Showcasing online technology to occupational therapists

Teaching classes is slowly finishing and conference season has begun!
As educators we have a couple of mandatory requirements and one is to present our recent research activity at conferences. Coming up with amazing content seems to come in waves and right now we are riding a wonderful wave that formed gradually over the past 10 years or so!

In the last month I have attended and presented at the AOTA conference with Professor Karen Jacobs from Boston University, at the World Federation of Occupational Therapy congress with and on behalf of the international group we call OT4OT (online technology for occupational therapy) and then this week Professor Vivien Hollis presented on behalf of a group of us from the University of Alberta Occupational Therapy Department at the Association for Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) conference in Malaysia.

Conference 1: American Occupational Therapy Association conference in Orlando Florida 29 April – 2 May, 2010

While at the AOTA conference I spent a lot of timelooking at the technical displays in the exhibition hall, a definite strength of this conference. Below are some brief videos of a couple of items that grabbed my interest while I was there.

Video 1: Learning to use an eye-gaze control to operate the computer! Plugs into any computer using the USB port, I was able to master in less than 5 minutes.
Video 2: The RollerMouse being demonstrated. This device replaces a traditional mouse with a roller under the palms of the hands and buttons to click for left mouse, right mouse, copy, paste etc., all in one central location.
The slides from the Tech Day presentation can be found at this link

Conference 2: World Federation of Occupational Therapy Congress, Santiago, Chile. May 4-7, 2010
Here I am including the link to the wiki called Online Technology for Occupational Therapy that we developed for the workshop as an ongoing resource for participants and also for any other OTs wishing to find out more about using these technologies in OT practice or education for knowledge retrieval, transfer or research. We also developed a Facebook group with the same name as a place for people to get together and share resources and knowledge about online technologies. The Facebook group has blossomed from 17 members in mid-April to over 400 members in mid-May, a sure sign that OTs are using this social media and want to talk about it!
Conference 3: Association for Advancement of Computing in Education conference in Penang, Malaysia, May 17-20, 2010.
The paper that we collaborated to produce is titled: “It’s not possible to be a sage on the cyberstage” and the abstract can be found through this link. The paper illustrates the range of online technologies we are currently using in our OT program at the University of Alberta. We also made a series of videos to tell our story as we could not all attend. This was a wonderful way to illustrate what we were doing, how we were doing it and Vivien Hollis was there to discuss why we are using all these technologies in a program that is primarily face to face.

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