#OTalk -Tuesday 12th October 2021-How do you use social media for learning?

This #OTalk is hosted by Kerry Edwards.

Social media has become part of our everyday occupations. Originally social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram were set up for people to connect socially with friends and families. This has now evolved and has transformed how we communicate with each other on both personal and professional levels. Communicating on social media as a health care professional can be daunting both for people new to social media or for health care students using social media for professional communication, particularly as they may be conscious about upholding professional values and behaviours (RCOT, 2021; HCPC, 2020) in a social, public and open space. However, the literature identifies that there are several motivators for engaging in learning through social media over more traditional learning/CPD environments (Gilbert 2016; Hughs 2021; Murray and Ward 2017)   Social media offers increased accessibility; learning opportunities can be accessed at a convenient time and place from a mobile device. For example, you may access tonight’s chat from the comfort of your armchair at home, or in the car whilst balancing other commitments such as family and work. Social media can also offer social and professional connectedness within the community of practice and/or opportunities to have informal conversations to gain national and international perspectives on topics of interest or opportunities to connect with other OTs or students that we may not normally connect with in our everyday lives. 

This tweet chat aims to discuss how this occupational therapy community of practice currently use social media for learning and continuing professional development.  When using the hashtag #OTalk this week you will be consenting that your tweet can be used as part of the data collection process for my research project. This is part of my studies towards a professional doctorate in education. Ethical Approval from the Cross-School Ethics Committee for Education, Language & Psychology at York St John University has been gained: the approval code is RECEDU00055. If you do not wish your tweets to be used, please contact me within 2 weeks of this OTalk chat, either by Twitter direct message or email me at k.edwards2@yorksj.ac.uk, and your tweets can be removed from the data set.  

Here are the questions that will be used to structure this week’s #OTalk 

  1. OTalk is celebrating its’ 10th anniversary this month. How long have you been joining in with the chat?
  2. What is your motivation for joining in with the OTalk chat? 
  3. What other activities on social media have you personally (and professionally) found useful to support your learning and development? – e.g., sharing of written articles and blogs, connecting with others. 
  4. How has the pandemic effected the way that you have engaged with your learning/CPD on social media over the past 18 months?
  5. Do you record your learning/CPD activities from social media? If so, how? 
  6. How would you like your learning on social media to be recognised in the future?  


Gilbert S (2016) Learning in a Twitter-based community of practice: an exploration of knowledge exchange as a motivation for participation in #hcsmca. Information, Communication & Society, 19:9, 1214-1232,

HCPC (2020) Guidance on the use of social media. Available from https://www.hcpc-uk.org/standards/meeting-our-standards/communication-and-using-social-media/guidance-on-use-of-social-media/. Accessed 01/10/21 

Hughs K (2020) The use of Twitter for continuing professional development within occupational therapy, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 44:1, 113-125,

Murray, K., Ward K (2017). Attitudes to Social Media Use as a Platform for Continuing Professional Development(CPD) within Occupational Therapy. Journal of Further and Higher Education. 43:4 545-559 

Royal College of Occupational Therapists (2021) Professional standards for occupational therapy practice, conduct and ethics. London, RCOT 


Host:  Kerry Edwards

Support on OTalk Account: Kirstie @kirstieot
Evidence your CPD. If you joined in this chat you can download the below transcript as evidence for your CPD, but remember the HCPC are interested in what you have learnt.  So why not complete one of our reflection logs to evidence your learning?

HCPC Standards for CPD.

  • Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities.
  • Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user.
  • Upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the Standards for CPD.

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