Media Trust and lots of service users and health professionals. Mary Higgins describes them as strong, powerful, upsetting and thought provoking with important learning points. I’m pretty pleased with that.
The resources are online now although we’re not launching them officially until the new Miscarriage Association website is live. But it’s great to see that health professionals are finding them useful already.
There are six films – one each for ambulance crews, A&E staff, GPs and booking in staff supporting women with pregnancy loss and two for anyone talking to women about management of miscarriage and what happens to the remains of their baby. Each one is accompanied by a good practice guide.
I created a short survey for women and their partners. It asked them the top three things they would like to tell the relevant health professional about their care – and had a free text box too. In the BMJ blog Mary Higgins writes ‘what I say will be remembered for the rest of their life’. And it’s true. Most women who responded remembered exactly what they were told – good or bad – even after 10 or 15 years. It’s so important to get it right.
I also surveyed health professionals to find out what they and their colleagues found hardest about these situations and where they would like more training.
I wrote a report on each of these six areas, identifying key learning points and pulling out quotes and experiences we should highlight.
Last night I ran an online training session for YouthNet’s chat moderator volunteers (I’ve written a post about what is is like to moderate real time support chat for young people here). We all joined a chat room in YouthNet’s online volunteer community for an evening session.
The focus of this chat was talking therapies – learning more about them and sharing knowledge as well as discussing how they might come up in support chats and what we, as moderators, can do to make sure the young people who come to the session get the right information.
Good practice for running a training session in a chat room
Using a chat room for training sessions enables you to have more real time discussion. It brings everyone involved in a project or role together at the same time. It’s particularly useful if those being trained are spread out around the country. Some of the things I’ve learnt from running online training chats include: Continue reading →
Personally I am interested in exploring ways of helping me manage my wellbeing as I try to cut down on the anti depressants I have been on for the last 12 years (a process that seems to have stalled around the 20mg mark). I’ve also recently been exploring the concept of happiness and what we mean when we talk about it.
Professionally I led on the exploration and implementation of online learning within YouthNet. This means I am interested in how simple online activities can help our young users make the most of the information and expert knowledge we have available and really embed positive skills and actions in their lives. After being sent the link by a blogging friend (thanks Lauren) I decided to sign up to Happify and see what it had to offer. Continue reading →
Do you ever start something new and find yourself thinking ‘I should have been doing this for ages’? I had a very strong case of that this week as I began a new Coursera course called ‘E Learning and Digital Cultures‘ online.
Last year I watched a fascinating TED talk by Daphne Koller, one of the founders of Coursera. I could identify with a lot of the learnings she spoke about. They were similar to conclusions I had reached from the initial forays into e learning I had been making at YouthNet using Moodle. These included ideas around the improved experience online learning can provide (particularly for a range of differently abled and variably focused students), the importance of a community of learners and the potential of using peer grading to scale feedback. I wrote a blog post about these ideas and how we had been putting them into action when developing our online training in support skills at YouthNet. But at the time I didn’t explore the possibility of doing a Coursera course myself.
E Learning and Digital Cultures – a metaMOOC?
I’m lucky to have had really inspiring colleagues – and in this case it was Helen Williams (@nellsberry – also blogging about the course) who told me about this particular Coursera course. It sounded enormously interesting and relevant so I leapt on board as well. And luckily, with Coursera, it’s pretty easy to leap on board. The course is a MOOC (standing for Massive Open Online Course) which means there are literally thousands of participants. While it opens and closes at a particular time and there are deadlines for our final assignment, individuals all over the world can choose when they read, watch and comment on the weekly papers, articles and films. Continue reading →
After a recent dinnertime debate was resolved using the internet, a friend of mine said wistfully
“Sometimes I just speculate indefinitely for old times’ sake”.
I expect that this is a sentiment that we all recognise – the way we approach what we don’t know and the way we develop our knowledge is changing.
So…tell me about your experiences of online learning?
This is a question I have not only been asking new YouthNet volunteers but also in meetings within the organisation. Initially the answer is often “erm, I haven’t had much”. But who hasn’t looked up an answer to a question on Google, or Wikipedia – or found a video on Youtube to show you how to reset your phone, cast on in knitting, or even get the info needed to help your child with their homework?
We use the web to research and learn without even thinking about it now. For the younger generation it’s expected and deeply embedded in much of the curriculum. Using the web to facilitate learning and training within YouthNet has been something I’ve been exploring over the last year or so. I’ve been developing online courses for YouthNet volunteers and for participants in a country wide Money Skills programme. Continue reading →