I was just working on another new online environment - the Wiki. I found searching for information on the web (even for very specific things) became quickly tiring because of the vast quantity of information out there. It's a time consuming task to evaluate quality resources to recommend to a client. Some excellent resources did not appear readily when searched for, while others - of lesser relevance - always came up in searches. I spoke to a friend who designs websites for leisure and he mentioned that there are certain things that you can include in the web pages to make them appear at the top of search lists. For instance adding question marks would make your page appear in higher priority, although it has no bearing on the website's content. Who knew? I do, however, know enough to recognize how little I know about computer technology! Good thing there are computer programmers and designers to consult with!
I think it can be valuable to have a basic understanding of how new technology works in order to use and evaluate it. For instance, now that I know how a Wiki functions, I wonder about the reliability of a Wiki versus a resource with strict peer review policies. Also, virtual environments are becoming increasingly popular in rehabilitation (like the Nintendo Wii) and I think it is important for all OT students to be equipped with the skills to use new computer technologies as well as the confidence to learn and pursue new technologies.
Regardless of how inept, inexperienced, or uncomfortable I may feel towards using a new technology, I think that it is my responsibility as a future therapist to invest time and effort into learning about it - especially if it could be of benefit to my future clients. I think that a key aspect of OT is encouraging and teaching clients to embrace new ways of experiencing. If I am to succeed in the profession, I suppose I ought to practice this myself. I guess this blog and the Wiki are a start!