OT4OT Blog

OT24Vx 2012 date set

October 29/30/31 – depends where you are in the world

Written by Anita Hamilton- August 22, 2012

After running OT2Vx on World OT Day (October 27th) for the past two years we found that it would not be possible to run the event on a weekend as we would not have IT support for the event.  Therefore we have chosen October the 30th for the event… we hope you can make it!.  If you are wondering what time the event starts for you then visit this link.

Planning for OT24Vx 2012

Written by Anita Hamilton- April 26, 2012

This year World OT Day falls on a Saturday!  This presents a new and interesting challenge for us as we have not yet run the event on a weekend.  We have been wondering if it will help or hinder attendance to have OT24Vx on the weekend, somehow, I think it will help as participants will be able to log in and out at their leisure, not when they are between appointments.

We have started brainstorming our next theme and will reveal our final decision after our first planning meeting in early May.  The theme will again be broad and inclusive.  Susan and I have been trawling the AOTA conference for potential speakers and Susan will also be on the look out at the upcoming CAOT conference in June.  The UK duo Sarah and Angela will no doubt have the British conference covered and Merrolee will be down under searching for gems to share again this coming October.  We’d love to have speakers form Europe,Africa, Southern and Central America and Asia, so if you have a speaker suggestion or marketing idea please send us an email at otforot@gmail.com.

Looking forward to sharing the OT Spirit with you all again on World OT Day 2012.

Time flies when you’re having fun!

Written by Angela Hook – October 25, 2011

Can you believe that it has been almost a year since our first, and very successful, 24 hour Virtual Exchange for World OT Day? We are now busy organising the second event for this year’s exchange that will launch from University of Salford in the UK on 26th Oct 2011 at 7.00pm (GMT+1).

We are often being asked how we got together and how we made it happen, so, in the absence of time to put together a piece for publication we have decided as a group to split the task and to blog about different aspects of the whole. This blog from Sarah and I is about the process from a first encounter to the closing of the final Elluminate session last year.

How did we meet?

Each of us meeting is totally down to the power of online networking – which regular followers will know that that we are strong advocates for. Each of the group had been involved in online media for a while through blogging and Facebook etc, but it took one link in common to set the ball rolling. Will Wade should have a special mention for linking myself and Sarah with Merrolee in New Zealand. Through online collaboration we delivered a seminar to the COT conference in 2009 (still not having met face to face) and had a subsequent publication in BJOT together.

Merrolee then introduced us to Anita who then linked in Susan and Karen.  We continued networking through online media and I think it was Anita who initially suggested that we should put together a submission for a workshop to the WFOT Congress 2010.

To cut a longish story short, we were accepted and through a stroke of good fortune we found ourselves in Chile, at the first day of Congress and meeting face to face for the first time (unfortunately Susan was unable to attend – but she was there in spirit).

The Seed of an idea

We spent many an enjoyable and productive hour at Congress and in the evenings that we had together (only 2) chatting, discussing etc. Following a presentation at Congress by Marilyn Pattison on WFOTs strategy for networking and social media, Merrolee grabbed Sarah and I (literally), marched us to the front, presented all of us to Marilyn and said “we’re the women for the job”.  This is where the seed of the idea came from to link with WFOT for the first ever World OT Day and offer a 24 hour virtual conference. We were extremely excited but not sure if we could pull it off. This was May 2010 and the date to be met was October 2010 – 5 months away!

How we organised it

Once we all arrived home there was a flurry of activity, shared Google docs, Skype meetings, virtual classroom meetings.

We quickly made the decision that our target audience would be occupational therapists (as opposed to the general public) which helped us begin to think about speakers that we could approach. We also decided that we wanted to approach “ordinary” as opposed to “high profile” occupational therapists who could share their experiences and innovations from around the world. With such a short time to plan we each used our own networks from which to invite people to present.

Otago Polytechnic in New Zealand agreed to host the event which meant we could have access to their virtual classroom and technical support.We decided that each session should have its own dedicated room to enable the presenter to set up in time to start. Not knowing how many people we would likely attract we also decided to not set the limit on how many could attend each session.

