Is Global Mental Health ready for Education 3.0?

An exciting journey along recent innovations and developments in education, and a plea for a shift in the teaching/training approach in the global mental health.

The problem: All low income countries face a huge shortage of mental health care staff. There are even countries with no or only one psychiatrist and some without any specialized mental health care provider. That’s why capacity building in this sector is one of the main challenges.

photo from CORDAID mental health capacity building session in Haiti, 2011

photo from CORDAID mental health capacity building session in Haiti, 2011

But most NGOs and education institutes in this field still have a strong ‘bricks and mortar’ and 1.0 education approach, where there is a one-way dissemination of knowledge from teacher/trainer to student/health worker with books/manuals and lectures/slides. Where scaling up capacity building means distributing more manuals/books and the deployment of more trainers and tutors.
I don’t think we can solve the immense workforce gap in mental health if we keep on focusing on this 1.0 education. Although face to face trainings and fancy manuals are still wonderful, we just don’t have the money and capacity to train all the potential mental health care workers around the world in this way. We must explore cheaper and quicker ways of disseminating knowledge and training of skills.
And we must try to lure and retain more students and workers for a post in mental health. Barriers like course fees, traveling, staying elsewhere, time, no access to information, etc, must be eliminated for people who consider a career in mental health.
And we must try to reach people in fragile or war-torn states, where international trainers and NGOs are not able to train, due to security issues.

image from,  made by mllef

image from, made by mllef

In the meantime: Advancements in ICT and social media are changing the world’s educational framework. Online users have access to information whenever and wherever they want. Blogs, wikis, socializing sites, podcasts, videos and online courses are more and more accessed and are expanding rapidly. And more and more people around the world have access to mobile phones and internet. And even in offline situations computers and mobile phones are now used as additional education tools.

The question: Which of these developments and innovations can we apply in the global mental health capacity building? What is needed, and how far are we in adapting the curricula and education methods?

In the last 2 years I wrote a few blog posts about elearning, mlearning and training of health workers:
Can eLearning boost the Mental Health capacity in low income countries? (April 2011)
Challenges in Mental Health care Tanzania; what can eLearning add? (May 2011)
How to convey the new WHO Mental Health Intervention Guide to workers in the field? (September 2011)
The 20 Golden Tips from the GETHealth Summit NYC (February 2013).

Because I think the global mental health field is still way behind in these new developments, I couldn’t resist to write another post about these topics.
An attempt to provoke some movement in this field.

In this blog post I will start with a a few introductory figures and then guide you on the journey through the latest paradigms and developments in global education with a lot of citations and images. Then I will try to forge a bridge between this Education 3.0 and the mental health capacity building in low resource settings.

Few introductory figures and graphs:

According to the World Health Organization in ‘The mental health workforce gap in low- and middle-income countries: a needs-based approach’, 2010: “Overall, LMICs (Low and Middle Income Countries, RK) would need to increase their workforces by an estimated 239 000 full-time-equivalent staff (psychiatrists, nurses and psychosocial care providers) to satisfactorily address the current burden of priority disorders.
And in a iheed report ‘preparing the next generation of community health workers: The power of technology for training’, 2012: “Developing countries face an acute shortage of health workers, as there is a global shortfall of 2.3 million physicians, nurses and midwives, and a shortage of more than 4 million health workers overall.”


from the iheed report, the power of technology for training, 2012

from the iheed report, the power of technology for training, 2012

From the same iheed report, 2012: “There are three potential cost advantages of using blended approaches (here: combination of live instruction and distance instruction, RK) in CHW (Community Health Workers, RK) training.
First, multimedia can shorten the amount of time required to train CHWs.
Second, digital content reduces the number of trainers required to teach CHWs.
Third, as noted in Chapter 3, multimedia content is easier and cheaper to standardize and disseminate.
Taken together, these advantages imply drastic reductions in the cost of training the one million new CHWs that Sub-Saharan Africa needs.” and “Blended learning entails higher upfront costs than conventional training, because it requires the creation of digital content. But it costs much less to adapt blended learning materials to new countries. Over time, as training programs reach more CHWs in more countries, the average marginal cost of blended programs decreases dramatically, even when accounting for the costs of local customization. With scale, blended training can be 50 percent more cost-effective than conventional training. Up front initial costs could be overcome by innovative approaches such as crowd sourcing programs from global digital designers.”


