Blog post! #SWDE2018 Conference notes, Day 1.

We’re back in San Antonio for the 4th annual Social Work Distance Education conference. It’s been a beautiful day here, and for many of us, it’s been great to see friends and colleagues. I had the pleasure of doing just that, gathering for lunch along the river walk.

I wrote about #SWDE2017 conference last year, and I reflected on how the sessions moved from the general discussions of program design and useful applications to more focused sessions. Last year’s theme of social justice and most of the presentations were anchored accordingly. This year the theme is advancing social and economic justice through innovation, and the focus is clear: this first day, in particular, the final session oI attended, created a “think tank” environment of big-picture conversations. This may be where this conference may be headed: a stronger focus on futurism, where we are headed, and how social workers can (and should) be leaders.

As always with a conference like this, hard choices need to be made…I wish I could be everywhere. Here’s a sample of what I learned today:

Keynote: Kaye Shelton, Ph.D.

Dr. Shelton is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership in the Center for Doctoral Studies in the College of Education and Human Development at Lamar University. She’s a prolific writer on the subject of online education. After this presentation, An Administrator’s Guide to Online Education. After this presentation, I decided I need to read this book in its entirety.  Dr. Shelton covered a range of techniques instructors can use to engage students meaningfully. (I found myself reflecting on the need to be more active and attentive to my online student discussion boards.) Dr. Shelton pointed us to a couple of resources she developed: OLC Quality Scorecard, where many free resources for improving online teaching and learning can be found; and Tip and Tricks for Teaching Online .

Session 1: Dr. Christie Mason of Loyola University spoke on principles and strategies for fostering community in online classes. She communicated the fundamental need to make sure our students feel safe to learn online. This can be assisted by strategically using informal discussion, developing meaningful approaches to introducing ourselves to the class. I learned a lot about using the tools on online education (#edtech) to encourage this community building in the online classroom environment.

Session 2: Matthea Marquart of Columbia University presented on methods and approaches to engaging in-real-life (IRL) students and online students in the same space. I am grateful Prof. Marquart presented on this topic, as I’ve seen how technology has helped move these historically partitioned student groups into the same general space.

Session 3: The end of the first day was a perfect time for a “big picture” presentation and Dr. Ellen Belluomini of Brandman University came through with a future-focused discussion on innovation through disruption. Dr. Belluomini didn’t shy away from giving examples of the perils of groupthink and made clear social workers must be leaders in research and practice, even if that means looking outside the traditional models of tenure-track promotional steps.

Reception:

This year we were on the rooftop. The weather was beautiful. I traveled from the Midwest to be here, and within a few minutes of the reception, I’d forgotten all about the snowstorm we’d endured there just a few days ago.

I’ll have more tomorrow. Unfortunately, Storify is no longer available to bring together the numerous social media posts out there…I’m looking for a solution and I’m open to suggestions.

 

#MacroSW 4/12/18 – Home Care Workers in Home and Community Based Services

I’ll be at a conference during this chat, but I hope to attend at least part of the #MacroSW chat on 4/12/18 on Home Care Workers.

P1-BN177_LABORR_P_20130917181139For this week’s chat, we will be talking about the issues facing home care workers who care for older and disabled adults in their homes and communities.

According to the Paraprofessional Health Care Institute (PHI), there are over 2 million home care workers in the US who provide care to older adults and persons with disabilities in community based residential settings.  The demand for home care workers has grown exponentially over the past 10 years and is anticipated to continue to grow, as the population of people over age 65 continues to grow.  Most of these aging adults report a desire to want to age in place at home.

Home care workers in most of the United States are often women (88%), people of color (28% African-American and 21% Hispanic or Latinx), and immigrants (28% born in other countries) (PHI, 2017).  Wages for a home care workers range from $8.46/hr…

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Blog post! #SWDE2018: Conference notes! Pre-departure checklist.

SWDE 1 post.pngUpdate: Whoops, I used an incorrect hashtag. I’ve corrected and reposted this. 

 

This Tuesday I’ll be heading out to the 4th Annual Social Work Distance Education Conference in San Antonio, Texas. As a social work distance education administrator and clinical professor. I’m grateful this conference exists. I learn a lot every year.I meet and catch up with a lot of great people in the field. I’m so grateful for the host institution, Our Lady of the Lake University. Information about the conference is here.

I’ll be posting on Twitter at @spcummings using the hashtag #SWDE2018. I’ll post here as well in longer form. Twitter has long taken over the micro-blogging space on the web. We used to blog everything in one personal or professional space, but now blog spaces like this one seem more relevant with fewer posts, in longer form. That wasn’t the case in the last decade. In 2003, when I started playing with the blogging environment, the message I kept getting was: blog often, all the time, and keep it short. Then Facebook and Twitter came along. Both those platforms are enormous, and allow for people to come together in ways sharing personal blog links simply can’t do. What blogs can do is get a deeper feel for an experience. There’s this technique in Twitter, where the user can thread comments over several posts, but I’m going to simply write more here. I will anchor my posts here through Twitter (that hashtag again: #SWDE2018).

(I’ll be presenting twice this year, one session and one poster. I’ll post more about this tomorrow.)

 

 

#MacroSW 4.5.18 Cyber Social Work

business_meeting_online_800_clr_16432This week’s chat is on the topic of Cyber Social Work. This topic will explore the concept of technological competence in social work practice, preparation of social work students for today’s digital world, digital mental health issues and the role of cyber liability insurance.

Here is a link the Canadian Cyber Social Worker (2012 YouTube video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTyvT5e1cNQ

JanetJoinerOur host will be Janet M. Joiner, Ph.D., chair and assistant professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of Detroit Mercy. She holds a doctorate from Wayne State University in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies and BSW & MSW degrees from Western Michigan University. She is founder of the Institute for Cyber Social Work, an organization dedicated to advancing digital social work practice and education. She tweets under the name @CyberSocialWork ‏.

Here are the questions we hope to discuss during the chat:

  1. What does it mean to…

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#MacroSW Chat 3/22/2018: Gun Violence, Mental Health, and the Social Worker’s Role

Columbine. Sandy Hook. Pulse Night Club. Las Vegas and now Parkland.…the list is longer than the mention of these horrendous mass shootings. Social workers will continue to play a key role in helping our country enforce current gun regulations and grabble with enacting new laws for the public’s safety while balancing people’s right to bear arms. But in the wake of the Parkland shooting how we move forward to stop gun violence continues to be a vexing problem.

Join us on Thursday, March 22 at 9 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. Pacific) for the #MacroSW chat to explore gun policies and perspectives and how social workers can continue to make an impact to end gun violence and discuss ways people can engage in this debate to make real change.

On a personal note, I’m heartbroken about the Parkland school shooting which took place in my hometown of Fort Lauderdale in Broward…

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#MacroSW chat for 3/15/2018: The emerging social work role in public libraries.

I’m hosting this week’s #MacroSW chat on 3/15/2018.

During Social Work Month, let’s celebrate a special facet of our practice: social workers are team members. We are found in hospital units, community planning organizations, and in many other formal or informal groups. While not as pronounced, social workers have become more active in the environment of the public library.  Examples of this growth in social work presence include Denver, Colorado, where a library social worker addresses needs of people who are homeless; an Anchorage, Alaska library social worker addressing homeless needs there; a social worker addressing mental health needs of community members at the St. Paul Public Libraries; and social workers aligned with the Richland, South Carolina library system, where patrons can schedule appointments via a web portal.

What factors are behind this increased social work presence? It’s worth observing that librarians, educators, and other civil servants have led the change to adapt library environments to community…

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