#MacroSW Chat October 8th at 9pm EST

Inequality for All: Student-Focused #MacroSW Twitter Chat on 10/8/15

Laurel Hitchcock of University of Alabama at Birmingham and I (Jimmy Young of the California State University San Marcos) are working with the wonderful folks at #MacroSW Chat to host a live Twitter chat for social work students in March. While the chat is designed with students in mind, anyone is welcome to join us. Here are the details:


Topic: Inequality for All – we recommend watching the documentary by Robert Reich before the chat.


Date & Time: October 8, 2015 at 8:00 PM CST/6:00 PM PST


Hashtag: #MacroSW


Hosts: Jimmy Young and Laurel Hitchcock


  1. What is happening today in terms of distribution of wealth? Why is it happening? What do you see happening and what are the causes?
  2. When do you think inequality becomes a problem?
  3. If the government sets the rules for how the market functions, who do these rules benefit or hurt?
  4. Who is looking out for the American worker? Who do you think should be and what could be done?
  5. After watching the film, do you agree/disagree with the idea of equal opportunity and the American Dream?
  6. What do you think most Americans don’t realize about income Inequality?
  7. What single word best describes how the film made you feel?
  8. What’s next? How do we as social workers address inequality or move forward?

If you are an educator wanting to incorporate this chat as an assignment into your class, please click here for details. We hope you can join us!

Please contact us (by clicking on our names below) if you plan to have your class or maybe a student group participate in the chat. We also welcome questions.


Jimmy Young

Laurel Hitchcock



A New Academic Year – Fall 2015

I initially sat down to write this post several weeks ago but things just keep getting busier and I don’t know if I will ever have a truly free moment to reflect on this upcoming semester. So here it goes…

After an extended summer break from this blog, and really most things related to teaching, tech, and research, I am back in the throws of a new semester and in a new location. In case you didn’t know I am now part of the MSW program at California State University San Marcos, which is located in northern San Diego County of Southern California. The setting is amazing as I try to get to the beach as often as I can. The institution is also amazing and I have been telling everyone that it is easy to see the influence of our President (who is also a social worker) Dr. Karen Haynes in all areas of Campus. I am excited for this new opportunity and excited to get to know many new wonderful colleagues and students.

Here at CSUSM I still plan to pursue my interests of social media and technology in social work education and nonprofit administrations, but I also hope to move into new directions to assess the impact of technology on individuals, families, communities, and organizations. I also have some ideas for health literacies as they related to my work on digital literacies that I hope to pursue within the community. I think CSUSM is an innovative place where many of my ideas will be able to be implemented and tested.

I am also excited to be in the MSW program and working with students on research projects and getting know students as they matriculate through our program. I hear it’s been a rocky road but with our new director and others that have been hired on this year I think the future is looking very bright and I’m excited to be part of it.  One last hope I have is to continue blogging some of my learning experiences here and sharing with those of you who actually read my blog :-) The past year was a busy one where I was steadfastly working on publications. Six publications in one year was never really a goal but just happened. I am grateful but I am also looking to getting back to writing in this space. For instance, Dr. Laurel Hitchcock and I are once again conducting our Live Twitter Chat this semester, in a few weeks actually and I will have another blog post up in a few days. This new semester and new start are very exciting and I hope to achieve lots. Check back once in awhile to see what I’m up to and as always, you can usually find me on Twitter :-)


Creating Social Media Policies for the Classroom

I know I haven’t written anything all summer as I have been moving and getting settled in Southern California but I wanted to share another publication that just came out in the Journal Advances in Social Work. I really love this journal because it is open access and it has some amazing authors contributing important and timely information to the literature. You can access the journal here https://journals.iupui.edu/index.php/advancesinsocialwork and you can find my article title:

Developing Ethical Guidelines for Creating Social Media Technology Policy in Social Work Classrooms

This was a great collaboration with Dr. Brady and Dr. McLeod from the University of Oklahoma. We have a few other things we are working on as well and fingers crossed they will come out sometime next year.

Okay. Back to summer vacation as the semester starts up for me in a short few weeks.

Digital Advocacy in Community Organizing

This is just a really quick post to share a recent article from my colleagues and I that was published in the Journal of Community Practice. The article is titled:

Utilizing Digital Advocacy in Community Organizing: Lessons Learned from Organizing in Virtual Spaces to Promote Worker Rights and Economic Justice

The first 50 copies are available free via this link —> http://bit.ly/digitaladvocacy

and if you follow Dr. Brady or Dr. McLeod on Twitter, I am sure they will also share their author copies in case mine get all used up :-)

Feel free to leave a comment or find me on Twitter as I am moving this summer to Southern California, my blog will be rather quiet until this Fall. Have a great summer in case I don’t update before then.

