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

Thursday, 12 June 2008

COT Conference 2008

Image: Will, Sarah and Angela

I've just returned from my day at the COT conference at Harrogate, having left a number of the OT team there for the remainder of the week. Between us we had a number of posters, papers and seminar sessions accepted so we have all been busy both in the preparation and the delivery (especially slap bang in the middle of marking for the conferment board next week!). It was good to see so many of our students there too, maybe a blog post on your experiences would be of interest?

An unusual presentation perhaps was the seminar that Will, Sarah and I delivered on "Is social networking bringing occupational therapists togther?" using our experiences of meeting colleagues via blogging from all over the world. The planning and development of the seminar was conducted between Sarah and I here at Salford, Will Wade at Oxford Brookes, Merrolee Penman in NZ and Natan Berry in USA using many of the web 2.0 applications (e.g wikis, blogs) and a virtual meeting space (elluminate). Sarah, I and Will then delivered the seminar at conference on behalf of us all - and we only met Will in person the day before the seminar was due to run - so living proof that networking is indeed bringing OTs together!

The session was well attended and seemed well received and many questions were fielded afterwards - so as promised here are our slides which will give you all the links to the blogs we used to illustrate our points - particularly for the discussions about using blogs to demonstrate and evidence CPD activity for the HPC re-registration requirements.
Part of the session explained how to set up a blog and how to comment on others' blogs. So if you are visiting this post having attended the session - I challenge you to make a comment on this post - just let us know that you visited. Click on "comment" at the end of the post and type your comment into the pop-up box, if you have a google account already you can sign in and your user name will appear on your comment, if you don't have an account and don't want to set one up just yet you can tick anonymous.
By all means, please feel free to comment even if you didn't attend - we'd love to hear from you.


communityOT said...


I atteded that session yesterday about blogs and found it very useful and informative. I see this as a great opportunity to learn new ideas, and as good CPD opporuntiy. So thank you for being this to us, as I think i will be visiting again and leaving comments all over the place.

(p.s.Just need to lean to spell a little better)


Sarah Stewart said...

Love the presentation. This is what I'm going to have to do more of in midwifery. I'm really cross because I have missed the deadline for the main midwifery conference in NZ this year, so hope to make the big Australian one next year. Having said that, the problem with conferences is that they are so expensive to attend. To other plan of campaign is to do more publishing about blogging etc (paper that is). How else do you think we can get the word out there?

Anonymous said...

Hey Angela - didn't we do well - a great presentation showing how social networking actually works across the world!
I'll pick up the powerpoint now and bring into my blog -

Lovely to see one comment already - if you were at the presentation - then don't forget to check out the blogs of the other presenters as well - myself (http://oteducation.wordpress.com) Will (http://metaot.com) or Natan (http://bloggingot.wordpress.com)

Any of us would be really happy to help anyone tackle learning how to use the tools - and it doesn't matter where you live.. we can do it by distance!

Anonymous said...

Sarah - I can definitely recommend connecting up with others as we did here - UK, US and NZ. If you could submit to the Australian one with an Australian midwife (or someone else travelling to Australia) then you can really start to show what can be achieved!

I think publishing is important, but I think 'show and tell' can be more effective - what do other's think?

Angela said...

@community OT hello and many thanks for taking that step to add a comment. Glad you found it helpful and I look forward to hearing more in the future

Angela said...

Hello - yes I would definitley agree with Merrolee. Our experiences have really shown how easy it is to work with someone in cyberspace. The software and opportunity is there -and I'm sure that your own blog has attracted many people who would be keen to do some collaborative work. I would highly recommend it

Sarah Stewart said...

'Show and tell' is very effective, there's no doubt. But as a n academic there is also a great pressure to publish. I think we need to get in there and publish about this work we're doing before others do.

Which brings me to my next idea - how about a collaborative publication with us all on social networking and inter professional collaboration ie how we support each other through our blogging even though we come from different professions?

James Lampert said...

Hi. Found your blog via route: COT website (highlighted the presentation on the member front page), so I posted something on the member forum . Then thought I'd visit Will's site (bookmarked on my Firefox). Couldn't find much easily there. Visited my own blog (www.housingot.co.uk/page9.htm) and linked through to Merrolee's blog > found presentation details there > finally linked back here. So it all works. Sorry for not being terribly pro-active last year - I do remember you contacting me. Forgiven? Think you've done a brill job. On another note - hope you've updated your OT programme to include self directed support - details on my blog and Merroll's blog now. Congrats for promoting social networking - been inspired again!!

