Here is a guest post by Heather O’Leary (@Heatherclarinet), who reflects here on how her use of Social Media has contributed to her Continuing Professional Development:
I first began using social media (SM) professionally after rediscovering my twitter account, and a slow Saturday afternoon searching by interest. I began tweeting about my experiences as an OT student; lectures I’d just been too, articles I had just read, and calls for help with assignments! I then started my blog when I struggled to fit everything I had to say into 140 characters! My main outputs of SM are on twitter, participating formally in OTuesday, NHSSM and more recently, OTalk and OChat. I also use twitter for informal discussions with OT students from other universities, practicing OTs and academics (a personal highlight was a tweet from E Duncan!).
I get a lot of benefits from my use of SM, the main one being the opportunity to communicate with so many other people, each with their own interesting stories and viewpoints on current issues. It allows exposure to a wider range of opinions – and with NHSSM, not just from OT perspectives – which breeds constructive debates. Another benefit of using SM is the speed at which information in shared. Previously we talked of how journals bypassed text books in getting information out there, now with SM your news, findings, thoughts and experiences are spread to a waiting audience instantly! I also find SM is a nice fall back for those days when the work can get too much, as a gentle reminder of why OT is so fantastic, why we do it, and mostly importantly why we love it!