MOBILE-CELLULAR penetration, 2013. From ITU World Telecommunication /ICT Indicators database, 2013

MOBILE-CELLULAR penetration, 2013. From ITU World Telecommunication /ICT Indicators database, 2013

INTERNET USERS by development level. From ITU World Telecommunication /ICT Indicators database, 2013

INTERNET USERS by development level. From ITU World Telecommunication /ICT Indicators database, 2013

Continuous high growth of MOBILE BROADBAND Penetration.  More than 2 billion subscriptions worldwide by end 2013. From ITU World Telecommunication /ICT Indicators database, 2013

Continuous high growth of MOBILE BROADBAND Penetration. More than 2 billion subscriptions worldwide by end 2013. From ITU World Telecommunication /ICT Indicators database, 2013

Latest paradigms and developments in education:

We will start here with an article published in 2007: The genesis and emergence of Education 3.0 in higher education and its potential for Africa by Derek W. Keats and J. Philipp Schmidt:

by D. Keats and J.P. Schmidt in, 2007

by D. Keats and J.P. Schmidt from South Africa in, 2007

“Education 1.0 is mainly a one-way process, Education 2.0 uses the technologies of Web 2.0 to create more interactive education but largely within the constraints of Education 1.0.”, “Education 3.0 is characterized by rich, cross-institutional, cross-cultural educational opportunities within which the learners themselves play a key role as creators of knowledge artifacts that are shared, and where social networking and social benefits outside the immediate scope of activity play a strong role.”
“We are still far from Education 3.0, even Education 2.0 is not as widespread as it might seem, especially in the developing world and particularly in Africa. However, we may be close enough to a tipping point to engineer crossing it in a way that is advantageous to education and educational institutions.”
From the White Paper: Equipping Every Learner for the 21st Century by the Centre for Strategic Education, Cisco Systems Inc. and McKinsey and Company, 2008, 28 pages pdf:
“The future growth and stability of our global economy depends on the ability of education systems around the world to prepare all students for career opportunities and help them attain higher levels of achievement. However, despite numerous efforts to improve educational standards, school systems around the world are struggling to meet the demands of 21st century learners and employers.
In both developed and developing nations, young people have become increasingly reliant on social networking technologies to connect, collaborate, learn, and create, and employers have begun to seek out new skills to increase their competitiveness in a global marketplace. Education, meanwhile, has changed much less. With few exceptions, school systems have yet to revise the way they operate to reflect current trends and technologies.
The complexity of this challenge calls for a bold and timely response—a global solution that allows poorer countries to leapfrog costly stages in the development and expansion of their education systems, while enabling schools all around the world to incorporate 21st century skills into demanding curricula.
Incremental and evolutionary approaches have not worked for most learners or most countries, what is required, is extraordinary leadership and a holistic transformation of education systems.”, “Although the vision is global, the path to 21st century education requires a local journey; one that recognizes and responds to specific challenges and opportunities. The end goal is the systemic improvement of both the quality and accessibility of education throughout the world.”
presentation slide on 'mobile and informal learning trends'Josh Bersin, 2011

presentation slide number 15 on ‘mobile and informal learning trends’ Josh Bersin, 2011

From John Corrigan on the p2pfoundation website: “The four goals for all learners in education 3.0 are: acquire a range of skills needed to succeed in a modern, globalized world, receive tailored instruction that enables them to reach their full potential, connect to their communities in person and digitally, and interact with people from different cultures, continue learning throughout their lives.”
Other terms which like to overlap with Education 3.0 are Informal Learning and Pervasive Learning. From Dan Pontefract in ‘Learning by Osmosis’, 2013: “We should all believe (and demonstrate the ability to) learn at the speed of need. Pervasive Learning is the switch from a ‘training is an event’ fixed mindset to ‘learning is a collaborative, continuous, connected and community-based’ growth mindset.”

