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Showing posts from May, 2016

The demise of authentic makerspaces: From Dad's workbench to Angie's List

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Makerspaces or hackerspaces are terms used to describe environments where people build or create with materials, to learn how to share resources and work together to make things.  In their current iterations they are often found in libraries, schools, or even community centers and people are invited to come into the environment to work on individual or shared projects.  Here is a picture of a modern makerspace:



Occupational therapists are becoming more interested in makerspaces, perhaps based on a seemingly genetic interest in the concept of a constructed milieu where people can come together to develop skills.  This is what early occupational therapy makerspaces looked like:




This is a picture of occupational therapy at the Trudeau Sanitarium in the Adirondack region of New York State.  Patients would come to this area of the country to 'chase the cure' for their tuberculosis.  Attracted by the cold and crisp and clear air of the region, when people were not sitting in their A…

Collected thoughts on narrative in occupational therapy documentation

About ten years or so ago I wrote about the potential power of using writing and hypertext as a qualitative methodology for understanding human narrative.  I got that idea back in high school, actually, after reading the Langston Hughes poem, Theme for English B:

The instructor said,
      Go home and write       a page tonight.       And let that page come out of you—       Then, it will be true.
I wonder if it’s that simple?...
The poem is all about identity, and expression, and trying to understand point of view.  I struggle with this concept of documentation as representation of life.  Can documentation represent life, really?  I think it can when I read Langston Hughes, but when I focus in on a short essays like in the Humans of New York series I can't read more than one or two of them.

I object to them, mostly, because when I read them I feel like someone is distilling a life into an evocative photo and 60 seconds worth of reading.  It is just too neatly packaged.  The im…