social media

Web 2.0 & Social Media – Access in the NHS

I’ve blogged previously about connectivity issues in the NHS and the problems with accessing Web 2.0 and social media sites that can support teaching and learning. In one of these posts I mentioned the work that the NHS-HE Forum Connectivity Best Practice Working Group, which I’m a member of.  This group has been pulling together and sharing case studies of good and best practice around IT connectivity in the NHS, which locally have certainly helped us make progress in Tayside.  My contribution to the working group has been to write a paper on Web 2.0 and social media in relation to education and research and this was published last week following the most recent NHS-HE Foum meeting held in London on 14th May 2013.

I had originally hoped to have the paper finalised before Christmas, however the delay perhaps has been quite timely given the Department of Health publishing its new digital strategy just before Christmas.  The DoH strategy “sets out how the Department of Health will give its staff the knowledge, skills, tools and confidence to embrace digital opportunities to deliver better health, better care and better value for all.”

At the moment for staff wanting to engage in digital opportunities to support learning and collaborative research there are still barriers with access to many Web 2.0 and social media tools being blocked.

The paper I’ve written highlights the emerging benefits of Web 2.0 technologies and, whilst taking account of potential risks, outlines some recommendations concerning their access.  I’m grateful to my colleagues from both the NHS and HE on the NHS-HE Forum Connectivity Best Practice Working Group for their feedback on the various drafts on the paper and their input into the final version of the document. We hope this document will prove helpful to various groups within the NHS as they seek to raise issues around the accessibility of web-based technologies.

I hope the paper will be of some use to those wanting to start a dialogue with NHS organisations about access to Web 2.0 and social media sites in the NHS to support learning and research.  I’m also hoping that we can start to gather case studies that can demonstrate ways that these technologies can be used to maximise their benefits for education and research particualrly given the growing interest in #FOAMed. I’m also planning to do some follow-up work to this paper which I hope to share over the next month or so.

If you’d like to contribute a case study on good practice or are interested in connecting around these issues please do leave a comment.


Trends in medical education in the digital age

This is a presentation I gave when I visited Galway Medical School in March at a session of the Galway Area Medical Education group.  I’ve been meaning to post it up to Slideshare for a while and been prompted to upload it by Tom O’Neill’s tweet earlier today asking if anyone has screenshots or slides showing examples of Twitter in medical education. So here it is. In the session I gave an overview and considered some of the emerging trends in using technology in medical education and approaches to their implementation and rferred to some examples from across the continuum of medical education.

Social media policies and medical schools

Tony McNeill has blogged about UK universities developing social media policies and what the drivers for their development might be. He says,

My hunch – and it’s just a hunch at the moment based on some quick reading of sample policy documents and discussions with colleagues at Kingston University – is that the development of social media policies has been taken in response to both the promise of social media in promoting university brands as well as the threat to institutional reputation. The creation and implementation of social media policies are, therefore, playing a role in helping universities manage both the risks and benefits of social media at a time when reputation or brand management is key.

Whilst this may well be the case for institutional policies there are some disciplines where the issue of professionalism may be the driver for developing a social media policy. This is certainly the case for medical schools.  The BMA recently issued some guidelines and ethical guidance for doctors and medical students on using social media which we’ve highlighted to our students.  These practical guidelines focus on areas such as patient confidentiality, the boundaries between public-private and how social media might impact on employment. This guidance is helpful and welcome but there isn’t much mention given to the potential social media has to support learning, so we’re looking to build on the BMA docment and look at some of the possible benefits.  A key to developing more localised guidelines is the involvement of students and we’re building on a previous student project, which highlighted that many students would welcome more guidance from the medical school on using social media.

I’d be interested to know if other medical schools already have social media policies/guidelines in place and also whether students have had any involvement in shaping these guidelines or are involved in peer teaching on issues around social media and digital professionalism.

Starter for 10: What online tools & social media should be accessible in the NHS?

I’ve written previously about the problems of accessing elearning in the NHS and how this affects teaching and learning.  Back in November my colleague Andrew Howe and I gave a presentation to the NHS-HE Forum on accessing University teaching and learning from the NHS.  Our presentattion  gave an overview of some of the problems our clinical teachers and students face accessing University resources on their NHS PCs.  We also highlighted the frustrations concerning the inability

  • to access the growing amount of open learning content available  on sites such as YouTube, Vimeo and blogs and
  • to make use  of Web 2.0 and social media tools.

These sites, tools and technologies  make it easier for teachers to produce and remix online learning content.  They also offer many opportunities to support collaborative work, research and to share information with patients and colleagues. The reality, however, for those involved in teaching in the NHS and for our students on clinical placements is that access to many of these sites and tools are blocked by NHS firewalls. In some cases health boards have made them accessible but only to those clinical staff using them for research.

The outcome of our presentation and the following discussion at the November NHS-HE Forum meeting is that a short life working group has been set up to look at NHS-HE connectivity best practice.  The group includes IT managers, librarians, medical educators with responsibility for elearning and  we’ll be putting together our work plan when we meet later this week.

One of the things I’ve been tasked with doing is coming up with a starter for 10 list of tools/sites that should be accessible from the NHS.  I know the sorts of sites that my colleagues are keen to be able to access for example

  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • WordPress sites
  • Blogspot sites
  • Posterous
  • Social bookmarking sites like Delicious and Diigo
  • Google docs
  • Slideshare
  • Ning
  • Twitter

I’m also interested to hear what the wider NHS community involved in teaching and research would like to access.  Which tools would you like to access that are currently blocked in your health board or trust and why would you like to have access them, what benefits would they bring to your work?

Can I take a screenshot of your tweet?

This evening I got an email telling me about Lazyscope a new immersive twitter desktop client. I downloaded the beta release and gave it a go and have to say I like the way that you get a preview of the urls that peeps include in their tweets and in the right-hand column you can actually read the site.  There’s also an option allowing you to subscribe to a site if it has an RSS feed. The pop up notifications also include the url preview and you can see at a glance whether the link might be of interest without having to click and wait to for your browser to load.

I posted a few tweets about Lazyscope and thought I’d take a screenshot and tweet this and then remembered reading on ReadWriteWeb yesterday about new Twitter guidelines. One section of the article looked at how you could now refer to tweets without needing to consult your lawyer.  It seems that we’re not supposed to use screenshots of other people’s tweets unless we have their permission.  Checking the guidelines on the Twitter help centre confirms this.  I then tweeted this and a couple of people tweeted back saying they hadn’t heard about this before and that it seemed a bit silly.  As I haven’t asked them if I can display their tweets I can’t show you them here.

In some respects it’s nice that someone might ask you for permission to take a screenshot of one of your tweets, but is this Twitter guideline a bit over the top?  Tweets are in the public domain, they are also googleable so does someone really need to to ask my permission to take a shot of my tweet.  Many of us working in education frequently take screenshots of applications and websites to use in educational resources and we also make screencasts showing people how to use various tools including Twitter.  Does this now mean that if we want to make a screencast for our students or colleagues that we need to get permission form everyone that’s tweeted into our Twitter stream whilst we were recording!!!

So what do you think?

As for Lazyscope it’s worth giving it a try.  Here’s a screenshot, which is a bit cropped and only shows one of my tweets, but hopefully it will give you an idea of how you can view links in tweets.