About ‘Mastery learning’: In in ‘The pedagogical foundations of massive open online courses’by David George Glance a.o., 2013: “Mastery Learning as first envisaged by Bloom (1968) allows students to achieve mastery of a concept before moving on to the next. This contrasts a more traditional approach of presenting material and concepts and moving everyone at the same pace regardless of their understanding.”
About the use of short video’s: “With short videos, the students have the ability to control the pace, pause, rewind, explore and return to the content. They are unable to do this with standard lectures or with video recordings which may be one to two hours long. Videos are kept deliberately short following Khan’s (2012) claim that videos of 10–15 minutes fit into an optimal period of time that students can maintain attention.”
About ‘the flipped classroom’: In, ‘Things you should know about… flipped classrooms, 2012, 2 pages pdf: “The flipped classroom is a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Short video lectures are viewed by students at home before the class session, while in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects, or discussions. The video lecture is often seen as the key ingredient in the flipped approach, such lectures being either created by the instructor and posted online or selected from an online repository.”, “The value of a flipped class is in the repurposing of class time into a workshop where students can inquire about lecture content, test their skills in applying knowledge, and interact with one another in hands-on activities. During class sessions, instructors function as coaches or advisors, encouraging students in individual inquiry and collaborative effort”

from User Generated Education blog, 2011

from User Generated Education blog, 2011

On ’21st Century Skills’: Equipping Every Learner for the 21st Century by Cisco, 2008, 28 pages pdf: “These include core skills covered by the existing curriculum in most countries—language, mathematics, science, and arts—combined with 21st century themes such as environmental awareness and the impacts of globalization. These are complemented by learning and innovation skills, information media and technology skills, and life and career skills: Problem solving and decision making; Creative and critical thinking; Collaboration, communication, and negotiation; Intellectual curiosity and the ability to find, select, structure, and evaluate information; And the motivation to be: An independent self-starter who is responsible, persevering, self-regulating, reflective, self-evaluating, and self-correcting, and A lifelong learner who is flexible and able to adapt to change.”
About ‘low cost pay-as-you-attend’ paradigm: In Michael Trucano ‘A new wave of educational efforts across Africa exploring the use of ICTs’, 2013: “A low-cost, pay-as-you-go model is at the heart of many of the innovative business models 2iE (International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering, RK) is pursuing. By breaking payments into small pieces, and not requiring that (for example) a student pay an entire semester’s tuition. Such schemes are much easier to self-finance than many tradition approaches, especially important where sources of student aid can be rare. As relevant to their needs and as their finances allow, students can proceed one course, and one certificate, at a time, with the possibility to aggregate these courses and certificates into full-fledged degrees over time, at a pace that suits them. “An African solution for the Africa economy” is how 2iE describes this approach, which is labels the taxi model (‘taxi-brousse’): -you start when the car is full; -you drive for as long as you need, -and can afford; -if you don’t like the ride, you can get out and find another taxi.”


image from 12 Reasons Why MOOCs Will Change the World

image from 12 Reasons Why MOOCs Will Change the World

A definition from M. Mitchell Waldrop in Nature ‘Online learning: Campus 2.0’, 2013: “MOOCs: Internet-based teaching programmes designed to handle thousands of students simultaneously, in part using the tactics of social-networking websites. To supplement video lectures, much of the learning comes from online comments, questions and discussions.” and “The two researchers even set the system up so that students could mark one another’s homework for essay questions, which computers can’t yet handle. Not only is such a system essential to scaling up learning, says Koller, but it also turns out to be a valuable learning experience. And experiments have shown that if the criteria are spelled out clearly, grades given by the students correlate strongly with those given by the teacher.”, “MOOCs had exploded into the academic consciousness in summer 2011, when a free artificial-intelligence course offered by Stanford University in California attracted 160,000 students from around the world — 23,000 of whom finished it”, and “Bricks-and-mortar campuses are unlikely to keep up with the demand for advanced education: according to one widely quoted calculation, the world would have to construct more than four new 30,000-student universities per week to accommodate the children who will reach enrollment age by 2025, let alone the millions of adults looking for further education or career training.”
From Wikipedia MOOC page: “Because of the massive scale of learners, and the likelihood of a high student-teacher ratio, MOOCs require instructional design that facilitates large-scale feedback and interaction. There are two basic approaches:
-Crowd-sourced interaction and feedback by leveraging the MOOC network, e.g. for peer-review, group collaboration
-Automated feedback through objective, online assessments, e.g. quizzes and exams
Connectivist MOOCs rely on the former approach; broadcast MOOCs such as those offered by Coursera or Udacity rely more on the latter.”, “To distinguish between the two, Stephen Downes proposed the terms “cMOOC” (focus on connectivity) and “xMOOC” (focus on scalability).”
from Nature 'MOOCs Rising', 2013

