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Developing social learning by Teresa Chinn

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Blogs, Getting it Right for Children and Young People, School Nursing

teresa-chinnI firmly believe that Dr Seuss was right when he said “The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go” and I one hundred percent belive that social media gives nurses a huge opportunity to read (or watch or listen), know, and learn in order to help us grow and develop.  Social media is a world of expertise in the palm of our hands and the potential that social media offers us to learn from that expertise is pretty mindblowing.

Learning in a social media space is not a new concept – for some years now nurses have been learning using YouTube videos, blogs, podcasts, Twitter chats, infographics, webinars  and live streaming from conferences and school nurses are no exception…. But I think its  time that social learning evolved? With the advent of revalidation and more emphasis being placed on participatory learning isn’t it time to think a little differently about how we use social media to learn and develop?

School Nurses are a small but dynamic group of nurses who embrace technology wholeheartedly, working with the wonderful School Nurses who are WeSchoolNurses I have fist hand experience of this.  I know that School Nurses work with the cutting edge innovators and technological experts that are our children and young people and in order to reach them and engage with them they have to also be cutting edge innovators and technological experts.  I have seen WeSchoolNurses itself go from strength to strength amassing over 7000 followers in the three short years since its conception and discussing tough subjects, raising awareness and problem solving on such issues as “Keeping children and young people safe online” “Meeting the needs of migrant health” and “Understanding teenage sleep patterns” I have taken part in and lurked on many of these discussions and they have been well attended by young people, parents, carers and School Nurses themselves.  The discussions not only provide insight and awareness into each subject but also provide a chance to professionally develop. However its time to move on … it’s time to adapt and change …. It’s time to take social learning to the next level.

Over the next few months WeCommunities will be working closely with Wendy Nicholson and Penny Greenwood from Public Health England to run a pilot scheme to transform learning in social media spaces.  We want to work with School Nurses to drive forward social learning building on existing technology and reshaping and evolving it to create something that will help with professional development, participatory learning, revalidation and drive beat practice. whilst at the same time boosting the confidence of school nurses using social media.  We are very excited indeed and whilst we cant tell you too much we are looking for a few school nurses to help us …. So if you could spare an hour or two of time to attend a webinar workshop at the end of November we would really love to hear from you.  We need 10 – 15 cutting edge, forward thinking and dynamic school nurses to help to shape how we can move forward with social media learning and be part of this Public Health England project right from the start.  If you are interested please get in touch by emailing or tweet us via @WeSchoolNurses.

Of course Dr Seuss has many words of wisdom and he also said “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose” The concept of using social media to learn as a nurse is still in its infancy nevertheless I think that school nurses have already shown that they can lead the way and I think that they will be instrumental in steering the way we learn.

Teresa Chinn MBE, RN Social Media Specialist at WeNurse

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