Never, ever back off a challenge! Update on Florence Nightingale Foundation Scholarship


It’s a few months now since I was given my Florence Nightingale Burdett Trust Leadership Scholarship – I’m starting to feel the pressure, yes, I actually have to do something (!) but this week I started to work on how I might add some value through my project.

social media networkI knew I wanted to think more about social media and how professionals behave alongside the public in these digital spaces; I am keen that we recognise the potential for social media, as well as the usual rules that we seem to need to establish, in terms of ‘you must do this’ but more usually ‘you must never do this!’.

I want to interview new people who may not usually get heard in the health space, this includes people who use health services but also those outside the sector. It was this in mind that I travelled to Plymouth Plymouth 2to see Steve Wheeler (@timbuckteeth). I have known about Steve for a while and follow his blog, which almost always makes me think. It was a real privilege to meet him – to put it into context his blogs get massive numbers of reads and comments and his following on Twitter is almost 20,000.

This is how Steve describes himself on Twitter:

‘Web 2.0 researcher, author of The Digital Classroom, Associate Professor of learning technology, Associate Professor of learning technology in the Faculty of Health, Education and Society, at Plymouth Universityinternational speaker, disruptive activist.’

Steve, amongst his many research interests, is interested in Web 2.0 social technology. Steve’s blog is called ‘Learning with e’s’.

I had a long chat to Steve about my scholarship and what I was interested in. Essentially I am interested in trying to help health professionals make the most of the opportunities that social media presents, not just for professional development but also to work with patients and citizens.

Steve has some interesting views about social media and how we interact with it. He is generous and knowledgeable. I made the mistake of asking him how he would tackle the questions I was asking and he came back as quick as a flash – ‘make a video documentary’ – he says. I paused for about 20 seconds and said ‘I’m going to do that’.

Steve Wheeler 1

So here we are. I have no video equipment and no experience of audio-visual ‘stuff’ but there is nothing I like more, than a challenge. It made me reflect on myself as a person and why I always end up with the strangest jobs and doing the things everyone says won’t work, or are too hard – I like it that way 

So I will be going back to Plymouth at some point to video Steve and to put down on record my exploration of social media for my scholarship – putting the output on YouTube seems fitting somehow.

My very great thanks to Steve, Pam (@pam007Nelmes) who arranged the meetings for me and the delightful Ray, Professor of Informatics also at Plymouth (@rjonesplymouth) for his insights and looking after me

If you want to try a taster of Steve’s blogs try this one on digital tribes – I promise it will make you think too.

PS – There is still time to apply for a Scholarship – look here and why not have a go – its a fantastic opportunity!

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3 thoughts on “Never, ever back off a challenge! Update on Florence Nightingale Foundation Scholarship

  1. As a leadership scholar myself, I would encourage any of Anne’s readers to take her advice and to apply or a scholarship – the best learning experiences across a whole year of engagement, change, innovation and creativity! I can’t wait to see the film Anne 🙂

  2. Thank you Ruth 🙂
    This will challenge both my technical skills and creativity to its limits but it just seemed so right – where else would I publish something about social media 🙂
    Thanks for commenting X

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