I’ve just come away from leaving a posting on Karen’s site – http://otstudents.blogspot.com/2007/05/ding-dong-week-is-dead.html . I had been following through the link looking for more OT blogs… and got to Karen through I think Patti.

I was doing a quick squiz through Karen’s postings and found the one about about the week being dead. Karen described a 12 hour marathon to cram for a neuro exam (in the first year of their masters programme). Karen had also asked in a different posting what Web 2.0 actually was. So I used her real example to give an example of what could be using Web 2.0 tools. Here is what I said:

Hi Karen
I couldn’t go past this post as a good example of social networking that can also be replicated in the virtual world….You talked about how you had found neuro a hard class to be motivated in and that you had ‘goofed’ off a lot – I guess the lecturer presented material in a way that didn’t match your learning style?

It seems like the level of discussion that you achieved with a group of you – perhaps questionning each other, or explaining to each other, or redrawing in order to explain to yourself? In other words, you made the information meaningful for you and hopefully that means that you will retain some of that knowledge that you may need as a clinician one day! Its a bit sad that in curriculum design lecturers don’t always stop to think about the learning styles of their students, rather the teach the way they were taught, or is easiest to do – ie tell the student the important information that they then have to regurgitate in an exam (at masters level ??? raised eyebrows!)

But back to Web 2.0 tools and your comment about what are they on this blog

A definition of web 2.0 can be found on wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0)

Blogging tools are one example of Web 2.0 tools. So is social bookmarking – (see http://del.icio.us/merrolee) as is YouTube, or MySpace – which connect people with similar interests. There are stacks more of these types of tools – we are exploring just a few of them! Basically they allow groups of people to come together with a common interest but to do this in the virtual world as opposed to the real world. So to relate to your real example, you may have come back from one of your neuro classes, and used for example wikipedia to search and look at a particular concept. You may find that there is a 3 dimensional view of the neural track or part of the brain that you have been studying. You might have set up a study group online in wikispaces (www.wikispaces.com) – so you might pose a question to this group – one of the member’s might be someone with more knowledge who might ask you some questions to aid your learning – or another member of the group may have covered this earlier and share their thoughts. You then write up your thoughts for your blog, adding in the links to the websites you found, and an excerpt from the discussion group perhaps. Already you are starting to make use of the information, putting it into words you can understand, making your own meaning. Of course you have already added the sites you found helpful to your del.icio.us bookmarks so the next time you can easily find them… and of course this information will be helpful for the next OT student who is stuck on the same issues – could this have worked for you??

Of course what would be just amazing would be if you had a lecturer who encouraged you to do all of this, and designed an assignment for the class which basically was something like this rather than an exam! But… even our programme isn’t quite there yet – but at least we are starting to think about it! Hope this gives you perspective on how Web 2.0 can work to meet your learning needs.

Also today I met with my colleagues Leigh and Bronwyn to talk some more about the WEb 2.0 project that is now halfway through. We recorded the conversation and I’ll pull out some excerpts to add to here – but thats a weekend job!