Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The future of the e-portfolio?

Sarah Stewart has been writing about her experiences of using an e-portfolio for her Midwifery Standards Review and this has got me thinking about how Social Workers in Australia can use an e-portfolio to collate and organise their professional development activities to demonstrate the requirements for accrediation.    But are Social Workers in Australia ready to hear about e-portfolios?

I think Social Workers (and other health professionals) are happy to use the paper versions of a portfolio or record of training and development activities because they think they don’t have any other real choice. And I wonder if they are really happy with the paper version, or do they sometimes wonder if there must be a better way to do this?

We are all looking for something simple, easy to learn how to use, easy to maintain and easy to send off to our professional association when the time comes for review of our registration or accreditation. I see the enormous potential of the e-portfolio for professionals who need to keep a record of learning and development activities for their annual or bi-annual registration or accreditation review. In particular, I would like to see the Australian Association of Social Workers host e-portfolios - and I am preparing a paper to make this suggestion more formally.

E-portfolios are not something new that has been designed to make our life more difficult. The Australian ePortfolio Project released their stage 2  report in December 2009 and it makes interesting reading.  There is a lot money being invested in Australia to develop e-portfolios.  It’s not something that is going to fade away overnight. E-portfolios are a way to keep track of our activities and reflections – our learning and development and e-portfolios have enormous potential to do even more for us, things we haven’t thought of yet. So I say let’s get involved now, and influence the design so it works for us. And when the new students come along, we can dazzle them with our insight and fresh ideas.

I’m interested in what other people think. How do you keep track of your professional development and learning activities? Do you see a future in e-portfolios? Do you have an e-portfolio?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

World Social Work Day 2010

World Social Work Day 2010: Making human rights real - the Social Work Agenda. This is the press release from the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW).

'People are making changes in their lives to improve their quality of life every day across the world - and social workers are there helping them. World Social Work Day is a celebration of these achievements and an opportunity to highlight what work still has to be done for people’s rights to be respected.

Wherever we live in the world, people are being harmed, abused and neglected and their civil, political, economic, cultural and social rights are being violated. Every day, social workers are helping individuals and groups of people in such situations, helping them to live a better life and to find ways to respect competing rights in complex situations.

The implementation of all the international Human Rights Conventions, treaties and agreements used to focus on individual civil and political rights in order to guarantee fair trials, rights to vote, freedom from torture and abuse. More and more they now also consider collective/community rights and emphasise economic, social and cultural rights in order to defend the rights to education, housing, health, employment, adequate income and social security.

This new focus on making human rights a reality in daily life – ‘making human rights real’ - is an important issue in the consultations leading into the 2010 Joint World Conference. The social work profession works alongside those who are excluded, discriminated against, abused or poor – whose rights are not respected. The profession aims to achieve social change leading to a dignified life and social justice for all.

IFSW President, Dr David N Jones, comments that “Wherever there is extreme poverty, lack of basic needs like food, water and shelter, the trafficking and abuse of people across countries or serious family problems in affluent societies, you will find social workers alongside people, helping them to make changes in their lives. The 2010 social work world conference will show how social work will develop its contribution to building people-centred and sustainable social progress and social change. World social work day gives us an opportunity to celebrate this crucial work.” '

How  do to celebrate World Social Work Day?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Emerging Realities of Allied Health Practice

I am presenting at the Loddon Mallee Allied Health Conference in Echuca on Friday 19th March.  It's an exciting conference that has a focus on Allied Health practice.  I have been on the conference committee and I have really enjoyed finding out how a conference goes together.  There are so many details to organise and it is a challenge to weave the posters and presentations together to make an interesting conference that will attract the audience and keep them entertained throughout the day.

I have now  finished my conference preparation - the powerpoint is finished and has been sent off.  This is a good thing to send it off before the conference, as I can now stop tinkering with it to make it perfect!  I have finished my speaker notes and timed them to make sure that I will talk for just the right amount of time - not too long, not too rushed and I must  remember to breathe!  I have found that with my writing I use longer sentences than I can speak to, so there are several changes made with converting my writing to speaker notes.

I hope to see you there at the conference and I would really like to hear your feedback about my presentation.