We are very excited to announce that the first international collaborative student project will go ahead in February 2010. During this project fourth year physiotherapy students from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa will collaborate with fellow foundation year students from the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland. The project is being organised and supported by Rachael Lowe, the Physiopedia founder, in collaboration with Michael Rowe from the University of the Western Cape and Aileen Barret from the Royal College of Surgeons.
The project is an elective module where students will be invited to participate. The students will be allocated into groups of four students (two from each nation) and tasked with working together to build pages/content in Physiopedia. The topics that the students will work on will investiate key physiotherapy skills and also explore cultural differences between the nations.
At the end of this project students should be able to:
- Demonstrate evidence based practice skills such as literature searching and critical appraisal
- Demonstrate scientific writing and referencing skills
- Demonstrate an ability to work in teams, agree goals and time frames, roles and responsibilities
- Demonstrate web-editing skills
Students will also have:
- An increased understanding of the clinically related topics that they have investigated
- An insight into the cultural differences in the physiotherapy profession in different nations
- Experience of online collaboration
For more information on this project see the ISP1 page in Physiopedia or follow the #ISP1 in Twitter.
We are currently collaborating with the Sparkman Center for Global Health to add the contents of Physiopedia to the Widernet project of developing a digital library, entitled the eGranary, in several educational training institutions in Zambia.
Many of the developing country universities, schools, clinics and hospitals with whom Widernet work have no Internet connection. Those that are connected to the Internet have such limited bandwidth that they cannot offer free Web browsing to the majority of their staff and students. Bandwidth in Africa can cost up to 100 times what it costs in the U.S., so for some organizations a slim Internet connection can consume the equivalent of one-half their operating budget. Even for those individuals who have the wherewithal to pay for Web browsing, the experience can be frustratingly slow — it can take hours to download a single audio file.
The eGranary Digital Library addresses these issues by moving a large assortment of educational Web documents onto the subscriber’s local area network (LAN) so that the documents can be made available to everyone within the institution freely and instantly. In essence the Widernet project “stores the seeds of knowledge” inside the institution where they can be accessed even when the Internet connection is broken. More specifically, this particular eGranary that we are collaborating on is designed for Medical, Nursing, and Public Health students in Zambia. To date there have been requests for more physiotherapy information but few quality physiotherapy resources have been located thus far, so we are honoured to have been invited to contribute to this project.
Please help us to help those in less resourced countries in this way by contributing content to Physiopedia. Together we can contribute to improved global health.