Sunday, April 17, 2016

Social Work in Distance Education (SWDE) 2016 Conference

Hello everyone! I am just back from the SWDE 2016 Conference, and it was great.  My favorite part was hanging out with so many wonderful colleagues. Amazing spirit of support for imagining new ways to deliver and assess distance education.  There was also a pretty good twitter crowd, which allowed me to see what was going on at the sessions I didn't get to- and you can see that feed, thanks to Sean who attended via Twitter from his home in New York!  My friend Laurel presented a great session about using Twitter if you've not jumped in to that water yet, and you can find her tips here.

Academic conferences may not sound like buckets of fun- but they are a favorite part of my work life. I get to check out a new city, see people that I only see at conferences, fill my head with new ideas, and share my own work.  I come home with new ideas for teaching, new collaborations, and lots of inspiration. And then it's back to the grind... with a countdown to the next conference! (For me it's APM next October in Atlanta!)

At SWDE I presented one session about integrating tech in social work practice with my great colleagues Laurel and Nancy.  We are writing a book together about integrating technology across the social work curriculum, and this presentation allowed us to offer a preview of what we've been working on.  The three of us met via Twitter and we are having a lot of fun together.  Laurel did a great write-up of our presentation here, including a downloadable version of our powerpoint and a collection of assignments that we've put together.

I also presented about social media policies with other fab colleagues Melissa and Todd.  We talked about how important it is for social work professors to train students for professional identities online.  We discussed why we need to teach students to build and assess policies related to social media use, and how to think through ethical dilemmas. These issues are impacting us all now, but we've had a slow professional response.  Here's our handout on some assignments you can try in class, along with a policy analysis framework we use. The whole ppt presentation is here. In the presentation, we shared some data about a survey of child welfare workers we conducted.  A paper about those data will be published at Advances in Social Work in the upcoming weeks.  You might also want to check out our paper on Social Media and E-Professionalism in Child Welfare, published in the Journal of Public Child Welfare last year.  We also created a short handout for child welfare workers- feel free to share.

I'll share more soon about some other work I'm up to- it's been action packed around here.  One thing I'll never claim- that I'm bored.  There's too much good stuff! Thanks for coming by!

Friday, April 1, 2016

BPD Texas 2016

I am at the BPD Conference in Dallas, TX with BSW educators from across the nation.  It's so fun to see friends, make friends, and hear new ideas for teaching and research.

I was involved in several sessions and told people I would share resources here.  This morning as part of the technology committee, I promised to share my student tutorial for using Zotero.  Here you go! This is a youtube link to the video. Feel free to share with your students.

Laurel Hitchcock and I talked about how we met online, and are now writing a book together (with Nancy Smyth!) about using technology in social work education.  We've used lots of tools for collaboration, including Zotero, MindMeister, and Dropbox. Laurel is one of my favorite colleagues, and our story is a great example about how online communication yields real authentic relationships, connections, and collaborations.

In the early afternoon I presented with Todd on development of professional social work identity in online space. Here's a link to the powerpoint we shared.  If you look at it in "notes" view you'll see a lot of our talking points which offer up additional tips.  Warning: the file size is huge because I embedded all those cool video contributions. If you want to watch a video of the whole thing, go to this youtube link. Feel free to share this information, and let us know if you have questions or need resources.

In late afternoon I presented with Todd and Avery about our work on the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute grant, where we're working on supporting child welfare scholars in social work education.  Here's the ppt presentation we shared.

One of the best parts of the conference was connecting with people who I only see once a year, or who I talk to online and have sometimes never met in person until conference time.  One of those people is Nathalie Jones who works at TSU in Texas.  It was great to visit with her! Here is me and Nathalie and Laurel posing for a pic,

I come home from these meetings tired but excited to try new things.  So nice meeting all of you- thanks for learning with me!