from Nature ‘MOOCs Rising’, 2013

In the Scientific American ‘Free Online Courses Bring “Magic” to Rwanda’, 2013: “Bringing the world’s best college courses to some of the world’s most disadvantaged people is certainly the hope—and some would say the hype—of the MOOC movement.” and “You have to find a solution that actually fits the reality of the Third World,” says Tony Bates, a Canadian consultant who specializes in online learning. “Yes, content will be free in the future, but what students really need is the kind of services instructors provide. How to study, where to find information, critical analysis, learning to have original ideas in what you do, discussion and high-level thinking: all have to be supported and developed by interaction with teachers.”, “The idea of just dropping MOOCs on Africans or others without facilitation and without assistance is a nonstarter. A lot of students haven’t been taught how to use a computer. Really simple stuff is complicated: launching a program, closing a program, even typing.”, “the only workable model is clear: delivering the best instruction from the best teachers online but with significant hands-on support and classroom interaction.”
And “MOOC providers are aiming to award credentials that will be acceptable to colleges and employers, but that is still in the early stages. Part of the challenge is to develop safeguards against cheating that are seen as reliable. One method requires students to go to testing centers; other methods are technological. “We have something called Signature Track, where we ask someone to show a photo ID from the start, and when you do homework, you’re asked to take a photo and provide a typing sample,” Ng says. “Your typing rhythm is hardened to your being. It is very difficult for you to type like I type or for me to type as you do.” The process is called keystroke biometrics, and it can be used to ensure that someone completing an assignment is the same person who signed up for the course.”, “MOOC providers also see credentialing as a way to monetize their services. Coursera courses are free on an individual basis, for instance, but credentials are not. At the moment, if a student opts to take a Signature Track class from Duke University on Coursera, he or she will pay a fee of less than $100. After completing the course and passing exams, the student gets a “verified certificate” of completion with a Duke logo on it. For a handful of Coursera classes currently accredited by the American Council on Education, credit recommendations from that organization—which are accepted at many traditional institutions—are available. The cost is $100 to $190. Coursera also offers financial aid to participants who cannot afford those fees.”


'The Story of Cholera' animation video from the Global Health Media Project, 2011

‘The Story of Cholera’ animation video from the Global Health Media Project, 2011

From the Global Health Media website: “In low-resource settings where literacy and language are obstacles to learning, step-by-step visual instruction has an enormous advantage, especially when voiced-over in the local language. Video draws the eyes and ears to all the subtleties that make for good skill acquisition, and can make learning ‘stick’.” and “Our open access Web library of high-quality videos—true to conditions in low-resource settings—will meet the needs of frontline health workers in a simple, accessible, and cost-effective way. Videos are actively promoted through an established and vast network of thousands of global health professionals to ensure worldwide impact. For health workers without internet connectivity, training NGOs and ministries of health can distribute them via a USB flash drive or a memory chip in a mobile phone.”
Eric Hamilton in ‘The ‘sublime, engrossing’ experience of video’, on the elearning-africa webiste, 2013: “The main development as a result of the Internet is that content is shareable to a much greater degree. This has given rise to an entire industry of video providers. Equally important is the emergence of easy-to-use tools that permit individuals to create their own content, engendering an entirely new sense of community identity, ownership, and voice. Previous materials have always entailed a hierarchical arrangement whereby professional content producers make curriculum and materials that are then “consumed” or used within schools.
We currently, however, have new tools that upend this pattern. These include new tools to allow teachers to blend digital representation systems, academic content and their own wisdom in crafting video to help advance learning. This significantly promotes a wonderful sense of personal creativity, ownership, and professional satisfaction. And of course, the internet furnishes a space for sharing these advances. In developing countries, or in countries where there are few language-appropriate materials, the ability to create shareable digital media takes on directly the shortage of materials . It places educators and students in the new role of being makers, not just consumers, of curriculum content.”
picture from article 'Mobile Health Around the Globe: Empowering Rural Health Workers with Mobile Video', 2013

picture from article ‘Mobile Health Around the Globe: Empowering Rural Health Workers with Mobile Video’, 2013

