Digital Tools for Engaging Writing Assignments #swtech

I created the following Sway presentation for both the Teaching & Technology Center as a Teaching & Technology Faculty Advisor and Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC), a  “faculty development program that holds workshops, hosts guest speakers, runs retreats, awards grants, provides faculty time and space for their own scholarly writing, and supports faculty in their endeavors to improve student writing” at Bridgewater State University. The presentation contains a broad overview of digital tools for engaging writing assignments presented during a series of workshops. It includes many resources and videos with more information that could not be covered adequately during the workshops.

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Active Learning Strategies in Data Analysis to Reduce Student Anxiety #SEQuEL2017

Here is the Sway presentation I created for the SEQuEL2017 conference sponsored by Quantity Across the Curriculum (QuAC) at Bridgewater State University. I am serving on QuAC this year and learned so much at today’s event! For more information about QuAC and for regular updates, please reach out to colleague Matt Salomone.

Integrating Theory and Practice: Meaningful Technology-Mediated Assignments for Real-World Learning

Here is information on the panel I will be participating in at CSWE. It is called: Integrating Theory and Practice: Meaningful Technology-Mediated Assignments for Real-World Learning. 

  
To get there, follow directions to the fitness center. It is NOT accessible by easy to find elevators in the Tower building. I found it by going to the main lobby and going outside. Look for the soup place across the street, and go to the door to the right:

  
The entrance is directly below the walking concourse. Here is the door with people walking through it:

  

Once inside, go to the fitness center:

  

Take these escalators down a level. Then take the next escalator down a level. Vail is around the corner! 
  

Client Confidentiality in the Age of Social Media

I had the pleasure of presenting at Community Services of Greater Brockton on March 4, 2015 to talk about client confidentiality in the age of social media. My colleague, Melanie Sage, has done related work and graciously allowed me to repost her related infographic. Here are some talking points from the Brockton presentation.

General Talking Points:

  • It is not a matter of if we use technology, it is a matter of how we use technology
  • Social worker voices tend to be missing from conversations and decisions about tech
  • Confusion and fear about how to proceed with technology in practice drives avoidance not solutions
    • This does a disservice to our clients, who may expect practitioners and services to meet them where they are with technology
  • We run the risk of being culturally incompetent with clients
    • How can we practice effectively if we don’t understand significant aspects of client’s lives, and this includes technology?

Social Media:

  • Social media allows us to have asynchronous, non-geographically bound conversations, interactions, and connections with others
  • These interactions can reach more people than ever before, and typically publicly archived
  • We can advertise our services, provide the most up to date information for clients, and share research findings related to our practice, etc.
  • Social media presents opportunities and challenges for social workers
  • To avoid or lessen complications, develop a social media policy

In terms of confidentiality, the following guidelines from the Online Therapy Institute Ethical Framework for the Use of Social Media by Mental Health Professionals are helpful:

  • Be upfront about appropriate methods of contact (i.e., text messages, email, public messaging)
  • Provide the best level of protection for client data
  • Recognize client concerns and be upfront about the challenges and risks involved with security and privacy. For example, if you email me I may have no control if my account is hacked, but here is how I protect your information as much as possible and what I will do if there is a problem. (Source).
  • Not discuss confidential information on social media
  • Be upfront about avoiding dual relationships on social media
    • Have a policy in place if a client discovers on social media mutual friends, interests, or cultural groups with you. For example, I do not friend or follow current students on social media. If students find me, I welcome their conversation and dialogue, and questions.
  • Do not ask for reviews on consumer review sites, and do not respond on consumer reviews in any way confirming whether someone is or was a therapy client

References:

Understanding the Process of Interagency Collaboration and Its Long-Term Effectiveness

Folks, here is my presentation from the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) conference held in New Orleans, January 2015.

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Understanding the Process of Interagency Collaboration and Its Long-Term Effectiveness

Abstract: Background and Purpose: Charlestown Connects was an interagency collaboration in the neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. The Charlestown Connects program was an ongoing, formalized partnership between the City of Boston, neighborhood agencies, and other community agencies to improve community outcomes via interagency collaboration. In response to a request from the Office of the Mayor of Boston, the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work (BCGSSW) agreed to provide guidance on the evaluation of the program. This Phase I evaluation documented the structure, process, and implementation of Charlestown Connects. Phase I data collection was completed in 2008 and the evaluation itself was completed in 2010.

While limited social work research has explored interagency collaborations, there remains a persistent gap in the literature in terms of assessing interagency collaboration processes, outcomes and long-term effects. Building on the Phase I evaluation, this poster on the Phase II evaluation helps address these research gaps by expanding our understanding of interagency collaboration in terms of inputs, processes, and long-term community outcomes. This study informs social workers and others who contribute to community well-being infrastructure of the benefits, if any, of developing interagency collaborations. In addition, given the current economic climate, this research may provide important and timely interagency collaboration guidelines for social work practitioners.

Methods: Interviews with the original eight Charlestown Connects program stakeholders were conducted and observations of community meetings sponsored by Charlestown Connects were observed. Interviews explored stakeholder relationships to Charlestown Connects, program success and areas to improve, and program impact. Meeting observations tallied interagency collaboration processes in accordance with the study’s theoretical framework. Both interviews and meeting observations were transcribed and coded using HyperRESEARCH qualitative software using theoretical clustering framed by the study’s theoretical framework, thematic analysis, recurring themes from the first evaluation, and long-term factors that have emerged from the current evaluation..

Findings: This study has shown that Charlestown Connects enhanced communication infrastructure for community agencies while positively impacting perceptions of quality of life among Charlestown residents who were aware of Charlestown Connects. In the short-term, Charlestown Connects made noticeable, positive changes in service delivery issues with the City of Boston. In the long-term, it helped rebuild the communication infrastructure among participating agencies in Charlestown.

Conclusion and Implications: This study provides guidance on improving interagency collaborations for social workers and others engaging in community work. Evidence from the previous evaluation and the current study suggest that the program coordinator took on functions and responsibilities of a community social worker in his role coordinating Charlestown Connects, thus reasserting the important role macro social work may play in leading community infrastructure rebuilding efforts in the future.

Poster from Today’s Boston College Multidisciplinary PhD Research Day

Here is the poster I’m presenting at today’s Boston College Multidisciplinary PhD Research Day. It’s essentially a summary of my dissertation (thus far 🙂

Special thanks to Brayden Varr for all his poster design assistance!

Blogging to De-Stress Resources

I had the pleasure of presenting at a self-care themed retreat for social workers at Hebrew Senior Life recently. I was invited to talk about blogging to de-stress. Here are some resources generated from our discussion:

Previous SW 2.0 column on social work and blogging: Social Work? There’s a Blog for That

Middle East Bloggers:

  1. Where is Raed?
  2. Salam Pax, the Baghdad Blogger
  3. Al Jazeera Blogs | Middle East

Social work sites and blogs:

  1. Fried Social Worker
  2. The New Social Worker’s Blog
  3. Social Work Career Development
  4. Social Work Blogs
  5. Social Work Tech Blog
  6. Social Jerk
Tools to Create Blogs

Tools to help keep track of resources:

  1. Instapaper – A simple tool to save web pages for reading later
  2. Yahoo! Groups, especially Clinicians Exchange (need to request membership)
  3. Mendeley – Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.

Blogging tools to help clients:

  1. CaringBridge.org, create free patient websites and blogs. Read the related SW 2.0 column titled CaringBridge: A Valuable Tool for Social Workers and Those With Critical Illness
Guidance on Using Technology Tools in Social Work Ethically