Googe docs became the place where we kept things up to date so that we could see at a glance how the day was looking, who had been confirmed as speakers, where the gaps were etc.

Breakdown of Tasks

Each month we met virtually either via Skype or in the virtual classroom and furthered the arrangements which included:

a) setting up a website where participants could follow progress, access the timetable for the day, set themselves up ready for Elluminate and finally access the individual sessions through a link

b) writing instructions for participants in how to get into the sessions and set up with elluminate

c) Dummy runs in the virtual classroom for each presenter with the relevant facilitator for their time zone

d) Instructions for the facilitators

e) Public Relations, marketing the event, which included the design of posters and fliers, using networks and online media to get the message as far and wide as possible in each of the time zones. A great deal of activity took place in blogs and on Facebook and twitter. WFOT and national professional bodies also offered support and publicity.

The Presenters

As I have mentioned before, these were majorly sourced from our own networks. Having the Google doc, planning timetable available made it easy to ensure that we were recruiting a range of presenters and topic areas. Once presenters had agreed to be involved (all from goodwill gesture – no money changed hands) it was the relevant time zone facilitator’s job to keep in touch and support them through the process. We initially asked them for a working title and abstract, a photo and a brief biography (by mid September) for the web site in order to begin promotion of their session. We then asked for their presentation in advance (two weeks before the big day) so that the facilitator could upload to the classroom just before the session. Dummy runs were also held (from 2 weeks before to the day before the big day!) to allow a level of familiarity with the room and how the session would run. Presenters were also asked for email consent to record the sessions for a further 6 month availability following the day.

The Technology

Technology has played a big part in the whole process. Online networking sites such a blogs and Facebook brought us all together. Our first project as a group was the design of the wiki that formed the basis of the workshop at WFOT Congress.

We have a website where anyone can access information about the group, about the projects and of course about the 24 hour Virtual Exchange.

We also used Facebook (the OT4OT group) and Twitter, using the hahsgtags #ot4ot and #worldotday2010

Elluminate was our platform for the virtual sessions. To prepare participants I have already mentioned we had clear instructions on the website for them to follow and we also had a “sandpit” room available for anyone to go in and test that all was working for them. We then had dummy runs with the presenters.

Next blog posts: reflections on the day and statistics from our survey!

11 responses to “OT4OT Blog

  1. I’m an OT new to blogging also and find it inspiring that you have managed to achieve so much from across the world!
    I have been catapulted inot blogging as I am travelling to the USA early in 2012 thanks to a Winston Churchill Travel Award to spend 8 weeks in LA studying the Lifestyle Redesign concept in OT and looking at how we could use it in the UK to improve hospital/home interface for older people. My blog is at http://otebby.blogspot.com/
    If you have managed to do so much, I cna see the potential for communicating like this.

  2. Hi Ebby
    Good to hear from you – thanks for commenting on our blog – we are often amazed ourselves at how much can be achieved with a computer, internet connection and an enthusiasm to link together.
    Sounds like you have an interesting time ahead of you – congratulations on the award we will certainly look forward to following your exploits through your blog. I am sure you are aware of other OT blogs that are around, our blog at the University of Salford (www.frederickroad.blogspot.com) has a link out to many of the OT networks if you fancy a visit.
    Good luck with your travels and we hope you are able to catch a few of the 24hour exchange sessions this year.

  3. This would be a golden opportunity to get update information regarding our profession

  4. HI Sabeen – hope you will enjoy the sessions! It’s almost here!

  5. Will the 2011 conference be archived soon?

  6. Sounds like you did a great job. It shows the power of using Technology to get people working together and what the end result turns out.

  7. I can’t find the archives. Where can I look for them?

  8. Thank you, I’ve recently been searching for information about this topic for a while and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered so far

  9. Welder - São Paulo, Brazil

    Its great to see how is OT in the world…. and share new ideas and discussion about our practice !!!

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