In ‘Health Education in Rural Communities with Locally Produced and Locally Relevant Multimedia Content’ by Maletsabisa Molapo and Gary Marsden, 2 pages pdf, 2013: “We designed a model of health education content creation and distribution wherein professionals who serve the rural community produce the content themselves.”, “The application basically allows a trainer (e.g., a nursing sister) to load images and record descriptive voice, after which the voice and images are combined into video that is formatted to play on mobile phones (.mp4 format).”, “the nurses to create educational videos on the topics that they found most relevant to the needs of the people they serve.”, “Over the first five months of the pilot, when the CHWs visited the health centre for their monthly training, they would receive new videos created by the nurses, transferred to their phones via Bluetooth.”.
From a secondary education project in Afghanistan, Afghanlearning, 2013: “Lessons on the content of the curriculum of Math, Physics, Biology, Chemistry and English for grade 7-12 are pre-recorded in a TV studio in Kabul to then be saved on micro SD cards (memory card for a cell phone, RK). The lessons help teachers in the classroom with good content knowledge and inspiring and interactive lesson methodology and at the same time they provide a quality lessons for the students. These SD cards are then distributed to schools where the videos can be displayed by a mobile phone connected to a micro projector. A mobile learning helpline allows for an interactive Q&A session with the master trainers after each broadcasted lesson. And in the implementation of a competition, which is integrated into the lessons and facilitated through the mobile helpline. The competition encourages active participation and increases motivation. Students and teachers take part in separate competitions.

image from

image from

The teaching model is reinforced by raising awareness about the importance of quality education within the community. This is done by involving community members such as parents, teachers and Mullah in group sessions at school. Next to that, an out-of-school solution has been co-created. The same SD cards as provided for in school use can also be inserted into mobile phones (feature phones such as the Nokia C101). In this way, students can take home these SD cards for self-study. And by using mobile phones, these videos have an even bigger reach as they can be spread amongst community members and out-of-school children.”


Virtual patient can mimic the symptoms of psychiatric disorder to help therapists in training practice their skills. (Credit photo: Skip Rizzo) From LifeScience, 2013

Virtual patient can mimic the symptoms of psychiatric disorder to help therapists in training practice their skills.
(Credit photo: Skip Rizzo) From LifeScience, 2013

In ‘Videogames and Learning’, one of the Worldbank blog post written by by Michael Trucano, 2013: “For me, it has long seemed like the most powerful real-time learning assessment engines have been found in videogames, where actions (or inactions) are often met with near instantaneous responses, to which the player is then challenged to respond in turn. This feedback loop -taking an action, being presented with information as a result, having to synthesize and analyze this information and doing something as a result – might meet some people’s definition of ‘learning’. A good videogame engages its users so strongly that they are willing to fail, and fail, and fail again, until they learn enough from this failure that they can proceed with the game. Even where educational software is not explicitly labeled as a ‘game’, designers are increasingly introducing game-like elements (badges, achievement bonuses, scoring systems) as a way to promote user (learner? player?) engagement as part of a process known as ‘gamification’.
Katie Lepi in ‘Why Should You Try Game-Based Learning?’ on the, 2013: “Games can make people behave better. Learners perform better when using game-based learning.” and “Players work harder voluntarily with game-based learning. The work tends to be more relevant and easier to recall in ‘real life’. Timely and appropriate feedback is worked into the game design. The challenges, structures, and goals are generally quite clear in game based learning.”
part of the infographic 'Getting the Facts on Game Based Learning';, from The Knowledge Guru website, 2013

part of the infographic
‘Getting the Facts on Game Based Learning’, from The Knowledge Guru website, 2013

Mitchell Waldrop in ‘Education online: The virtual lab’, in Nature, 2013: “But for many people working in education, MOOCs do not yet take the revolution far enough. Online lectures by video are fine for conveying facts, formulas and concepts, but by themselves they cannot help anyone learn how to put those ideas into practice. Nor can they give students experience in planning an experiment and analysing data, participating in a team, operating a pipette or microscope, persevering in the face of setbacks or exercising any of the other practical and social skills essential for success in science. ” and “Almost by definition, practical skills have to be acquired through experience. They require the hands-on, problem-solving activities that have traditionally been the domain of laboratory courses, field trips, internships and, eventually, project work in the lab of a more senior academic. Bringing such experiences online is tricky, but education-technology researchers have been making substantial progress over the past decade. Thanks to smartphones, immersive gaming software and other rapidly evolving technologies, says James Gee, an education-technology researcher at Arizona State University in Tempe, “we can do problem-focused learning way better now” — and can make it available to students around the planet. “It’s a way to give everyone the kind of education we used to think of as a luxury,” he says.”
Serious Games helping pharmacists to better advise patients with osteoarthritis. From seriousgamesmarket blog, 2013

