Social Work in the Digital Age, November 2011
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Social Work in the Digital Age, November 2011

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Presented by Nancy J. Smyth, PhD, LCSW, Ketnote at NYS School Social Workers Association Annual Conference, Buffalo, NY 11/4/11

Presented by Nancy J. Smyth, PhD, LCSW, Ketnote at NYS School Social Workers Association Annual Conference, Buffalo, NY 11/4/11

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Social Work in the Digital Age, November 2011 Social Work in the Digital Age, November 2011 Presentation Transcript

  • Social Work in the Digital Age Nancy J. Smyth, PhD, LCSW NYS School Social Workers Association Annual Conference Buffalo, NY 11/4/11
  • Technology: Bird’s Eye View The Big Picture
  • The Key to Understanding Technology is…. Knowing that Every Technology Both Solves a Problem & Creates New Challenges
  • Technologies of ConnectionPeople have sought to shrink the distance between the self& others (across space & time) since prehistoric times• Oral Communication • Airplane• Written Word • Radio• Printing Press • Film• Telegraph • TV• Telephone • Internet• Train • Personal Digital• Automobile Devices
  • Keeping Things in Perspective Hamlet’s Blackberry (Powers)“Oral communication was a great success, but itgave rise to a new problem of physical distance,rooted in the fact that conversation could happenonly in close proximity to others.” “Written language solved the problem of physical distance by allowing words and ideas to travel anywhere and arrive intact, exactly as originally recorded. Writing also solved the temporal problem of storage, making it possible for information to be stored over the long term more reliably than it could ever be stored in the human mind.”
  • “New modes of connecting always create new ways for individuals to create and prosper, and for the collective advancement of humanity. Atthe same time, there’s a sense of life, especially the inner life, being thrown out of balance.” - William Powers, (2010) Hamlets BlackBerry, (p. 78).
  • Confusion & anxieties aboutnew technologies are part of the process of change
  • Example: Socrates• Writing will trap the human mind. – “Dangerous…it won’t allow ideas to flow freely and change in real time, the way they do in the mind during oral exchange. – “Whereas conversation is all about back-and- forth, written language is a one-way street: Once a thought is written down, it’s frozen and you can’t challenge it or change its position.” (Powers, p. 94)
  • Socrates’ Error• “Like the Luddites of today who believe that digital technologies are irredeemably inferior to older devices and even dangerous, he judged the new tool exclusively through the lens of the old one. Because writing didn’t work just like conversation, he felt, it couldn’t possibly be worth much and would only make people dumber.• “To Socrates, writing was useful only as an aid to oral dialogue…What led Socrates to this narrow, pessimistic view of writing? He failed to understand that new connective technologies come along to solve genuine problems, and those problems usually have something to do with distance.” (Powers, p. 94)
  • Socrates “judged the new toolexclusively through the lens ofthe old one” Question for Our Profession: Can we help people adapt to the challenge in a new paradigm if we’re operating exclusively out of the old paradigm?
  • The Digital Age Now:Web 2.0-Social Media
  • The Current Digital Age: What on Earth is Web 2.0? Social Media?• Web 2.0: “The second generation of the World Wide Web, especially the movement away from static webpages to dynamic and shareable content and social networking.” http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Web_2.0• Social Media: Kaplan & Haenlein “define social media as ‘a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user-generated content.’” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media
  • Where Are We?• How many of you are on Facebook? – Personally? – Professionally?• LinkedIn?• Twitter?• Google+?
  • Where is the MainstreamSociety “at” now in the Digital Age?
  • Social Revolution?
  • Where is Our Profession?• Social Work Congress 2010 – “Integrate technologies that serve social work practice and education in an ethical, practical, and responsible manner” http://www.socialworkers.org/2010congress/imperatives.asp• Excellent imperative?
  • 4 of the 10 Imperatives• Technology - Integrate technologies that serve social work practice and education in an ethical, practical, and responsible manner.• Business of Social Work - Infuse models of sustainable business and management practice in social work education and practice.• Leadership Development - Integrate leadership training in social work curricula at all levels.• Influence - Build a data-driven business case that demonstrates the distinctive expertise and the impact and value of social work to industry, policy makers, and the general public.
  • 4 of the 10 Imperatives Compared• Technology - Integrate technologies that serve social work practice and education in an ethical, practical, and responsible manner.• Business of Social Work - Infuse models of sustainable business and management practice in social work education and practice.• Leadership Development - Integrate leadership training in social work curricula at all levels.• Influence - Build a data-driven business case that demonstrates the distinctive expertise and the impact and value of social work to industry, policy makers, and the general public.
  • Negative Attitudes/Feelings That Can Arise for Social Workers
  • So What?• Digital is now embedded in the mainstream culture• If we are ignorant about how it’s used, we aren’t competent in this part of the current culture, so we aren’t able to help solve the new challenges• Cultural ignorance puts us in danger of irrelevance
  • What are some of the challenges raised for livingwith these new technologies? How can we best live our lives in an environment that offers the possibility of constant connection?
