Fall 2015 Live Twitter Chat Assignment for Social Work Students
To help social work students and educators learn about Twitter and develop the skills to participate in a live chat, Jimmy Young of the California State University San Marcos and I (Laurel Hitchcock of University of Alabama at Birmingham) have designed an assignment for social work students that involves joining a live Twitter chat with other social work students, educators and practitioners from around the country to talk about important social and economic justice issues. The assignment is designed for a policy or macro-practice course, but it can be incorporated into almost any social work course. Here are the some of the details of the assignment:
1. Students watch the documentary Inequality for All, and then write a brief reaction paper to movie.
2. Then, students participate in the live Twitter chat scheduled for October 8, 2015 at 8:00 PM CST/6:00 PM PST. This chat will be sponsored by #MacroSW, a bi-weekly Twitter chat focusing on macro social work practice issues, and hosted by myself & Jimmy. During the chat, we will ask questions about the film and income inequality that will guide the flow of the conversation.
3. After the live chat, students write a brief self-reflection essay about the experience of participating in the chat.
While the written parts of the assignment are optional to participate in the chat, we highly recommend some type of reflection so students are engaged with the content from the documentary prior to the chat, and have an opportunity to critically assess how the experience can inform their future social work practice. We have written in more detail about the assignment in previous blog posts which include detailed instructions for the assignment, grading rubrics and tips on how to introduce your students to Twitter. Our first chat was held on October 28, 2014, and you can read details about it here, including a transcript of tweets from the conversation. There is no cost to educators or students to participate in the chat, and we welcome anyone, especially social work practitioners, to join the chat.
Because we are working to improve the chat and the assignment as an educational experience for social work students, we are very interested in any feedback from social work educators. Please contact us (by clicking on our names below) if you plan to have your class or maybe a student group participate in the chat. We also welcome questions.