Serious Games helping pharmacists to better advise patients with osteoarthritis. From seriousgamesmarket blog, 2013

From, How Can We Make Cloud Solutions Relevant in the Offline World?, 2012: “The ‘cloud’ at its most fundamental level, refers to a collection of one or more servers that host data and/or applications that users access through the ‘window’ that is their computing device”.

image from

image from

More citations from the article: “The primary benefit of the “cloud” is a reduced burden (and responsibility) placed on the user machine for processing and provisioning of information.” and “A benefit of cloud computing is the open data initiative that fosters collaboration and information sharing. Whereas information was traditionally siloed in local storage devices and networks, cloud data presents an opportunity for more groups to share data and perform value-added activities to that information”. “However, open data and cloud computing must still overcome a few challenges. The ease of access that characterizes open data on the cloud requires a paradigm shift from a focus on owning data, instead to a focus on using data. Organizations whose value-proposition comes from the acquisition and possession of specific knowledge and data will be reluctant to open their data if it reduces its competitive advantage over other organizations. However, as information becomes increasingly available, organizations will need to reinvent themselves around the use of data rather than its possession.”, “Resource restraints force one to think of the best solution given the circumstance. In areas where internet is limited by cost or infrastructure, partially online services and hub-and-spoke implementations are ways that mitigate some of the risk factors and restraints. eGranary is as an example of how content, that might otherwise sit on the cloud, can be brought off-line in areas that lack internet access.”

From wikipedia: “The eGranary Digital Library contains an off-line collection of approximately 30 million educational resources from more than 2,500 Web sites and hundreds of CD-ROMs. The collection includes more than 60,000 books in their entirety, hundreds of full-text journals, and dozens of software applications.”, ” Few schools, clinics, or libraries in the developing world have adequate connections to the Internet; those connections that already exist are rather costly. By caching and serving educational resources via a local area network, the eGranary Digital Library can reduce an organization’s Internet costs—potentially helping them to save tens of thousands of dollars every year. Many eGranary subscribers do not have an Internet connection, but even those who already have an Internet connection find they can open resources up to 5,000 times faster from the eGranary Digital Library.”

In ‘No country can make progress on the basis of a borrowed language’ eLeaning-Africa news portal, Professor Kwesi Kwaa Prah, 2013: “With the current default to post-colonial languages in the majority of education ‘solutions’ brought to the Continent (Africa, RK), ICT and education remain inaccessible to the overwhelming majority: ‘Education is still a privilege of the Westernised elite. We talk about development through education and training, but in whose language?'”. “The knee-jerk response to arguments like these is often that the investment and technology for these ICT products comes from abroad – from the United States, from Europe or Asia – and using ‘international’ languages such as English or French are the only economically viable options, but Prah disagrees. ‘Some African languages are spoken by fifty or sixty million people. It makes economic sense to develop products for this market, by this market.’ If we continue to pretend that African languages are unimportant in the drive to achieve ‘education for all’, says Prah, ‘we will forever be waiting for 90% of Africans to become English!'”

from an infographic at website

from an infographic at website

From the The eLearning Africa Conference Report 2013: “Another important topic for discussion at the 2013 eLearning Africa conference is the value of indigenous African languages.”, “A significant minority who answered these questions (conference survey, RK) indicated that they use local content in indigenous African languages (17%) and that they are involved in creating digital content in indigenous languages (16%).”, “A manager working in Zambia explained: ‘all the iSchool content is being produced in the seven main Zambian local languages”.
In ‘Languages: Translating Health Content Without Borders’ on the globalvoicesonline website, 2012: “One of the projects carried out by Translators Without Borders is taking place in India”, “So far, the (health) videos have been subtitled into approximately a dozen Indic languages, but they are still looking for translators”, “We are also translating health information that is available via mobile phones. One project we are working on for a Kenya-based non-profit will give rural people the chance to access Swahili health information on their cell phones.”, “Much of this work takes place in TWB’s first Healthcare Translation Center based in Nairobi, which is powered by This center allows for non-governmental organizations to connect directly with the professional volunteer translators”, “Wikimedia Canada and Translators without Borders have collaborated to launch the Wikiproject Medicine project. The aim of the initiative is to increase access to medical knowledge through increased translations. This will in turn have a significant impact on the availability of reliable health care information worldwide, thus potentially saving many lives. The project consists in translating the 80 highest ranked medical articles – those averaging millions of page views per month in English – into at least 80 developing world languages. In another project, we are translating a mobile health app to train healthcare workers across East Africa which will also involve a mobile community where they can chat and exchange experiences”.
image from Translators Without Borders