New Position

As we come to a close of the spring semester here at UNK, I have been thinking a lot about the past three years and my future. I decided to take a new faculty position in the department of social work at California State University San Marcos in San Marcos, California. While I am excited to start this new position and work in a department with some great new colleagues, I will miss the colleagues and friends I have made here at UNK. I never imagined myself living in Nebraska and it has really been enjoyable. I, and my family, are excited to be closer to other family as we move to Southern California but I will forever be grateful for the work I was able to complete here at UNK and for the students in my classes. It may have taken some convincing of them that social media can be powerful in social work, but I think they now have a better understanding of its place in the profession. I will continue my work on social work and social media in my new position but I am also looking forward to getting involved in more community-based research. I have lots of grand ideas and hope to share them along the way here on my blog. Yes, I know I do not update as often as I should and it’s honestly something I hope to work on as well. In the mean time, back to grading, then packing and moving. It’s going to be a wild and fun summer :-)

Is your Website Mobile Friendly?

I woke up today to a slew of emails and Facebook posts about the new change in Google’s algorithm that favors mobile friendly websites when searching the internet. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal until I saw that over 60% of web traffic now comes via mobile. Wow, so what to do??? Well, Google has an easy tool that you can use to analyze your website to determine if it is mobile friendly. You can find the tool at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ and simply input the URL you would like to test. It’s easy, and fortunately enough my website came through okay. Thanks wordpress. Perhaps I will keep my blog here after all. ;-)

#MacroSW Chat Follow Up

Last night Laurel Hitchcock and I moderated the #MacroSW Chat, hosted by @MSWatUSC to discuss the documentary film Inequality for All. This is the third semester where we have worked to create an opportunity to learn and discuss in openly networked spaces and I continue to be amazed the engagement by students and others. If you would like to view the transcript of the chat, head on over to Storify via this link > https://storify.com/MacroSW/3-12-15-macrosw-twitter-chat-inequality-for-all-1


I believe Laurel will post a follow up to this chat on her blog as well but I wanted to share some quick stats on the event last night. In all we had just under 100 users on Twitter engaging around the topic of Inequality and over 730 posts. We had users from many different states and several countries represented. All these stats come from the website Keyhole and so I’m not exactly sure how accurate they are but one thing I did like from the site is this really cool word cloud of some of the top Keywords.


I’m not sure that the widget will come through when I publish this post so here is a screen shot.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 9.51.40 AM


This assignment has been really fun and even eye opening as I read through student’s reflection papers and I am constantly amazed at how much the students learn and recognize that Inequality is a real challenge and that they feel like the CAN do something about it. Stay tuned as Laurel and I continue to update and adapt this assignment. We have started gathering a bit more data and hope to share the results in the not to distant future.

Using Social Media to teach and assess Macro/Policy-based Social Work Competencies – #BPD2015 Conference

I am presenting with Dr. Laurel Hitchcock at the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Director’s Annual 2015 Conference on March 6, 2015 about our social media assignment designed for social work students to learn about and try their hand at macro- and policy-practice skills. In this workshop, we describe how we developed, implemented and assessed this assignment which incorporates a documentary movie with a live Twitter chat. We will discuss things we learned along the way and offer tips on how other educators can incorporate a similar assignment into their courses. The learning objectives for this session include:


  1. Understand how the social media platform Twitter can be incorporated into assignments for social work policy courses at the BSW-level.
  2. Demonstrate how social work educators can assess attainment of competency among BSW students using a social media assignment paired with a Rubric for evaluation of the assignment’s learning outcomes.
  3. Appreciate the role of professional collaboration in the development, implementation and assessment of social media-based assignments.


We have previously written about this assignment on our blogs:


  1. Special #MacroSW Chat October 28th at 8pm CST from JimmySW’s Blog:



  1. Follow-up to 10/28 #MacroSW Twitter Chat from Teaching Social Work Blog:



Here is a link to the Prezi that we will show during the presentation (http://tiny.cc/SMAssignment_BPD2015).


Our next live Twitter chat for this assignment will be on March 12, 2015 9 PM EST/8 PM CST and we invite you all to join us. The chat is sponsored by #MacroSW. Click here for more details.


Finally, here is the abstract for our presentation:


Social media includes applications, digital technologies, and mobile devices that utilize the Internet in a manner to create an interactive dialogue among organizations, communities, and individuals (Richardson, 2006). More specifically, social media are defined as an array of digital technologies that allow for the creation and exchange of user generated content (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010; Kanter & Fine, 2010). Irrespective of the variety of terms and definitions, the role of the user as an active participant of interaction with others is paramount when describing social media (Kilpelainen, Paykkonen, & Sankala, 2011). There is a growing awareness that social work practitioners, students and educators need to be adept at using social media and information communication technology as part of their practice and interaction with clients and organizations of all sizes (Coe Regan & Freddolino, 2008; Getz, 2012; National Association of Social Workers [NASW], 2005). However, technology in social work education has been integrated sporadically with varying degrees of success, and the literature suggests social work educators need to increase their digital competencies or media literacy while carefully considering how and why to integrate technology into their courses and curricula (Hitchcock & Battista, 2013; Straub, 2009; Young, 2014). By doing so, educators can play a pivotal role in helping students to increase their own media literacy, and ultimately apply this knowledge to their own learning and subsequent practice.


