About Karen Zgoda

Karen Zgoda was most recently a social worker at the Department of Children and Families. She has vast social work education experience at Brandman University, Bridgewater State University, Simmons College, Boston College, Salem State University; course development; and publishing in social work education and technology. Since 2000, Karen has been hosting online social work chats and is currently a founder and chat partner for the #MacroSW Twitter chats on macro social work practice. Karen previously wrote the SW 2.0 technology column for The New Social Worker Magazine and served as an AmeriCorps *VISTA member and project coordinator at CTCNet working on the digital divide.

Reengaging with Self-Care Video Live on Routledge Mental Health

As a Routledge author, I was asked to create a short video for their Mental Health Experts site. Here is more information about the site:

We know how resilient and creative you are having to be during these unprecedented times, so our authors are here to help you with any lingering questions or issues you may be facing. In these carefully selected, free resources, our experts share quick tips to help you navigate new and challenging circumstances in your clinical practice, in your patients’ lives, and in your own personal activities. These accessible, short videos cover topics from self-care tips, to advice on supporting patients’ and clients’ multiple concerns, to ideas for remote clinical practice. We hope these tools help you continue to succeed as you adapt to a changing world.

My video on Reengaging with Self-Care is listed under Therapist Self-Care videos. I hope you find it helpful!

Zoom Classroom Legal Implications & Discussion

A colleague sent me an interesting article he wrote called “Is Zoom a Classroom?‘ that  explores the legal ramifications of defaulting to Zoom classrooms in #TheseUncertainTimes. For example:

A student cleaned their gun on Zoom during class. If that happened to me, could I discipline the student? Even though they are in their own apartment? If I work for a state university, can I boot them off the screen without fear of raising a constitutional concern?

A professor accidentally left a tab open to his porn while sharing his screen (just the tab showing). He was fired. What if a student does that during a presentation? Are they subject to university regulations? Can I be fired for having a tab open to a museum website with Renaissance paintings? How about an NRA website? A Joe Biden or Donald Trump campaign website? Can a student be dismissed for doing the same thing?

A student puts on a shirt that says something racist. Can I turn off their video? If so, do I suffer First Amendment issues if I work for a state university?

The article contains 18 additional plausible situations educators should consider while using Zoom. I posted it to Twitter and a lively discussion ensued. Here is my best attempt to combine tweets from multiple threads of discussion in (mostly) chronological order:

Become a Book Contributor Today!

As you may know, I am writing a book titled Active Learning Lessons, Activities, & Assignments for the Modern Social Work Educator to be published by Taylor & Francis/Routledge. I am looking for folks to contribute activities in their specialty areas. Would you be interested?

Brief Book Overview and Rationale:

To practice social work in the real world, students need to be energized and attentive learners engaging with the realities of the modern social work landscape using active learning pedagogy. Higher education must continue to adapt to both the evolving needs of the modern social work student and the modern social work practice landscape. As society continues to change, it is imperative that social work educators provide training to students about how to recognize their coursework in action and how to utilize their skills and training to address the current circumstances around them, whether this is based on natural disasters, political changes, or the overall continued growth and fluctuation of society, with updated training and pedagogy to meet modern practice challenges. This book aims to address the frustrations social work educators face when disseminating crucial social work curricula in the classroom setting by providing active learning activities and assignments which instructors can easily integrate into their offline and online classrooms. This book will provide educators with structured lesson plans, practice exercises, assignments, sample exam questions, and other tools common to active learning to respond to the modern student’ educational needs. This book is both vital and timely to bridge the gap between current social work education and the needs of the modern social work student.

Instructions and Resources:

  • You will be writing at least 5 lesson plans (each 5 pages max) and 1 assignment (2 pages max). 
  • Each lesson plan and assignment should be grounded in one of the six Bloom’s taxonomy cognitive processes.
  • Each lesson plan and assignment should utilize active learning strategies.
  • All the lesson plans can be from the same chapter or different chapters.
  • If you are interested in writing more than 5 lesson plans or more than 1 assignment, that would be amazing!
  • Helpful Contributor Resources including general writing submission requirements, writing guidelines, a book outline, a sample lesson plan, Bloom’s Taxonomy resources, active learning resources, and sample active learning activities.
  • This work will be due to me via email by July 15, 2020.

What I need from you now:

  • Contact information including name, mailing address, phone, email, social media
  • After you have had time to review the materials, I am happy to schedule a phone call with you to help brainstorm ideas, provide feedback, and answer your questions.
  • A completed contributor agreement

If you know of other social work educators that might be interested in contributing to this book, please share my email (karen@karenzgoda.org) with them. I am very excited to be working with you!

We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest Official Trailer Release #MacroSW #MLKDay #WeAreTheDreamHBO

Directed and Produced by Emmy® winner
Executive Produced by Academy Award winner

WE ARE THE DREAM will premiere on HBO February 18, 2020
**Please note, February is National Black History Month**
Every year in Oakland, CA, hundreds of pre-K through 12th grade students compete in the Martin Luther King Oratorical Festival, performing a mix of published and original poetry and speeches. This documentary chronicles the months leading up to the 40th annual festival, as schools across the city send their top-placing students to compete. It is a portrait of passionate young people raising their voices about issues they care about – social justice, immigration and more – and of a community that celebrates them. Directed and produced by Amy Schatz; produced by Diane Kolyer; executive produced by Mahershala Ali, Amatus Karim Ali, Mimi Valdés and Julie Anderson.
For more information, please contact:

FL Social Workers Vote for Susan!

Update: SUSAN WON!!

Folks, I am so happy to endorse Susan Mankita for NASW Florida President-Elect! Susan has been a dear colleague for nearly 20 years and I am confident social workers in Florida will benefit greatly from her caring, passionate leadership. According to Susan:

In case you haven’t heard, I’m running for President-Elect of NASW Florida. I’d really like the opportunity to serve you and other Florida social workers, but I can only do that if I win the election. Those that know me, know that I’ve devoted 20+ years helping social workers, as an educator, supervisor, trainer and mentor. As President-elect, I’ll pour my heart into ensuring we use our resources to create an NASW that listens to, advocates for, and serves the social workers of Florida. I’ve had a career filled with opportunities to educate, mentor and support social workers and have borne witness to the challenges of our work.  That gift, and so many other wonderful things have happened in my own career because of my membership and connection.  I believe NASW has a lot to offer social workers and want to make our resources and support more accessible, especially for colleagues in need. That’s why I’m running for NASW Florida President-elect.

You can vote right now! The election is currently open, online, and will be only for the next week.

If you are a member of NASW in Florida, please vote for Susan today and forward it to your individual social work colleagues as well (please don’t “tag” NASW itself – that’s not allowed).

To vote, (before July 19). Go to https://vote.associationvoting.com/naswfl/

You will need your NASW member number to logon.

(If you do not have your member number, please contact us at 1-800-352-6279 or email: info.naswfl@socialworkers.org and we will provide it to you.)