Well it has been a long blogging holiday and I’m left wondering why?

Hmmm..the project that really precipitated my launch into the OT blogging world finished back at the end of June… and so the motivation to keep modelling what a blog could be probably fell a bit by the wayside.

It was the end of the semester for us and with that came marking and other end of semester tasks that just ate up my evenings.

I helped my daughter and her boyfriend create Marilyn Monroe (white dress) and Jo DiMaggio outfits for a fancy dress ball – that was done most evenings over about 2.5 – 3 weeks. It was a good experience as I was spending lots of quality time with my older daughter which I’m sure I will look back on with fond memories when she leaves the family in about 2 months time to head out on her OE. At least thats what I told myself at the time when I was pinning a seam for the umpteenth time, or trying to make a pattern be something it wasn’t originally supposed to be at something like 10:30 at night!!!! They looked fantastic so the hard work was worth it!

I received several referrals for my private work all at once. The service purchaser has very specific requirements for the assessments, and so I spent quite a few nights on the paperwork – the assessing was not difficult but fitting everything into the right boxes always takes more time than I think it will.

Uummmm… not sure what else as that doesn’t seem a lot but it does mean that I’ve not had the time to contemplate an interesting post that might encourage people not only to read, but to be provoked into thought!

So where am I now….

Private work is still busy but I’ve finished the first big assessment, so feel like I can take an evening off to just catch up on who’s been talking about what…. Work work is also settling down – although I still have a programme curriculum document to finish updating…. so it sets on the end of my desk and makes me feel guilty if I haven’t done at least one little bit of it each day…

Home life is calm for the moment… although the countdown to older daughter leaving is picking up pace, as is younger daughters countdown for final exams. This time next year both will be away and I should have heaps of time :=)!

Reflective thoughts…

I went to a seminar/presentation/discussion by Wayne Mackintosh from the Commonwealth of Learning yesterday. Wayne is responsible for the development of Wikieducator a place where both free learning is offered on a range of topics. The goals (as listed on Wikieducator) are:

  • planning of education projects linked with the development of free content;
  • development of free content on Wikieducator for e-learning;
  • work on building open education resources (OERs) on how to create OERs.
  • networking on funding proposals developed as free content.

It was interesting to hear about the goals for Wikieducator and the philosophy of sharing for the benefit of all. Wayne was encouraging all educators to place their learning resources online so that others can easily access and modify for their own environment. I went looking for anything related to occupational therapy (in the educational or health fields) and found at least one resource that was under a lesson on Disability and Rehabilitation 1 and another on cerebral palsy under the next heading Disability and Rehabilitation 2 . This was written I think for people in Kenya. Oh keep going and you will find the heading Children’s mental health which covers intellectual disability, ADD etc etc. Looking at the resources I was reminded of the query I had which was that how useful is it for us to share occupational therapy resources in this way. The Kenyan occupational therapists that must have been involved in the development of these learning resources have very different resources to hand for aids and equipment with the diagrams being examples of the types of resources I might have come across about 40 years ago in New Zealand. If I created a learning resource for the same types of diagnoses, then my resources would look very different – my point is that occupational therapy very much differs across countries because of the context/environments we live and practice in. This seems hard for others to understand, but is possibly to do with the way we use occupation as the medium for change – so while the philosophy is similar the tools we use are so different from country to country. And even our philosophy can differ as in the western world – independence in daily activities is a common goal, whereas for other cultures – being healthy and well is not defined by individual independence but by other means – such as family wellbeing.

That aside, from Wayne said – the whole idea of sharing learning resources, is that people can access what interests them, and then repackage, edit etc for their own use. So what do we have that is useful? Hmm.. perhaps some of the resources we have on evidence based practice could be useful for others, or …. understanding the history of profession? Or… what could be really useful would be some of the resources we have in second year such as group skills or teaching and learning. Both of these courses are perhaps less culture specific and therefore more easily adaptable – and these are OT skills that are used with many cultures. So.. I would need to talk with the staff and look at their learning resources to see if they were willing to share them? Okay Leigh… its taken me some time to process but I think I have finally found something that could be useful to others!

I guess we should also consider this from the perspective of occupational justice – an issue that is raised in a number of occupational therapy forums internationally… but more about the connections later.

An update…. ENOTHE has started this already but while the online version of one example I looked at arthritis looks like its free to do online, if you want to do something else with it you need to pay…. so doesn’t look optimistic for free sharing!