Angela said...

@Sarah - Hi I agree with your point most definitely. Whilst we are demonstrating how well this can work just by doing etc (a fact that I often try to get across to our students who bemoan the fact that OT is so difficult to explain)- I agree that in order to make the profession really consider the possibilities of web 2.0 and beyond we need to engage more in both researching and publishing what we are doing. I'm up for it - any ideas?

Angela said...

@James - Hi, yes it's good to hear from you again - of course you're forgiven! Thanks for the tip on self-directed support - I shall visit your blog and have a look. Looking forward to future discussions etc.

Sarah said...

Well, I've returned from conference, finished marking and found time to visit our blog and be impressed by this discussion.
I was really skeptical about whether or not we could pull off such a venture, but we certainly did!
James, you came to us via a fairly convoluted route. although it is encouraging to hear the COT made reference to the presentation. Any tips for making it more straightforward do you think? Oh, and as for are you forgiven - of course!
Sarah Bodell

Sarah Stewart said...

uummm no burning ideas at the moment, but I'll have a chat with Merrolee and see what she thinks. In the meantime, if you come up with anything, let me know.

What about something around the 31 day comment challenge? Merrollee's doing that now as well.

Christine Thistlethwaite said...

Hi Angela and Sarah

Having returned from the conference and having had a few days to mull over and reflect on my experiences, I like communityot would like to add that I attended your session at the conference about blogs and social networking and found it very useful and informative. Having been present during the session in university (led by you both) about bloggs I found that your collaborative presentation expanded on some of the information introduced during that university session. As a newly graduated OT (as of yesterday) I feel that social networking and blogging could be an excellent way for me to stay in touch with my fellow graduates and expand my learning and knowledge of OT as well. – I was especially interested to hear how blogging can be used as a reflective tool that can be linked to CPD. I will be starting an acute physical rotation next month and believe that starting a blogg of my own and/or commenting on other people’s bloggs may be a way to help me formulate my ideas and reflect on my practice within my new and exciting career. Thanks for inspiring me!

Anonymous said...

Great to see the conversation and to be able to glimpse your work even when in a tearing hurry. I am Zoe Parker from the College and not anonymous just pushed for time will read and reflect and comment more fully when I've had time to look at your presentation. Best wishes

Angela said...

@Christine - Hello and congratulations on your graduation!!
Thanks for your comments and am glad that you were able to attend. I shall look forward to reading your blog in the future make sure that you let us have the link so we can find you and keep you in the loop.
Good luck in your career!

Angela said...

@Zoe - hello - good to hear from you.
We'd be very keen to hear your reflections on our presentation once you've had time to ahve a look. We'd also be happy to work more closely with you at COT if you felt that web 2.0 was something the organisation would like to explore further (I hope it is). Maybe speak soon?

Sarah Bodell said...

Congratulations Christine, and hello Zoe!

James Lampert said...

Keen to work with you all on this, especially with ideas about how can this be applied to real workplaces in social care (and maybe health - depends what limit you put on the scope). Got to do some thinking and work with our in-house web team and leads on communication on the Self Directed Support project at work. We're launching our intranet website next week (as long as still on track), to inform all social care staff about the personalisation change programme. We'll also be developing the external facing local government micro-site.

One of the things we want to do with the intranet site, though, is to make it interactive, use it for discussion and feedback around what is emerging as a a topic with polar views (all you have to do it read personalisation / social care transformation articles on wwww.communitycare.co.uk to see what I mean). One of the challenges is about how to keep it safe for people to comment (honestly), without identifying themselves necessarily, engage in useful, healthy discussion and moderate it (?, whilst making this kind of interaction something that everyone can do (as well as keeping up with the day job). Part of my remit is about facilitating a cultural change within the organisation, and on the back of this, maybe, this is a good opportunity to change the way we communicate with each other. Would tie in with leading and managing more community based, "virtual" teams of people. Just some thoughts.

Scott Newman said...

Hi there...as an owner of a social networking site and an OT I definetly agree with the other comments. The emergence of blogging and social networks in general has helped information move faster than ever before and allows therapists to collabrate like never before. I can't wait to see what's next.