Educational Virtual Birthing Unit in Second Life and Facebook: Tips for Midwives

By Rachel Walden |

If you’re like me, virtual world Second Life is still a relatively strange and unfamiliar place. I’ll be spending a bit more time checking out this online world, though, after learning about a virtual birthing unit set up as an educational tool for midwifery students. In it “students can work their way through simulations of birth in which they support women and make midwifery decisions.”

In my brief explorations, I was able to enter the birthing center and interact with objects in the environment to read some informational text about nutrition, birthing tubs, and other topics, although I suspect I’ve just scratched the surface. The project’s WikiEducator pages provide more information on the learning activities provided and includes images of the unit. While I haven’t reviewed all of the content myself, this seems like a neat idea for learning.

The virtual birth unit was developed by New Zealand midwife Sarah Stewart as part of the Second Life Education New Zealand project. To visit the unit for yourself, follow these directions. An introductory video (below) and slide set are also available for more info about the project and how to use it.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kw-KL-lCesE[/youtube]

Sarah also has a great recent post up at her blog on Facebook for midwives: how to enjoy Facebook and stay out of trouble.

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One Comment

  1. Thank you very much, Rachel, for featuring the birth unit. If any of your readers would like to have a guided tour, please let me know. My email is: sarahstewart07(at)gmail.com and my name is Second Life is Petal Stransky. Please can I highlight that this virtual resource and all supporting materials have been developed under a Creative Commons By license which means you are free to use the material (as long as you give attribution back to the SLENZ project) and re-mash as you will. And whilst the resource was developed with student midwives in mind, it will be of interest to health consumers also.

    Please could also bring your attention to another free online event/conference: the Virtual International Day of the Midwife runs for 24 hours from 12pm May 5th New Zealand time:

    http://internationaldayofthemidwife.wikispaces.com/International+Day+of+the+Midwife+2010

    Again, this event has been developed for midwives, but there are a few sessions, I am sure, that will interest health consumers.

    Thank you, Sarah