My photo
I am an Australian occupational therapist, educator and researcher. I have worked as an OT in mental health, vocational rehabilitation and a private surgical hospital. I am passionate using online technology to enhance the knowledge and growth of the occupational therapy profession. In my PhD research I am looking at the role of online technologies in information management and knowledge transfer in occupational therapy. Views expressed and stories shared on this blog are my opinion and do not represent views of my employer or professional registration body.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Am I slow? I've discovered today which is a social bookmarking tool. This tool enables people to bookmark websites in the same way you would on your own computer but it is stored on the web, meaning that it can be used when you away from your own computer and it can be shared with others. Yep, more networking!

How does it work?
Sign up to so that you can use this tool. After you join up you can bookmark your favourite sites. When you find a new website that you want to access again in the future tag it in with key words that describe it's content. Your tags can be shared with others who are looking for similar sites or topics. Here's an instructional video.

The best thing is, if you are involved in a group who are interested in the same topic area you can share the load by sharing your bookmarks!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The important role of online communities: an area for OT development?

One key interest I have is the important role that online communities have in supporting people who are dying. This is a personal and professional interest as I helped my father to become involved in an online support group after being diagnosed with (o)esophageal cancer (EC Cafe).

The role he played in that group was amazing, he became counsellor to others who had the same illness and received suppoprt at the same time. Family members could also participate and through this group my father's life continued to have meaning despite growing frailty. When he died we read messages from his new friends in the virtual world to the people who were his friends in the "real" world.

I've added an article link to this Blog about the role of virtual communities in support and activism. It's entitled ‘‘To me, it’s my life’’: Medical communication, trust, and activism in cyberspace.

Web 2.0 in OT education and beyond

When I started using web 2.0 technology a few years back it was always within the univeristy setting and I felt a bit scared to "put myself out there" in the real cyber-world. I was too scared to find out what I didn't know, rather than celebrate what I was learning.

Merolee Penman at Otago Polytechnic in NZ was a person I connected with early in this phase and among other things Merolee has a great blog addressing the topic of Web 2.0 technology in OT education and beyond, here's the link. From Merolee's Blog there are some great links such as On the run, Re-Engineering Assessment Practices in Scottish Higher Education (REAP), Housing OT and the Salford Occupational Therapy Blog. Just to name a few.

I'm sensing that the use of technology in neurological rehab is far more advanced than in the areas of psychosocial rehabilitation. As usual, the more I dig the more I find there are amazing people out there doing incredible work. Just today I came across the work of Albert "Skip" Rizzo in the area of virtual technology and neurological and behavioural rehabilitation.

The use of virtual technology in psychosocial rehabilitation would be a good area for OT to branch into, it is just emerging in the area of Second Life. A colleague at the UofA is very interested in this area through his PhD research, so I'm hoping he'll visit this Blog and give us more information on this ;-)

Adaptive Use Musical Instruments Media

Thanks Bonita for the link to the site looking at Adaptive Use Musical Instruments Media. This technology allows people with quite limited phyical movement to play piano or drums through a computer. Here's the link to the article and here's a link to the YouTube demo video.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Links to other blogs relating to OT education & technology

At WFOT conference in Sydney in 2006 a group of motivated OT's joined to develop a Blog where OT educators could discuss the role of ICT in OT education. Here's the link to that Blog .

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Online support groups

OT's often find good online support groups for particular client groups. Self-help in the online world has positives and negatives... What are your experiences?

Creating Wikis in OT for education and practice

Something I tried this year in OT education was development of a Wiki. First year students were required to create a Wiki for a group assignment. The assignment was to identify a community activity that was designed to improve the health and well-being of the people involved.

Students chose groups ranging from community choirs to falls prevention groups and one group looked at a school leavers' support program called Red Frogs.

Students needed to demonstrate their understandings of the Action Research Process that was guiding the development of the community program, identify a community model of practice that was reflected in the program and discuss the occupational science principles being addressed by the program (eg: Occuptional Imbalance).

Each project was developed by students, in groups of 5 or 6 people, and pulled together in a Wiki. Using the history tab on the Wiki we could see how the Wiki developed over time and who had contributed. We could have used this as a marking tool but didn't because some of the students who were less technologically minded preferred to have other group members put their work on to the Wiki for them. In future I would make contribution to the Wiki part of the marking rubric.

Development of Wiki's has potential in the area of OT practice. Maybe we could have post-discharge information about Total Hip Precautions on a Wiki! I'm sure there are lots of areas where we'd love to enable access to up to date online information for our clients and also know that we can update it regularly. It sure beats pamphlets going out of date or out of print!

Has anyone created a Wiki in OT practice? Anyone else using these in OT education?


TechnOTs are occupational therapists who like using technology for networking, education and in OT practice settings. If you are a TechnOT tell us what you're doing and where you think OT can do better in using technology.

Using the Wii with older adults

Nintendo Wii is an off the shelf console game that requires players to simulate activities such as tennis, bowling and dancing. Players are usually standing (although not necessary) and they actively use their upper limbs to participate.

Players use vision, eye-hand coordination, grip strength, dexterity, planning and their previous knowledge the activity. Where this is being used in OT we are seeing increased motivation to participate as the Wii has games previously enjoyed but which now difficult due to limitations caused by arthritic conditions, neurological impairment or just general ageing. Players report that they also enjoy competing in a fun environment.

Are you using the Wii in your work setting? What population groups are you working with and what improvements are you noticing?


The goal of this Blog is to provide a space for OT's to network around the topic of technology in networking, lifelong learning and OT practice and to share resources and ideas so that our profession may continue to grow and individuals, groups and communities continue to experience the benefits of OT.

Computer technology offers opportunities for advancement in occupational therapy knowledge and approaches by creating opportunity for:
  • Online networking and professional communication;

  • Life-long learning and evidence-based practice as research and information becomes better available; and

  • OT practice advancement in technology using new treatment tools and approaches, continual improvement of assistive devices and development of online communities of support.

My slideshare uploads