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

Monday, 18 February 2008

Then and now

I was tidying through some drawers recently and came across some photographs from my OT Graduation ceremony in 1991. I delved a little deeper and found more pictures from my time at St Katherines College Liverpool, all of which brought back fond memories of places and people I don’t see so much now and I got to reminiscing about my training.

Undoubtedly I had a great time and learned enough to graduate and begin working as an Occupational Therapist. Much of the content and teaching methodology of my training is relevant today, but I do wonder how we managed without the internet, email and computers. My assignments were handwritten and information was gleaned from books or Journals during long hours in the library. Feedback and tutorial support was always face to face and excusing late work by citing the crashing of a computer was unheard of, but many papers were chewed by cats or drenched by coffee at the critical hand in hour (do you know how long it takes to rewrite 4 thousand words by hand!!!).

In light of the increasing use of technology and the now commonplace nature of the internet I wonder if my education was somewhat limited. I don’t feel that it was, but would I study now without making recourse to the internet? I would feel I was missing potentially relevant information and the opportunity for speedy communication with tutors and peers. Not to mention the advantages of file sharing, wikis and of course blogs. But then maybe I am somewhat evangelical about it and I’d be interested to here the views of others who studied before the dawn of technology. Maybe it was actually much simpler then?


Anonymous said...

It might have been simpler, but much much less international, and much harder to collaborate!

I graduated even earlier than you - 1984! We didn't have computerised journal indices, and all the articles had to be in hard copy...

So much has changed from then to now - not the least is the ability to self-publish! But more importantly, the ability to communicate and collaborate with a wider range of people, both colleages and 'the general public'.

The problem is, it's so easy to publish that it can be difficult to carefully evaluate the validity and worth of each new publication. This is why occupational therapy educators (and anyone who educates health care professionals) REALLY need to ensure that undergraduate therapists develop excellent skills in research methodology and especially the evaluation of evidence.

As an educator myself (to a wide range of health professionals) I applaud the work that you and others do, both in teaching and in posting a blog like this. Go for it!!

Merrolee said...

Hi Sarah and Angela
Like your open ID.. but I think I lost my posting while I figured out how to use it!

anyway... just had a few moments tonight and have been cruising the blogs again. You have inspired me to get going again - I did just one posting in January and then got totally sidetracked doing the beginning of the year work required to get courses underway. But our postgrad programme is now into its second week.. and I've just about completed all the paperwork for central admin processes - so evenings will be free again for wonderful reflective postings from my EdD studies.... oh. and of course working on our joint presentation for conference - will be talking to you soon!

Merrolee Penman said...

Hi Sarah
Check out my reminiscences of OT School at http://oteducation.wordpress.com/2008/02/29/reflections-on-learning-now-and-in-the-past/

Jackie said...

I qualified and started work in 1981. I guess we were all trained for the conditions and knowledge of the time.Your post leaves me marvelling at our desire and motivation as humans to go on learning, changing and adapting to the times. But oh what I would have given to have the library open in the weekends!. I remember desperately needing some more references for a psychology assignment. Having only the resources in the house I ended up using the Bible!. The lecturers comment was something like -at first I thought this was rubbish but on reading it right thought you make some very good points and I got a mark in the 70's !!!

Sarah said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I love the Bible anecdote!