Overview of ISHN Activities
The International School Health Network (ISHN) has focused on a limited number of strategies in its work at the international level and in helping national and state/provincial organizations use information and knowledge from other countries effectively in their own work serving practitioners, advocates, researchers and government officials. These include:
- helping us all to learn more about multi-intervention approaches, programs and strategies that help schools, agencies and systems to address board health, safety, equity, social and sustainable development issues
- being a pioneer and facilitator of effective, professional uses of web-based tools and processes that enable us all to work with others around the world
- organizing convenient and small symposia and meetings in conjunction with other international conferences, meetings and consultations so that effective policy, program and practices in school-based and school-linked work are more apparent and accessible to participants
These strategies will be followed in a limited number of ongoing and project-based activities that will be undertaken by ISHN, usually in cooperation with other organizations and networks. These include:
- World Encyclopedia & Knowledge Exchange Program on School Health, Safety, Equity, Social and Sustainable Development:
This wiki-based web site is positioned as a shared work space to be used by several organizations, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and individual practitioners as a forum and document development tool. Over 60 individuals and 15 organizations have already contributed their time, expertise and funding to the calls for writers, contributors and sponsors in several International Discussion Groups covering a wide variety of subject areas (core concepts, nutrition friendly schools, community schools, healthy schools/school health promotion, monitoring/reporting/ evaluation, school substance abuse prevention, mental health, implementation/capacity/sustainability issues, school nursing, behaviour theories, teacher education and development, integration within education systems and more). As of June 2013, over 85 Glossary Terms (1-2 paragraphs), over 45 Encyclopedia Entries (2-3 pages), and over 25 Handbook Sections (15-20 pages) and over 60 Bibliographies of web-linked research, reports and educational/planning/training resources have been developed. There are several “first edition” documents that have been developed to a publication stage.
Many of the summaries include or accompany one or more of at least fifty recorded webinars that have been embedded as presentations within the text of the documents. Our ongoing scanning of web networking sites such as SlideShare, GoogleDocs, YouTube and others is identifying and gathering collections of bookmarks, web sites, selected policy and guidance documents and more. These collections will be integrated within the bibliographies.
The Alphabetical List of almost 400 topics provides a glimpse of the eventual coverage of this program that we hope to achieve over the course of several years. We have developed outlines for the contents for each type of summary in the program that can be used as guidelines by writers and contributors. A similar set of outlines will guide the development of bibliographies and toolboxes. A protocol for controlling and sharing the right to publish in other venues is being developed. ISHN will review all content to ensure that we comply with copyright laws and have permission from other sources if we use or adapt their content. Our technology tools enable us to host and record webinars, use the wiki-based tools to edit and store drafts of the summaries, to encourage participants to post comments and attach their own papers, documents and reports as case studies. These new technologies permit us to loosen the grip of geography, telephone charges and time zones. However, the real value of this enterprise is the content and the people who benefit from their participation.
- ISHN Subscription/Membership Provides Access to our Global Information Service:
The International School Health Network offers a subscription-based service to access our daily, weekly and monthly monitoring/reporting from over 400 journals, over 150 media outlets and over 100 social media sources. This service is provided by Shannon & McCall Consulting Ltd, a world leader in school health and development and the practical use of web-based tools to support knowledge exchange. Subscriptions are available on an individual, organizational, state/provincial and national basis through the purchase of annual memberships or license agreements. Partnerships to share revenues and responsibilities with national and international associations are also possible. A subscription to the ISHN membership service provides access to a vast amount of information which includes identifying and posting the titles of related titles and links to journal articles, news stories, reports, research reviews and a variety of educational and planning resources from over the journals, news media and blogs published by education, health, welfare, development and other organizations. We also monitor key web sites from all 200 countries and their respective provinces/states, collecting and archiving links to recorded webinars, document collections, presentations and bookmarks from other organizations. This vast amount of information is collected and analyzed in different ways and published in daily, weekly and monthly formats that members can choose to receive at their convenience. Updates and excerpts of this daily, weekly and monthly information is also available through a private Twitter account and a School Health and Development Blog. For more information, go to the ISHN Membership section of this web site or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contacts in all countries. states and international organizations, networks and agencies:
ISHN will be approaching a researcher, government official and NGO staff person to ask that they act as contacts or correspondent for their country, state, organization or network. As a contact, they will be asked to update a web page/report twice a year with any major reports, web sites or key contacts relating to promoting school health, safety, equity, social or sustainable development. In return, these contacts will receive access to a part of the School Health Insider information service and be able to post selected items from the SHInsider Twitter account and blog on their own web sites (See example here). This network will be made available to officials, researchers and others seeking a rapid response or environment scan to identify innovative practices or the the status of various types of programs used by countries and states around the world.
- International School Health Symposiums: ISHN has worked with several other organizations to organize several international symposiums and conferences since 2004. These events have preceded or coincided with major health promotion conferences. In the future, ISHN will work with issue-based international networks and other types of organizations to organize similar one or two day events.
- Webinars, Web Meetings and Online International Consultation & Web Dialogues
ISHN's experience in organizing webinars, web meetings and other online discussions will be used to support other organizations in using the web effectively to exchange information and knowledge around the world. ISHN maintains an extensive archive of our webinars as well as those that have been organized by several organizations concerned with school-based or school-linked programs.