Focus for my EdD

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I’ve got two things happening to provide impetus to become an active blogger again.  Firstly, I’m part of an international group who are presenting at the WFOT Congress in Santiago, Chile.  I’ve put my blog into the information and it would be a bit sad to have potential visitors seeing a blog with cobwebs around it’s edges!  So I’ve less than 4 weeks to get some entries.. and to have done a bit of housekeeping to clear brush off the cobwebs, do the dusting, and basically have a fresh blog that is a working blog again!

The other reason is that as I’ve talked about before, I’m enrolled in a EdD at the University of Otago. Along with our thesis that we submit, we also submit a portoflio. A component of this is to demonstrate how we have contributed to a profesionnal community, and how this community has demonstrated to my learning.  Seeing as there is no professional community specific to my topic – ie professional learning of occupational therapists, I thought I’d try using my blog to find people who may be interested in coming along with me in my doctoral studies – being interested in contributing to my learning and vice versa.  This means I will need to blog regularly –  read others regularly, twitter, connect my blog to face book and use numerous other strategies.  And just a thought that popped into mind… I’ll have to check when I started this blog, but none of these connections existed then fromwhat I remember – so this may be easier than I think!

out of the blogging drought?

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I’ve just spent an enjoyable hour or so cruising around the net.. with music from YouTube in the background. Tonight we’ve had everything from the Proclaimers to who knows what (husband loves to do his accounts to YouTube music in our shared study!).

Anyway… I started cruising tonight because I am cowriting a chapter for a upcoming textbook for fieldwork educators/academics/supervisors/preceptors (pick the relevant one for you). I’ve been reading an article by McGee & Begg published in Medical Teacher 2008 (30/2) (Yes I know find the hyperlink!)… McGee works at the Medical School at University of Pittsburgh. He was describing the use of collaborative learning workspaces for students and faculty… There are apparently 2000 unique collaborative websites maintained by 600 undergraduate medical students – and do you think I could find just one of them?? Apparently the course directors also regularly blog.. so I was keen to find that one of those as well (all examples I could bring into this article).. but nope they alluded me too!

So I’ve hunted McGee down on FaceBook… but in the meantime I’ve checked out a few blogs I haven’t looked at in ages, looked at Health 2.0 online journals, caught up with friends blogs and generally just cruised for an hour or so with very little outcomes to show for it, but it’s been like picking up a favourite book or magazine and just flicking through it. Can’t tell you a lot about what I found, haven’t delicioused any sites, or any of the things I should have done – but I’ve had a enjoyable time… back to the book chapter tomorrow with or without McGee’s exm

Long time no blog!

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This blog has been so quite for so long – I haven’t even looked at the stats!  My only excuse is that 15 months ago I enrolled in a professional doctoral programme at University of Otago. The combination of completing 4 major assignments, and the ongoing work inbetween just left me with so little time to myself to do enjoyable things like creating blogging posts!

So I survived the first year, got the grades I was aiming for and rolled straight on into the second year with more classwork to refine our research topics…. I’ve got a topic, and a focus but more about that in a later post!

Just now I wanted to flag that I aim to get this blog up and running again come June. I’ve just started on a long break from my academic job – a combination of annual leave (7 weeks) and a 3 month sabbatical. The leave part is coming first… so from June onwards I hope to be back and actively blogging!

New occupational therapy blog

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I’ve a few moments so have been tidying up my messy blog (doing my housekeeping).. There are so many more blogs now written by OT’s (upwards of 60 I’ve heard). I thought I’d showcase a new one that is just getting started  – its organised by postgraduate students as a way to keep on developing and buidling on knowledge gained from a postgraduate course called Language by Hand: Handwriting practices for children and young people

So check it out – its just a fledgling new blog but I’m sure is going to grow.

 

The power of social networking for occupational therapists

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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!).

COT Occupational therapy 2008 conference

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The joint presentation by Angela Hook, Sarah Bodell, Will Wade from Oxford Brookes, and Natan Berry in USA and myself seemed to go extremely well with good interest by those in the audience. Check out Angela’s posting on the Salford OT blog. I’ve also included a copy of the powerpoint presentation here:

so in Angela’s words, please take the time to look at the presentation, and leave a comment, even if it is just to let me know that you visited. Click on “comment” at the end of the post and type your comment into the pop-up box. Even if you didn’t attend, please feel free to comment. Or head back over to Angela and Sarah’s blog and leave comments there.. or check out Will’s or Natan’s blogs (click on their name above to get taken to their blogs).

Occupational therapy conferences…..

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I’ve been keen to talk more with occupational therapists about the value of web 2.0 tools. In late May I presented at the European Congress/German conference in Hamburg. In this presentation I discussed the outcomes of a research project I completed last year with occupational therapists and learning to use web 2.0 tools.

Coming up is the College of Occupational Therapists conference in Harrogate, England where a team of us are due to present on how social networking tools (ie blogs) have bought us together. Perhaps if you are reading this message, you may have attended either the European Congress, or the British conference. If you did…. what did you find useful in the presentations? what did they get you thinking about? Can you see the possibilities????? Are you more confused, or less confused?

If you attended the British Conference, then Will will have finished the presentation with a challenge to leave a comment on a blog. So please,…. leave me a note, perhaps with a reflection or two (remember you can count this CPD activity)…. I’d love to have more conversations with OT’s about what the tools have to offer. I’m also happy to help anyone get going as well if they want!

And to those who have already left a comment, I’ve been away from Aotearoa/New Zealand for about four weeks now…. so I will be back both to leave more posts… and ….. to follow up links people have given me… and to update my Web 2.0 tab with occupational therapy blogs.. and just maybe… to take the 31 day challenge as Angela is doing….

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