Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely our own and not necessarily those of our employer or any other occupational therapist.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Continually reflecting

Having read Angela's post about Holism it the merit of blogs started to become apparent to me. The session Angela did with the third level students was also of interest to me as I think that in order for the profession to survive and flourish we need to all 'think outside the box'. It is therefore important that there is ongoing discussion within the profession of how this could be done and traditionally this discussion would have taken place either through Therapy Weekly, OT news or the BJOT. But it takes time to write a piece, send it off to the relevant editor, wait for it to be reviewed, have it published etc etc. Blogging on the other hand is almost instant, have a thought, write it down, press send, what could be simpler!..........I think I'm becoming a convert!


Merrolee said...

Hi Kirsty
I 100% agree with you - blogging allows for quicker and more fluid discussions at an international level. Reviewing means that your thinking is always subject to someone's editing pen, and in doing so sometimes your original intent is lost - this way you can own your material, own your thinking, and be prepared to stand by it publicly. Or.. you can show how your thinking has altered with input from others.
The discussion is more open - others who are not members of 'closed societies' ie in that you have to pay a membership fee are able to learn from, contribute to, shape the ideas that are flowing in the discussion - at the cost of an internet connection and hardware admittedly (so it still is a little like a closed society - but less so)... More discussions, learning, reflecting, sharing may provide our associations with a bit of a wakeup call - it is essential that we stop holding knowledge to those with only the resources to access it.. and get it out amongst the whole profession.. whoops - better hop off the soapbox!

Anonymous said...

I also agree - I think that the current hierarchy of evidence and knowledge utilsed in developing the profession does not include sources such as blogging because of the lack of review / regulation and validation. I can post anything here to promote discussion and debate, my views can be challenged and this discourse may engage others, creating opportunities for reflection and learning. I think contributions which do not have to follow a standard format, adhere to a specific word limit or be presented in a certain way remove some of the elitism and power from the professional debate. All interested parties can contribute and be valued for their contribution, in this way the professional debate can be more creative and less constrained by the requirements of other more traditional sources of publishing material, which still have their place within a broader more accessible professional forum.

Merrolee said...

Vicki agree with all you said except:

"...which still have their place within a broader more accessible professional forum..."

The fact is .. our professional forums are not accessible at all - in fact they are closed shops. Where can you access the journals - mostly university/school libraries - how much does it cost to get the journal - usually a lot of money - how can I search for articles I'm interested in - via CINAHL etc which again have a membership fee (although slowly this is changing and Google Scholar search gets most of what CINAHL gets you)... and if I want one specific article and I'm not a member of that journal - then it will cost me up to$30 US dollars - so I have to disagree - the professional forums are less accessible than the net, and actually closed shop to members only?????????

Sarah said...

I actally think blogging is perhaps less accessible to the majority of OT's than Journals.
Most OTs in the UK have access to Journals and databases via their workplace or the COT.

Blogging on the otherhand is on the surface really accessible, and yet this blog and others shows how relatively few OTs do actually use them.

I agree that blogging has many benefits, in addition to more traditional sources of academic information, but until more understand about it and are aware of it, it might as well cost a million pounds!!!

And even once is is as common as going to a Journal, I guess many will still choose not to blog.

Anonymous said...

My comment was that blogging, as well as other avenues for professional debate would make the professional forum / discursive space broader and more accessible,

"in this way the professional debate can be more creative and less constrained by the requirements of other more traditional sources of publishing material, which still have their place BUT within a broader more accessible professional forum." Perhaps I should have added the BUT, as above, to make my point clearer....I think we are saying the same thing Merolee.

What Sarah said is interesting and it will take a cultural shift to enable professionals to be more open to other ways of creating meaningful professional dialogue, in the UK the 'comfort zone' for such activity is journals and forums linked to professional regulatory bodies.

If we engage our students in this debate and enable them to experiment with technology, this cultural shift may be facilitated.

Merrolee said...

Hi Vicki
Ah.. we are then on the same wavelength.

Re your comment Sarah - what proportion of OT's in the UK are employed by the NHS - and how many of those have access to the same range of journals that we do in our university/college libraries? In NZ the balance has just tipped with 49% or so employed in DHB (like the NHS), then some in education - who have access to a great library, and the rest - private practice, Non-government organisations etc. These therapists don't have access to the library and unlike the COT - NZAOT only allows access to the journal for those who are members. What access do COT members get? And is this the whole profession or only those who pay a membership fee?

We are so used to what we can access - I've really had to stop and think about what is easily available and to who and what isn't!

And yes Sarah - we have to do a heap more marketing of tools such as blogs to the profession - but hopefully (fingers crossed) the 2008 BAOT/COT conference committee will accept our abstract where we can at least show a few more people what could be possible!!!