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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, February 28, 2008


I've been introduced to VoiceThread by Susan Burwash here at the University of Alberta. This is an online media album that can hold essentially any type of media (images, documents and videos) and allows people to make comments in 5 different ways - using voice (with a microphone or telephone), text, audio file, or video (with a webcam) - and share them with anyone they wish. A VoiceThread allows group conversations to be collected and shared in one place, from anywhere in the world.

You could use voicethread as a teacher in Higher Ed OR as an OT working with kids, teens or adults to tell their stories, improve digital literacy, find an alternative to typing or to enhance the classroom experience.

Personal Learning Environments

I went to a workshop this week looking at Personal Learning Environments. The presenter, Michael Hotrum (who has worked with online learning guru Terry Anderson at the University of Athabasca) gave a compelling presentation about the usefulness of elgg in higher education and really, just about anywhere where you want to network with others.

Elgg is an open source social platform based around choice, flexibility and openness, placing you, the user, firmly at the centre of your social networking activities! You can incorporate all of your favourite tools (blogs, wikis, e-portfolios, tagging etc) within one environment and then showcase content with as many or as few people as you choose! You can link with or create multiple communities.

Naomi Augur at Deakin tells me that they selected Drupal instead as it was more reliable at the time they were making their IT decision... she reports that elgg is more reliable now.

I'm thinking that for me a great way to use this will be to link with all my interest areas from one place... ok, so what are these areas you ask?
  1. IT & Higher Ed (in particluar: using social software such as Wikis, Blogs and e-portfolios)
  2. Effective adult-learning approaches to curriculum and assessment design in higher education (understanding the importance of Constructivism, Transformative learning, Reflective Practice, Emotional intelligence...)
  3. IT & OT (using technology in rehab such as the Nintendo Wii, advancement in assistive technology through IT, tele-rehab)
  4. Occupational role change and adjustment (not just disability-issue related, but adjustment to any major life event such as becoming a parent, caring for a family member who is ill, becoming a University Student)
  5. Work related issues for people with a disability (particularly mental illness)
  6. Palliative care options/ growth of the role of OT from a health promotion stance

I think I've just convinced myself that I need a space to pull these apparently unrelated links together so that I can reduce overlap and enahnce potential connections. I'm going to give it a go and see if it helps me feel more cyber-centered!

My slideshare uploads