I have for a long time watched enviously as educators really appeared to make the social networks afforded to them by social software work.  I bemoaned the fact that there weren’t enough OT’s online to make this workable, and commiserated with Sarah who finds the same with midwifery!

But… in the last few months, the numbers using the programmes have exploded, and slowly there appears to be slightly more even representation between academics/researchers, students and OT’s, although I think student numbers would still outstrip the rest of us!

The last 3 months I’ve seen the power that emerges from a group that starts to cluster together online – I’m talking about the group that formed within a few short days to submit the abstract to the COT conference that has just happened. The work this group did is described here in my blog.  It’s amazing the level of trust we gained through our work online, and we still have yet to all meet actually face to face.

Building on the success of this combined work, Natan and I grabbed the opportunity at the ‘nth’ hour to submit and abstract to the next American OT conference in Texas next year.  Using mainly gchat and one or two emails, we developed the abstract within I think about 36 hours. The rest of the group were able to view the final abstract after we had submitted it but were happy with the outcome. We will wait for a while to hear back… and we may not be successful, but its another example of what can be achieved through the tools.  And the group has more plans to use the tools to grow other’s understandings of occupational therapy – so please do watch this space (and that of Angela, Sarah, Will and Natan!).

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