Thursday, August 27, 2009

Welcome to BU DPT

A famous line from Gone with the Wind came to my mind when I was invited to write the inaugural posting for this BU DPT Blog. With apologies to Prissy, the house servant, and Scarlett O’Hara, “I don’t know nothin’ about birthin' no blogs, Miss Scarett!” Well, that is not entirely true in that I do have a blog of my own that I started on my trip to Copenhagen, Denmark a few years ago. The last time I made a post to it was in December, 2008! I’m afraid it has died a premature death. Let us hope for more frequent communication here.

This blog represents continuing evolution in the development of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Bradley University. In the words of the BU DPT blog creator, BU DPT faculty member Ms. Cheryl Sparks, “My hope is the blog will also serve to educate and elevate the profession as a whole and will identify an online presence for Bradley PT in the field of orthopaedics.” “Topics not directly related to ortho could include current events, issues, and growing pains we are experiencing in the profession. My perception is students spend a fair amount of on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter that they really gravitate towards this type of learning environment. Therefore, my hope is this blog will stimulate active online learning, help to foster healthy debate with the use of the evidence and educate many within our profession.” These are lofty aspirations indeed--ones that are worthy of our pursuit. With that in mind, I’d like to post my first question here in hopes of learning more about using blogs as a learning tool: Students ( and current PT professionals), Do you spend “a fair amount of” time on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites or is this estimation grossly exaggerated? What do you think of the idea of this medium (online social networking) as a learning environment? Is it effective or are we co-opting a leisure time activity in the name of teaching and learning? Do you come online to learn in a social network setting? If you all would be so kind as to respond to my query by identifying yourself as a PT student, current PT, and/or both along with an estimation of how much time you spend, on average, each week on social networking sites for fun. I would also be interested in how much time you think you are “forced” online to social networking sites in the name of learning? Also feel free to comment on the notion that blogs and social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. are effective learning laboratories.
We are looking forward to the exchange of some useful information on this blog as well as robust and healthy debate. I would like to say thank you to Cheryl Sparks for inviting me to write this inaugural post and for invigorating our department with energy and enthusiasm. Let the fun begin.


  1. As an answer to Bill's question -- I spend more time than I thought I would on Facebook and Youtube. Facebook I use primarily as a social network - and don't know quite how I would use it as a learning/teaching tool. Youtube, however serves both purposes for me -- social and academic. I am continually surprised by the wealth of information that exists on Youtube. I don't use Twitter and don't know if I will.

  2. "PT student" I suppose that I would prefer to keep facebook for social needs, and have another site for learning. Networking sites are a good adjunct, but I prefer face-time. Then again, I am a non-traditional student, so my preferences may reflect that which I am more familiar.

  3. I use Facebook as a social networking site, and I use Youtube for a learning tool or occassional comic relief. I prefer the class/lab time but think this would be a good adjunct to traditional teaching. I am not big on on-line reading, but if it is kept short and sweet or I am able to print things off--I'm good to go!