Using Skype to connect real life to the theory!

Interactive online technology has opened the world to our classroom through Skype™. I can now invite guest speakers and experts into the classroom.
In one of my OT courses this year I interviewed two eminent occupational therapy authors using this approach and then watched the interviews in class with the students.
I used eCamm recorder™ to pre-record interviews on Skype™ and in addition to playing them in class I was able to upload the file to the learning management (LMS) system for repeated viewing.
My goal was to show the students the people who wrote the text, so that they might think more deeply about their words when they read the textbook, rather than view pre-reading as a “burden”. I used the interview to ask questions about expand on topics that were not included in the text.
The pre-recorded interviews provided a scaffolding of learning for the students and the disucssion in class enabled students to explore concepts more fully with the instructor. Using the interviews brought theory to life and encouraged students and educators to learn together with the invited expert.
This week I am preparing to interview an OT colleague live during class. Students will be able to directly interact with an OT, and ask her about practice in her part of the world. This will be different from last time, as I controlled the interview and played it to students, this time students will be actively involved and the session will unfold on the day. With permission of the interviewee I can record the session and load this on to the LMS for future viewing.
Using technology to enhance OT education is my passion. I wonder what other ideas people might have to bring theory and practice together through technology in the classroom?

The wonders of skype

I use Skype almost every day in my personal and professional life. It’s free and easy to use and so personal! My sister and I cook together with our laptops on in our kitchens, chatting while doing our “chores”. She’s in Melbourne and I’m in Edmonton! My nieces and nephews play imaginary games with me through the computer screen, feeding me imaginary cake or giving me presents!

More and more we are integrating Skype into teaching in schools and higher education.

Rather than create my own set of “how to” instructions here, which is time-consuming, I will link to Blogs where others have already done the hard work. Here are two links to follow if you want to learn more about setting up Skype and want to link with others who are already successfully doing this.

The Edublogger has a “how to set up skype” guide, followed by discussions, this is based on higher education settings.
An online e-journey with generation Y tells us about their experiences using Skype in their schools

Online Healthcare Gets Personal

Health 2.0 and the Healing Power of Supportive Communities

As we know, social networks are gaining widespread acceptance, and people of all ages are accessing the internet not just to get information but also to find, give and receive emotional support.

In a recent report from CarePages, they discuss that scientific studies provide evidence that such support has significant health benefits.

An excerpt from their full report:
For people facing a health crisis or a chronic, debilitating condition, Health 2.0 is not just about innovative technology – although technical advances such as the expansion of broadband have made Internet applications easier to access and use. Technology, however, is only an enabling tool to help these Health 2.0 individuals get what they really want – the opportunity to connect with others who will help them feel better physically, emotionally, mentally and/or spiritually.

This report links with three of my other posts. The first one where I talked about the incredible support my father received from an online support group, after he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, the post I made about “doing being and becoming a blogger, to belong in a virtual world” and one linked to that… about the blogging project we are planning with Edmonton Brain Injury Relearning Society… to facilitate safe blogging with people who have an acquired brain injury.