The perinatal mental health workshop goes for 4 hours, with three scheduled 5-10 minute breaks. It has been repeated and refined dozens of times over the last 12 years (pretty sure I did the first one in 2001). I haven’t kept count of how many people have done it – it would be a number somewhere either side of 300, I guess. The workshop is based on adult learning principles and is divided into two parts: knowing (empirical learnings) and doing (experiential learning). An example of the flyer/agenda for the workshop is here (PDF). The primary message I want (hope) participants to take home is that by being authentic, emotionally intelligent professionals we can make our screening more sensitive and our responses more therapeutic.
In the perinatal mental health workshop we talk together. There is nearly always more than 100 years of clinical experience in the room, sometimes there is over 200 years of experience in the room.
There is no powerpoint presentation. There are nurses, midwives, indigenous health workers and allied health staff. We share our knowledge, our experiences and our stories with each other as a group. There is a lot of information to get through; the workshop facilitator’s job is to keep the mutual sharing of information safe, and to give it structure, credibility and meaning. The facilitator makes sure to keep the agenda and the learning objectives on track. As is befitting of an adult education session, the workshop is a conversation.
Maybe Twitter is just another conversation. A conversation not as intimate or in-depth as the one held in the workshop, but a conversation that isn’t restricted to one specific place or one specific group of people.
As an experiment on 8th February 2013 I used social media (this Twitter account linked to a Facebook page) to bookmark resources for participants and share them with anyone else who is interested. Using HootSuite 19 pre-scheduled Tweets with the #bePNDaware hashtag were sent before or during the workshop. One Tweet was sent during a break in the Workshop (the one about Circle of Security – I was rushing and sent a broken link – oops), and one after the workshop had finished (the one with the photo of the whiteboard).
The scheduling of tweets allowed the facilitator to be fully present during the workshop, while simultaneously making links to the resources/topics discussed in the workshop readily available to workshop participants and a broader audience.
9 other Twitter accounts retweeted 6 of the original tweets; the tweet re the Clinical Practice Guidelines was retweeted 3 times. In all, between 7:00am and 7:00pm on 08/02/13 (Cairns time) there were 30 workshop-related Tweets which, through the compounding effects of social media, yielded a theoretical/potential reach of 17,783 (source). The actual impact would have been much smaller, but is difficult to quantify (for me, anyway).
To see who joined the conversation by retweeting and other data, please visit Symplur.
I hope you like the video, here’s how it was done:
- content was compiled, arranged and animated using Prezi
- the completed Prezi was captured as video using ScreenFlow
- the music Flying Over The Dateline by Moby is very generously provided free for non-commercial use via mobygratis.com in this instance the licence/approval number is 58935
- the finished product was uploaded to YouTube
It takes a bit of mucking-around, but it looks/sounds pretty cool, I reckon. I’m not so confident that it will make sense to anyone who isn’t familiar with Twitter, but anyway…
The links tweeted during the perinatal mental health workshop (in order as they appear in the video and on this Storify) are:
That’s it for this attempt to use a 4 minute video to give a glimpse of a 4 hour workshop, and to share the idea of using social media as a tool to expand the reach of an education session.
Want to hear something funny? Of the workshop participants that day, two were on a self-imposed period of respite from Facebook, and none of them used Twitter. The experiment in social-media-enhanced-education was more useful to people away from the workshop than in it. Oh well – at least I can send the participants a link to the video now…
As always, your feedback is welcome.
Paul McNamara, 29th May 2013