#APM16 Day 3 -Incorporating Digital & Social Technologies into Social Work Education

cswe_2016_session588_incorptechintoswe_handoutslidesThis is Day 2 of CSWE’s 2016 Annual Program Meeting, and it will be a busy day.  One of the highlights for me will be presenting as part of panel of other #swtech educators – Drs. Melanie Sage (University of North Dakota), Jonathan B. Singer (Loyola University & The Social Work Podcast) and Nancy J. Smyth (University at Buffalo, SUNY). Our panel discussion is about how to how to infuse social and digital technologies into social work courses and curricula. Topics will focus on digital literacy, using theory to inform the integration of technology into online courses, and creating assignments and learning activities for social work courses that incorporate technology.

Participants will learn about example assignments and learning activities for social work courses that incorporating digital and social media such as microblogging, designing infographics, and creating a video. By the end of the panel discussion, participants will:

  1. Understand the importance of digital literacy in 21stcentury social work practice.
  2. Demonstrate how digital and social technologies can be incorporated into assignments for social work courses.
  3. Appreciate the role of theory to support the development and implementation of technology-based assignments.

Here is a link to the slides from the workshop: http://www.slideshare.net/laurelhitchcock/apm16-incorporating-digital-social-technologies-into-social-work-education-68243850

We also will share the following handout: Technology-Based Learning Task List for Social Work Education (Version 1.1 – 6/13/16)

Here is our abstract for the panel:

Social work educators recognize that in order to engage students and optimize learning, integrating technology into teaching is no longer a questions of “if,” but rather, “why, how, and when.” CSWE has publicly endorsed the Grand Challenge of Harnessing Technology for Social Good (American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare, n.d.). Technology mediated social work education is increasingly seen as meeting two goals: 1) improving student learning; 2) preparing future social workers to understand and use technology in practice (aka “digital literacy”). Educators fall on a continuum of technology use: on one end are those who exclusively use university sponsored software and content management systems; on the other end are those who test out the latest mobile app or social media platform.   Educators on both ends of the continuum struggle with how to best use technology. This is in part due to the dearth of well-crafted assignments and learning activities, and few models for how to best integrate technology into teaching. Social work educators can play a pivotal role in helping students to increase their digital literacy, and apply this knowledge in the classroom and the field.

This panel will provide an introduction to social work educators wanting to enhance their courses with digital and social technologies, expanding assignments and learning activities beyond the learning management system.  Participants will learn about the importance of digital literacy and using theory to inform the integration of technology into their online courses. Models of digital literacy will be reviewed including Belshaw’s Eight Elements of Digital Literacy (2014) and Rheingold’s five fundamental digital literacies (2012). Presenters will discuss how Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR Model for Technology Integration (2014) can be used as a model for adapting or transforming traditional assignments and learning activities for online learning environments. Theoretical constructs relevant to teaching with technology include motivational and multimedia learning principles, and practical applications such as repeated practice, reinforcement, and the use of technology-facilitated learning communities.

Presenters will share example assignments and learning activities that incorporating digital and social media such as microblogging, podcasting and creating a video.  Assignments using Twitter, YouTube, and video and podcasting technologies can engage students in online courses as well as help students learn about technology tools and resources.  The presenters will also show how, through the use of digital and social technology-based assignments, students can actively engage in competency-based behaviors such professionalism, policy practice and critical thinking while also increasing digital media literacies (CSWE, 2015).


American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. (n.d.) Grand Challenges for Social Work. Retrieved from: http://aaswsw.org/grand-challenges-initiative/

Belshaw, D. (2014). The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies. Retrieved from   http://digitalliteraci.es/

Council on Social Work Education. (2015). Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. Washington, DC: Author. 

Puentedura, R. (2014). SAMR and Bloom’s Taxonomy: Assembling the Puzzle. Retrieved from:  https://www.graphite.org/blog/samr-and-blooms-taxonomy-assembling-the-puzzle

Rheingold, H. (2012). Net Smart: How to Thrive Online. Cambridge MA: The MIT Press.

Author: Laurel Hitchcock

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