This section describes how social media can be used to enhance the delivery of teaching materials. Social media used correctly can be a powerful tool for academics and students alike. It enables the creation of learning communities with common interests, activities, or knowledge and learning needs.
There are many social media channels that are already used within palliative care. The list below is not exhaustive but provides examples of were social media is effectively sharing knowledge about palliative care globally.
Facebook is a social utility that connects people, brands and organisations. Founded in 2004, it has quickly become one of the most used and visited platforms for people of all ages to communicate and connect with friends and others who work, study and live around them
Twitter is a simple web and mobile computing application which allows a user to write a 280 character ‘post’ or ‘Tweet’ (including punctuation) on a page on the internet. Tweets can simply be short informative messages broadcast to the web or discussions between a group of users or individuals with similar interests. They can also include referencing words or ‘hashtags’ created by yourself or other users. These hashtags (preceded by a ‘#’ symbol) can then be collated and displayed in their own feeds and thus form a bank of knowledge and reference that can be shared and followed. You tweets can be forwarded or ‘retweeted’ to your followers friends and so the information is shared. There are a number of applications that allow you to monitor and post to multiple Twitter feeds simultaneously (e.g. Tweetdeck and Tweeten) or share images and video (e.g. Twitpic)
LinkedIn claims to be the world’s largest professional network with more than 645+ million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. The mission of LinkedIn is simple: connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.
Blogs are online journals that people or organisations use to share thoughts and views in an informal way. They are generally followed by people with similar interests with updates (“posts”) generally displayed in reverse chronological order pages, searchable with tags. The more frequent and better the blog posts are, the higher the chances of getting discovered and followed by your target audience
YouTube and Vimeo are the two most popular platforms in the market when it comes to uploading videos online. These sites enable users to upload large videos in an array of formats for free and share these to a worldwide audience supported by search functions and the ability to like, comment, share materials and follow users.
European Association for Palliative Care – The EAPC provides a forum for all of those either working, or with an interest in, palliative care throughout Europe and beyond. Their Facebook page and Twitter Page @EAPCvzw are followed by more than 6000 people worldwide. They also have an Instagram account EAPC.vzw and a blog eapcnet.wordpress.com
Palliative Medicine Teaching Facebook Page – This page was designed by doctors in Australia to educate the next generation of clinicians, and the wider population, about the benefits of learning from your patients and their lives through Palliative Medicine. There is also an accompanying Twitter Page @PallMedEd
Palliative Rehabilitation Facebook Group – This is an open group welcoming contributions from anyone with an interest in palliative rehabilitation. The UK NICE Guidance on Palliative and Supportive Care (2004) defines palliative rehabilitation as follows: Rehabilitation in palliative care aims to maximise people’s ability to function, to promote their independence and to help them adapt to their condition. It offers a major route to improving their quality of life, no matter how long or short the timescale. It aims to maximise dignity and reduce the extent to which illness interferes with an individual’s physical, psychosocial and economic functioning.
All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) YouTube Channel – AIIHPC is a collaborative of hospices, health and social care organisations and universities on the island of Ireland. The AIIHPC YouTube channel features videos to advance education, research and practice and improve the palliative care experience of people with life limiting conditions and their families.