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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.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Online Technology has a role for professional development: A students' reflection

Ashley has given me permission to share her reflection on the recently completed module: "Online Technology for Occupational Therapy"

All the students were asked to consider HOW they adopted these new technologies and how they might contribute to their professional development. The first task was completed through the lens of Kolb's experiential learning theory (1984)and the second part was completed through the lens of the Canadian Profile Document (CAOT, 2007).

Thank you Ashley, I really appreciate the time spent on creating this wonderful reflection. I hope others look, listen and learn from you.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sharing the love... of technology!

I recently completed a 13 hour "intensive" module "Online Technology for Occupational Therapy" with MScOT students here at the UofA. The module is an elective subject and up to 20 students can participate, this year was the biggest group yet with 13 first years.

The module has evolved over the past three years, from being called Web 2.0 for health care to Web 2.0 for Occupational therapy and this year, in keeping with the WFOT congress workshop I changed the module name to "Online technology for Occupational Therapy".

The format of the sessions was as follows:

Session 1:
  • Introduction and workshop
  • What’s expected in this course?
  • Assessment tasks
  • Project selection and commencement

Session 2

  • Personalized homepages/Portals
  • Collaborative writing
  • Social Networking
  • Online Surveys
  • Podcasts
  • Continue projects

Session 3

  • Managing RSS feeds: Google Reader, iGoogle
  • Setting up "alerts"
  • Setting up automated database searching from the library
  • Social bookmarking: Delicious
  • Project presentations
  • Post-course evaluations
Below is the list of student projects completed
  1. AT for OT: A repository for the assistive technology projects completed by the 2010 MScOT cohort (this is not an open project until permission received from all groups whose AT projects are housed on the site)
  2. OT survival guide: An students' view of surviving and thriving while studying OT at Corbett Hall (this project was developed using a Mac computer and is looking for a new online home... watch this space)
  3. Pediatrics for OT students: An online resource looking at the key diagnostic groups and assessment tools an OT student needs for a pediatric fieldwork placement
  4. Cultural Mosaics: How OTs fit - An online resource for OTs working with people who have immigrated to Edmonton, particular focus on understanding what resources are available.
  5. Occupational therapy: Is it for you? - An online resource looking at the question of "what is occupational therapy as a career?" This group avoided jargon as their target population is school leavers and undergraduates who may not know about OT as a career option.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Showcasing online technology to occupational therapists

Teaching classes is slowly finishing and conference season has begun!
As educators we have a couple of mandatory requirements and one is to present our recent research activity at conferences. Coming up with amazing content seems to come in waves and right now we are riding a wonderful wave that formed gradually over the past 10 years or so!

In the last month I have attended and presented at the AOTA conference with Professor Karen Jacobs from Boston University, at the World Federation of Occupational Therapy congress with and on behalf of the international group we call OT4OT (online technology for occupational therapy) and then this week Professor Vivien Hollis presented on behalf of a group of us from the University of Alberta Occupational Therapy Department at the Association for Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) conference in Malaysia.

Conference 1: American Occupational Therapy Association conference in Orlando Florida 29 April - 2 May, 2010

While at the AOTA conference I spent a lot of timelooking at the technical displays in the exhibition hall, a definite strength of this conference. Below are some brief videos of a couple of items that grabbed my interest while I was there.
Video 1: Learning to use an eye-gaze control to operate the computer! Plugs into any computer using the USB port, I was able to master in less than 5 minutes.

Video 2: The RollerMouse being demonstrated. This device replaces a traditional mouse with a roller under the palms of the hands and buttons to click for left mouse, right mouse, copy, paste etc., all in one central location.

The slides from the Tech Day presentation can be found at this link

Conference 2: World Federation of Occupational Therapy Congress, Santiago, Chile. May 4-7, 2010
Here I am including the link to the wiki called Online Technology for Occupational Therapy that we developed for the workshop as an ongoing resource for participants and also for any other OTs wishing to find out more about using these technologies in OT practice or education for knowledge retrieval, transfer or research. We also developed a Facebook group with the same name as a place for people to get together and share resources and knowledge about online technologies. The Facebook group has blossomed from 17 members in mid-April to over 400 members in mid-May, a sure sign that OTs are using this social media and want to talk about it!

Conference 3: Association for Advancement of Computing in Education conference in Penang, Malaysia, May 17-20, 2010.
The paper that we collaborated to produce is titled: "It's not possible to be a sage on the cyberstage" and the abstract can be found through this link. The paper illustrates the range of online technologies we are currently using in our OT program at the University of Alberta. We also made a series of videos to tell our story as we could not all attend. This was a wonderful way to illustrate what we were doing, how we were doing it and Vivien Hollis was there to discuss why we are using all these technologies in a program that is primarily face to face.

My slideshare uploads