This workshop will inform participants about the development, implementation and assessment of a social welfare macro/policy assignment for BSW students using the microblogging platform, Twitter and a documentary film. The assignment involves social work students from four different universities spread across different parts of the country using Twitter to participate in a live chat about a macro/policy issue highlighted in the film, and is embedded as part of a policy and or macro-practice course. Through the assignment, students actively engage in competency-based practice behaviors connected to professional behavior, policy practice and critical thinking while also increasing digital media literacies (CSWE, 2008). Specifically, students are able to use critical thinking augmented by creativity and curiosity to convey their thoughts and reactions to the issue being highlighted (EPAS 2.1.3), and students understand that policy affects service delivery. Students are able to engage in policy practice through this assignment by collaborating with others to advocate for policies that advance social well-being (EPAS 2.1.8).


Student assessment of competency attainment is achieved through a rubric designed specifically for the assignment and implemented across multiple classrooms. Rubrics have been increasingly used to evaluate and promote student learning (Gezie, Khaja, Chang, Adamek, & Johnsen, 2012; Stevens, Levi, & Walvoord, 2012). The presenters will share their experiences in designing and executing the assignment along with data demonstrating how the assignment’s rubric assessed student achievement of social work competencies. Lessons learned from the project will be shared and implications for the implicit curriculum will be reviewed.




Coe Regan, J. A., & Freddolino, P. P. (2008). Integrating technology in the social work

            curriculum. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

Council on Social Work Education. (2008).   Educational Policy and Accreditation

            Standards. Washington, DC: Author.

Getz, L. (2012). Mobile App Technology for Social Workers. Social Work Today, 12 (3), 8 -10.

Gezie, A., Khaja, K., Chang, V. N., Adamek, M. E., & Johnsen, M. B. (2012). Rubrics as a Tool for Learning and Assessment: What

do Baccalaureate Students Think? Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 32(4), 421-437.

Hitchcock, L. I., & Battista, A. (2013). Social Media for Professional Practice: Integrating Twitter with Social Work Pedagogy. The Journal of

             Baccalaureate Social Work, 18(special issue), 33-45.

Kanter, B., & Fine, A. H. (2010). The networked nonprofit: Connecting with social media to drive change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media.

              Business Horizons, 53, 59-68.

Kilpelainen, A., Paykkonen, K., & Sankala, J. (2011). The use of social media to improve social work education in remote areas. Journal of

              Technology in Human Services, 29(1), 1-12.

NASW (National Association of Social Workers)/ASWB (Association of Social Work Boards).

(2005). NASW & ASWB Standards for technology and social work practice. Retrieved on July 30, 2012 from http://www.socialworkers.org/practice/standards/NASWTechnologyStandards.pdf.

Richardson, W. H. (2006). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Stevens, D. D., Levi, A. J., & Walvoord, B. E. (2012). Introduction to Rubrics: An Assessment Tool to Save Grading Time, Convey Effective

Feedback, and Promote Student Learning (2nd edition.). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Straub, E. T. (2009). Understanding Technology Adoption: Theory and Future Directions for Informal Learning. Review of Educational

               Research, 79(2), 625–649.

Young, J. (2014). iPolicy: Exploring and Evaluating the use of iPads in a Social Welfare Policy Course. Journal of Technology in Human

              Services, 32(1-2), 39-53.



African American Pioneers in Social Work

I would like to thank SocialWork@Simmons for alerting me to this amazing resource and to be honest I meant to share this much earlier in the month but time seems to slip past me relatively easily.

Their blog features digital placards developed in partnership with SocialWorkHelper.com highlighting prominent African-American advocates for Black History Month. Visit their blog for more resources but in the mean time here are the placards below:

Mary Church Terrell:

African American Pioneers in Social Services, SocialWork@Simmons

George Edmund Haynes:

African American Pioneers in Social Service, SocialWork@Simmons

Thyra J. Edwards:

African American Pioneers in Social Service, SocialWork@Simmons

Lester Blackwell Granger:

African American Pioneers in Social Service, SocialWork@Simmons

Dorothy Height:

African American Pioneers in Social Service, SocialWork@Simmons

iPolicy: Exploring & Evaluating the use of iPads

I just received an email this morning that explained my iPolicy article published in the Journal of Technology in Human Services was one of the most downloaded articles of 2014. Now it’s being included in a special open access section along with many other journal articles from across the Routledge journal family for free. Yes FOR FREE. You can access my article at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15228835.2013.860366

and all the other articles at http://explore.tandfonline.com/page/beh/health-social-care-most-read/social-work#20824

Hope you enjoy and find something worth looking for :D


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