  • Life Skills for the Digital Age http://njsmyth.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/life-skills-for-the-digital-age• What social interactions are ideal for text messaging? Chat? Email? Which are not?• When does an interaction need to move from a text-based platform, to one that involves voice? Images? Face to face?• What is appropriate to share about your workplace on your blog/Facebook/Twitter? About your life?
  • Life Skills (#2)• What work tasks are best completed when connected to the Internet? Disconnected?• How can we set up our work areas/screens so we can maximize our ability to focus?• What evening routines (relative to technology/electronics) promote relaxation & restful sleep?• What’s the right balance between technology & non-technology-based activities for free time? What combination will result a true feeling of fulfillment at the end of the day?
  • What are the opportunities offered by these new technologies?
  • Top 10 Reasons for SocialWorkers to Learn Web 2.0
  • Reason #10You’re at a party and want to demonstrate that the social work profession is part of the 21st century–that we, like our clients, can change and learn new things.
  • Reason #9You’re interested in understanding the cultural context of the lives of your clients who interact in the Web 2.0 world, especially since social media has is growing more popular every day (see Social Media Revolution 2 video).
  • Reason #8You want to use the fact that your adolescent clients are gamers as an asset in treatment (see Tanks, Trauma, and Epic Loot and Want to Change Behavior AND Feel Heroic? There’s an App for That…)
  • Reason #7You want to really know what’s happening, moment by moment, the next time there is a major disaster somewhere. (Disaster Experts: Twitter is Serious Stuff)
  • Reason #6You might like to share a resource with a client (or a friend) that will help coordinate caregiving and create a caregiving community for an aging parent who lives miles away.
  • Reason #5You want to connect to, share with, and learn from a vibrant, interactive community of social workers from all over the world (for example, check out Social Work Blog Directory and my list of Social Workers on Twitter).
  • Reason #4You foresee what’s ahead: that more and more people will be expecting their health care providers to interact with them via social media, and that this will shift the power dynamics in health care relationships (see The Real Challenge of Health Care Social Media and upcoming Pew Internet report,”The Rise of the e-Patient: Understanding Social Networks and Online Health Information Seeking”).
  • Reason #3You like the idea of people in your community seeing the assets that are near them, searching for those that are free, and being able to add the important ones that they see have been missed (see Arounja as one community is using it).
  • Reason #2You are looking for a way to help your agency (or favorite organization) to develop fast, inexpensive ways to communicate with stakeholders and build support, including financial support (see NTen)
  • And the #1 reason for socialworkers to learn Web 2.0 is…
  • You want to let the world know what you had for dinner!
  • Seriously, Though..Some Final Thoughts
  • Social Work in the Digital Age Web 2.0 Resources for Social WorkersBooks: Web 2.0 OverviewKanter, B., & Fine, A. (2010). The networked nonprofit: Connecting with social media to drive change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston: Harvard Business SchoolPublishing.Shirky, C. (2008). Here comes everybody: The power of organizing without organizations. London: Penguin.Zandt, D. (2010). Share this! How you will change the world with social networking. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.Books: Living in the Digital AgePowers, W. (2010). Hamlets BlackBerry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age. Harper Collins.BlogsDr. Susan Giurleo: At the Intersection of Health Care, Business, and Social Mediahttp://drsusangiurleo.com/Online Therapy Institute Blog: Bringing Together Technology and Mental Healthhttp://www.onlinetherapyinstituteblog.com/Nancy J. Smyth, PhD, LCSW: Social Work in the Digital Age ---NYS School Social Workers Association Annual Conference Buffalo, NY 11/4/11
  • Social Media Examiner: Your Guide to the Social Media Junglehttp://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/Social Work Blogs: The Authoritative Social Work Blog Directory: http://www.socialworkblogs.info/Nancy Smyth’s blog: Virtual Connections: Exploring Social Work & Education in a New Media Worldhttp://njsmyth.wordpress.com/Gamer Therapist: Psychotherapy Meets Web 2.0 http://gamertherapist.com/blog/Social Work Tech Blog: Applying Tech Tools to Social Work Practicehttp://socialworktechblog.com/Podcasts (you can listen online or download it to an iPod/mp3 player)Living Proof: The Podcast Series of the University at Buffalo School of Social Workhttp://www.socialwork.buffalo.edu/podcast/ (includes one on cyberbullying)The Social Work Podcasthttp://socialworkpodcast.blogspot.com/Other ResourcesNonprofit Technology Network: Where the Nonprofit Technology Community Meetshttp://www.nten.org/Pew Internet & American Life Projecthttp://www.pewinternet.org/Social Media Evolution (#3, Refresh) Video http://www.youtube.com/user/Socialnomics09#p/u/5/x0EnhXn5boMeoNancy J. Smyth, PhD, LCSW: Social Work in the Digital Age ---NYS School Social Workers Association Annual Conference Buffalo, NY 11/4/11
  • My Public Notebook of Clipped Articles on Using Social Mediahttp://www.evernote.com/pub/njsmyth/publicnotebookMy Twitter List of Social Workers (currently at 244) (need Twitter account to see this)https://twitter.com/#!/list/njsmyth/social-workersNancy J. Smyth, PhD, LCSWsw-dean@buffalo.eduwww.socialwork.buffalo.edu716-645-1266 (my assistant, Ms. Anna Cerrato)Twitter: http://twitter.com/njsmythFacebook: http://www.facebook.com/njsmythLinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/njsmythBlog: http://njsmyth.wordpress.com/Google+: http://plus.google.com/104244998034655996865/ (or just search on my name)Nancy J. Smyth, PhD, LCSW: Social Work in the Digital Age ---NYS School Social Workers Association Annual Conference Buffalo, NY 11/4/11