#BPDNOLA17 – Road Map for Success: Incorporating Social Media in the Social Work Classroom

At BPD in 2016, I attended a wonderful session by Drs. Becky Anthony and Jennifer Jewell of Salisbury University titled Building student connection by utilizing social media in the social work classroom.  They graciously wrote about this presentation in a blog post – Social Media How-To Guide for Social Work Educators.  Today (Saturday, March 4th), Becky and I will be presenting about how we both are the using guidelines that she and Jennifer developed, giving examples from our own teaching and classroom assignments. Please join us at 8:00 AM in Bayside B at the Sheraton in New Orleans for our presentation.

Here is a link to the slides from our presentation: https://www.slideshare.net/laurelhitchcock/bpdnola17-road-map-for-success-incorporating-social-media-in-the-social-work-classroom

Also, information about developing professional social media guidelines for the classroom can be found here.

Here is our abstract with the learning objectives:

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand best practices for managing social & digital media in the social work classroom.
  2. Self-assess their level of readiness for using social & digital media in their classrooms.
  3. Explain how to use social media as a teaching tool in undergraduate courses, from assignment development to evaluation.

Today’s undergraduate social work students come to the classroom indoctrinated in a world of social media and technology, but often lack an understanding of how these technologies inform 21st century social work practice. Social and digital media offer opportunities for social workers to network with other professionals, communicate and advocate around social issues, relate to diverse populations, and locate information and resources to inform practice. Additionally, there is a growing awareness that social work practitioners, students and educators need to be adept at using digital and social media and information communication technology as part of their practice and interaction with clients and organizations of all sizes (Coe Regan & Freddolino, 2008; Getz, 2012; National Association of Social Workers [NASW], 2005). Social work educators can play a pivotal role in helping students to increase their own media literacy, and ultimately apply this knowledge to their own learning and subsequent practice.

Some social work educators are beginning to incorporate digital technologies into classroom discussion and activity, meeting multiple needs and learning outcomes for social work students (Baldridge, et al., 2013; Hitchcock & Battista, 2014; Joosten, 2012; Young, 2014).  However, for many educators, the idea and practice of using social media in the classroom can be an intimidating and anxiety provoking process.  This workshop will help social work educators begin to develop the knowledge and skills needed to incorporate social and digital media into their courses and assignments.

Using guidelines developed by Anthony & Jewell (Anthony & Jewell, 2016), we will review the best practices that social work educators can use when introducing social media into the classroom and into assignments.  First, we will review three important steps for introducing and managing social media in the classroom: 1) creating social media guidelines; 2) developing learning goals for social media in the classroom; and 3) increasing one’s own knowledge and self-efficacy with social media in the classroom.  Participants learn how to self-assess their knowledge and skills related to social media and its use in social work education.  The presenters will share practical examples of policies, practices and their own lessons learned with social media in the classroom.

Second, we will cover how to develop, implement and evaluate a social-media based assignment from start to finish.  Specific steps include identifying learning objectives and linking to competencies, selecting the best social media platform, determining frequency and substance of students’ sharing/posting, tracking and archiving of posts, and assessment and grading.  Additionally, Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR Model for Technology Integration (2014) will be reviewed as a model for adapting or transforming traditional assignments.  The presenters will share example assignments using Twitter and Pinterest, showing each step of the development process and sharing success and challenges with implementation. 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).


Anthony , B. & Jewell, J. (2016). Social Media How to Guide for BSW Educators. Presentation, Dallas, Texas: The Associate of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors 2016 Annual Conference.

Baldridge, S.N., McAdams, A., Reed, A., & Knettle, A. (2013). Mobile classrooms: Using mobile devices to enhance BSW education. Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work. 18, 17-32.

Coe Regan, J. A., & Freddolino, P. P. (2008). Integrating technology in the social work curriculum. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

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

Getz, L. (2012). Mobile App Technology for Social Workers. Social Work Today, 12 (3), 8 -10.

Hitchcock, L. I., & Battista, A. (2013). Social Media for Professional Practice: Integrating Twitter with Social Work Pedagogy. The Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, 18(special issue), 33-45.

NASW (National Association of Social Workers)/ASWB (Association of Social Work Boards). (2005). NASW & ASWB Standards for technology and social work practice. Retrieved on July 30, 2012 from  http://www.socialworkers.org/practice/standards/NASWTechnologyStandards.pdf.

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

Young, J. (2014). iPolicy: Exploring and Evaluating the use of iPads in a Social Welfare Policy Course. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 32(1-2), 39-53.

How to cite:

Hitchcock, L. I., & Anthony, R. (2017, March 4). #BPDNOLA17 – Road Map for Success: Incorporating Social Media in the Social Work Classroom. Retrieved from http://www.laureliversonhitchcock.org/2017/03/04/bpdnola17_someclassroomroadmap/

Author: Laurel Hitchcock

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