image from Translators Without Borders

From the Coursera Blog ‘Coursera Partnering with Top Global Organizations Supporting Translation Around the World’, 2013: “Coursera, a leading Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) provider, is announcing a partnership with ten top organizations from eight countries to translate complete course lectures across multiple disciplines for students around the world, for free.”, “Students can log in to Coursera and check class landing pages for updated information on translation offerings in the coming months. For the time being, course lectures will be translated via subtitles while all other course material, including quizzes and assignments, will remain in the course’s original language. Coursera’s long-term goal is to have our platform localized to global audiences.”, “Now, by joining forces with top organizations globally to produce fully translated course lectures, Coursera and our translation partners are taking a giant leap forward toward making high-quality education accessible to anyone, anywhere — regardless of what language they speak”.

A bridge between education 3.0 and global mental health capacity building:
I can’t find a lot education 3.0 in the global mental health capacity building yet.
But what do we have online, or with the use of the new media?
I find the above pictured ‘Virtual Patients Get Psychiatric Evaluations’ project, University of Southern California, 2013 with virtual veterans with depression and suicidal thoughts which are intended to help train clinicians and military personnel to spot those at risk for suicide or violence.
And via the Medicine Africa platform there are, for example, regular long distance education tutorials and distance support and mentoring sessions (online), from mental health specialists in e.g. UK for mental health staff and students in Somalia (King’s THET Somaliland Partnership).
The International Medical Corps produced 11 Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) Intervention Guide Training Videos, in 2 languages, English and Arabic, free available.
There is for example the the US Department of Veterans Affairs free mobile app Psychological First Aid.
There are a few relevant Coursera courses like The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness and Introduction to Psychology. And other 100% or partial online/distance courses.
There is the Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support online Network with daily uploads and interactions and with now and then a webinar.
There are some relevant LinkedIn groups with discussions and interactions. And one could get a lot of interesting links and information via Twitter and Facebook.
And there are blogs and lot’s of websites where one ‘could learn from’.
You are actually in the education 3.0 right now! Reading this blog post.

Three final citations: Dr Mubashar Sheikh of the Global Health Workforce Alliance at the GETHealth Summit 2013: “Every country needs to find specific solutions to its own problems, and ICT provides no shortcut to deep-seated structural health system challenges. But it does represent a new tool to be added to the arsenal of policy options and initiatives that may be explored to guarantee a more equitable access to quality health services, and this opportunity should not be missed”.
Micheal Trucano on his World Bank blog about mobile learning: “Cynics (including those with long memories of the cycle of hope and hype that accompanies the announcement of each new ‘paradigm shift’ in the educational technology space) may contend that rhetoric around this topic is (take your pick) rather hollow; or brazenly opportunistic; or just naively optimistic. No doubt all of these things are true in some cases.”
Dr Eric Hamilton in The ‘sublime engrossing’ experience of video, 2013: “In the 1980’s, personal computing was revolutionary. In the 1990’s, the Internet was revolutionary. This past decade, social media has been revolutionary. What if we excel in chasing the dream of imagination and creativity in learning, and wind up forming revolutionary breakthroughs of this magnitude every year, every month, or every day? Makes me smile to imagine!”

Education 3.0 is not a panacea for all global mental health capacity problems, but I’m sure it can:
-generate more cost-effective solutions
-make education and training more effective
-make education material more attractive which enhances motivation
-make scaling and translations of material easier
-make a career in mental health more attractive and feasible
-reach people everywhere, even in the very remote and insecure areas
-empower students, staff, service users and care takers in mental health

Is Global Mental Health ready for education 3.0?
I think the big leap into new forms of education and pedagogy must be taken, but there seems to be quite a bit of ignorance and hesitation among policy makers and program developers.
I hope this blog post helps to reduce that a little bit.

Roos Korste, psychologist, international trainer, blogger

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