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What’s this new website for EPs then?

18 August 2016 by , 1 comment
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edpsy.org.uk is the online space for educational psychologists to share, create, engage, debate, enthuse and work together, across boundaries to develop and improve the lives of children and young people.

What we’ve developed is something that has scope to grow and evolve over time but for now you can find:

  1. Up to date information and signposting for anybody interested in training to be an educational psychologist
  2. A features section with fully referenced articles about practice relevant topics, tools and materials
  3. A blog section driven by personal reflection and commentary from a range contributors.

New ideas and life getting in the way

If I remember rightly the idea for edpsy.org.uk probably sprang into life about two and a half years ago. I was a Trainee EP (TEP) at the time and on a train back to Bristol (already sounds clichéd doesn’t it?) after spending a day with other TEPs thinking about the possibilities and problems facing us and the profession at the time. We had spent the day discussing how TEPs could contribute more to the development of the profession and had come up a pretty good list of ideas. To say that edpsy.org.uk was my idea wouldn’t be fair to the TEPs I spent that day with, and the huge number of people I spoke to afterwards who patiently let me bore them with wonky idea after wobbly idea. What did become pretty clear from the outset was that this idea was nothing if not for the community of EPs that I belong to.

As with all grand ideas, life got in the way. Placement work during my training was busy, my thesis needed to be written, final assignments needed to be finished, I had to find a job – my time was pretty much consumed by becoming an EP. For a long time the ideas bouncing around in my head stayed there. It wasn’t until I had handed my thesis in and got my viva out of the way that it felt possible – logistically and motivationally – to start to bring some of these ideas to life.

Listening to the people who matter most – users!

Underpinning the drive to do something was the recognition that there was nowhere that the whole profession could come together to collaborate, share, discuss or create for the betterment of the profession. There seemed to be a growing unease with current online offers of a community or forum. As a pretty creative bunch on the whole, there also didn’t seem to be anywhere where we could reflect on the fantastic work that we’re doing every day, relating it back to theory and research, and where others could benefit from our reflections. There are some useful EP publications but finding the time to write a fully fledged peer reviewed article can be near on impossible and ‘academic-ese’ is not everyone’s cup of tea.

User research got started (asking EPs what they wanted) and the bones of edpsy.org.uk started to form. Trainee’s wanted information about training in one place, EPs from other parts of the country wanted in too, articles less formal but no less informative than those found in journals were top on the list of ‘wants’. Discussions with other EPs who have branched out to the web were very helpful and the list-owners of EPNET and founder of eptoolkit had some great words of wisdom. Luckily I knew a web-genius who could help turn these ideas into reality (shout out to Rich!).

Finding content

From then on content was the key, actual articles, and believe it or not finding people willing to contribute was more difficult than I had imagined. A recent informal self-selecting online survey found that nearly 70% of respondents didn’t post to an online EP forum, with 82% citing fear of ridicule as their reason. With this in mind it seems clearer as to why finding initial contributors was difficult. Never-the-less contributors were found and they had some pretty great suggestions for what they could write about. Offers came from trainees and qualified EPs alike and I’m excited by the range and type of writing that we’ve received so far.

The future needs you!

To date, it’s taken about 10 months to get to where we are now, but then with a team of three that’s perhaps unsurprising. edpsy.org.uk is nowhere near ‘finished’ and will continue to grow in the near future. I can’t talk much about what’s coming, primarily because we need to work out the feasibility of some of what we want to do. I am super excited though about more community involvement, hearing more people share their experiences, or sharing more great stories from practice in our Blogs section.

It’s been a sometimes stressful job, getting edpsy.org.uk to where it is now, but hugely rewarding. What we need now are more people with some great ideas to become contributors to the site and write for us. You don’t have to be an educational psychologist, just the will to write about something that EPs might find interesting. If you’ve got any feedback or ideas for the site for the future, I’d love to hear from you so send me an email.

Best,

Dan – founder of edpsy.org.uk



About Dan O'Hare

Dan is an educational psychologist and founder of edpsy.org.uk. He has a passion for the power of educational psychology and connecting EPs with each other.

View all posts by Dan O'Hare



One Comment so far:

  1. This is great Dan. Not an easy job to launch a website whilst still feeling the aftershocks of a viva. Congratulations.

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