This week Physiopedia will be in attendance at the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA’s) Annual Conference and Exposition. Held this year in Salt Lake City, Utah, the APTA’s Conference and Exposition, encourages physical therapists to join the conversation with peers, recognised experts, and leaders for three days of valuable, relevant, invigorating professional development and networking. The Physiopedia team is making the most of this opportunity to meet their collaborators, supporters and partners.
This year Physiopedia is celebrating over four years of ongoing growth. In a world where wiki’s come and go, Physiopedia is standing the test of time and becoming a valuable online resource for the Physical Therapy profession. Known as the ‘Wikipedia for Physical Therapists’, Physiopedia is well supported by the profession it serves. With over 100,000 unique visitors from over 200 countries every month there is no denying that it is a resource that the profession finds invaluable.
This year has been especially remarkable with several new developments, not only for Physiopedia but also for the Physical Therapy profession.
In June, Physiopedia partnered with the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT). “The vision of the WCPT, to move Physical Therapy forward so the profession is recognised globally for its significant role in improving health and wellbeing, is very much aligned with our own mission to contribute to improving global health,” said Rachael Lowe, Founding Director of Physiopedia. “With such similar goals it only seems natural that both organisations should join forces to collaborate in our common goals.”
Partnerships with universities and professional organizations from all over the world continue to produce innovative educational projects in Physiopedia. This is being taken a step further this summer when the first open online course will take place in collaboration with the University of Western Cape (UWC), South Africa. The Professional Ethics Course, part of a year long module offered as part of the 3rd and 4th year pre-registration program lead by Michael Rowe, Physiotherapy Lecturer at UWC, has been opened up to anyone that would like to participate. With registrants from as far afield as Nigeria, Estonia, Guyana, Saudi Arabia, India, New Zealand, UK and Canada, it will be a truly international learning experience. “We think that this is the first time an open online course specifically for Physical Therapists has taken place and we certainly weren’t anticipating the popularity of this course,” said Rachael Lowe, Founding Director of Physiopedia. “MOOC’s are a popular feature in modern learning and we are hoping to report this course as the first Physical Therapy MOOC.”
Physiopedia presents many professional development opportunities. One new opportunity this year is the new rewarded volunteer program. Volunteers sign up for a guided learning experience within Physiopedia after which they are designated a voluntary role that suits their interests and experience. “The volunteer program is a amazing opportunity for any physical therapist,” says Rachael Lowe, Founding Director of Physiopedia. “It is a great compliment to daily work, is proven to improve employability and contributes to professional development.”
All volunteer, project, partnership and learning experiences in Physiopedia are rewarded with the new Physiopedia Badges. These badges have been specifically created in line with the new Mozilla Open Badges project to evidence involvement, learning and development within Physiopedia. “Never has it been more important for Physical Therapy practitioners to be able to demonstrate their continuing education and professional development,” says Rachael Lowe, Founding Director of Physiopedia. “The Internet has presented many new opportunities for learning and development outside of our local regions. We are now able to take online courses, read for credit, volunteer, get involved in professional issues, communicate and network without leaving the ‘office’.” Physiopedia is a project that offers all of these opportunities and invites people to get involved.
Physiopedia is attending this APTA Conference this year to meet in person many of their collaborators, partners and volunteers with whom they have been collaborating over the past four years. Head along to booth #1909 in the exhibition hall to take a guided tour of the project from either Tony Lowe, Technical Director, or Rachael Lowe, Founding Director, who will both be in attendance.