Interview with Daniel Jacob: Guest Expert for Live Twitter Chat 5/6/13 at 8PM EST

by Deona Hooper, MSW

***Update***

View Archive Chat:

Join us on May 6, 2013 at 8PM EST on the Social Work Helper Live Twitter Chat with Guest Expert Daniel Jacob on Burnout and Self-Care using the hashtag #SWUnited. Daniel is the founder of Can You Hear Me?, and he is a regular contributor to SWH. Recently, Daniel did an extensive interview on why he created his organization, it mission, and who it was designed to help.

Here is an excerpt from his in-depth interview in Social Justice Solutions:

Discuss your blog, Can you Hear Me? Why did you create it, what is the goal of the blog? Who do you hope to reach through the blog?

The Can You Hear Me? blog; words with a voice, a story and an opportunity to inspire others to change for the better! This platform has given me such a great opportunity to express myself in ways that I truly hope are reaching and impacting those in need. The creation of this blog was at a time in my life when I was transitioning from a history and exposure that taught me so much and yet greatly impacted me from a mental health and physical standpoint. By having a forum to share the affects and effects of my own personal and professional challenges and struggles, I was helping myself as much as I hoped I was able to help others. As a social worker who strives to be a work in progress, embracing any and all opportunities to better my quality of  life, while continually adding to my personal and professional self, my hope is to share this with those in the field who are experiencing their own challenges and struggles.

My blog is a continual effort to empower, support, and instruct. When I write, it comes from within. The motivation and inspiration that I use to engage this process is based on my own personal and professional history; one that has and will continue to be my greatest resource.

My hope is to reach anyone in the helping profession in need of support, whether one is a recent MSW graduate unsure of their own skill set or a seasoned veteran who somehow became apathetic, complacent, and doesn’t even know where to start. My hope for those that are available to read this interview is that they will have a better understanding of this model of support, one that is influenced (and understood) by an experiential and empirical journey that is ongoing, Can You Hear Me?  Read Full Interview

Can the Education Profession Teach Social Workers Innovation with Technology

by Deona Hooper, MSW

Education Technology Consultant, Margaret Powers, spared some time to do an interview for SWH on the advances the education field is making in incorporating technology in the classroom. Margaret is also working on a google glass project in which she will tell us about in the Socialworkhelper Live Twitter Chat scheduled for April 15th at 8PM EST. Margaret frequently shares technology lessons designed for educational professionals on her blog located at http://margaret-powers.com/.  Margaret is a regular contributor for SWH, and she will be passing on her learning here also.

SWH: Tell me a bit about your background and your current work?

Margaret PowersMargaret: I have always been intrigued by learning so studying psychology and education felt like a natural fit for me in college. Since my mother works with young children I was also exposed to the importance and value of early childhood education from a young age and decided to make that my focus. I studied in Reggio Emilia, Italy, the birthplace of the Reggio Emilia Approach to early care and education and while there, realized how vital it was for educators around the global to share and exchange pedagogical practices so that we could all learn from one another. After receiving my B.A. from Bryn Mawr College, to deepen my knowledge and experience with international education, I went to get a Master’s in International Training and Education from American University.

Starting in high school I began to gravitate towards technology and as I started to formally study education and travel abroad, I realized its power in connecting people around the world. With that in mind, I have explored ways technology can be integrated in education, particularly to deepen learning experiences and facilitate global collaboration. This work led me to my current position as a Lower School Tech Coordinator, where I am able to bring my three passions: early childhood education, global education, and educational technology together. I work with students and teachers in Pre-K to 2nd grade, helping teachers integrate technology in developmentally appropriate and meaningful ways and helping students learn to see technology as a tool for creation, communication, and global collaboration.

SWH: What is ETMOCC, and how is it useful in combining technology and education?

ETMOOC is a massive open online course (MOOC) focused on educational technology. It was created by a group of “conspirators” or people working in the fields of technology and education who dedicated over 11 weeks to facilitate and support over 1400 students in exploring new tools and topics while building a network of co-learners. ETMOOC did a great job in having practical, “hands-on” prompts encouraging participants to try new tools and learn new technologies (e.g., creating a GIF) while also inviting participants to think about how these technologies can, should, and do integrate with or affect education today. For example, Audrey Watters, the writer of the blog Hack Education, spoke about digital literacy and data ownership. If you are looking to think critically about how technology and education intersect while also learning some new tools and joining a community of practitioners and researchers, I would recommend participating in ETMOOC next time it’s offered.

SWH: How does technology help you to be more effective in education?

Margaret: I believe technology can help me to be more effective, as well as more innovative in my work in education, as long as it’s used in meaningful ways. For example, by using technology, I can help my students see an animal species that is not local to our community in real-time or I can have my students Skype with a class in a region they are studying but could never travel to on a field trip. These activities bring new ideas and concepts to life by helping students experience them beyond just hearing or reading about them.

I would also argue that technology is an invaluable asset in helping me be a more innovative educator, primarily because it allows me to be connected to an almost endless community of experts and co-learners. Through mediums like Twitter, I am constantly learning about new tech tools, pedagogical practices, and ways of integrating technology into the classroom. I am also connected to a network that can help me solve problems and provide suggestions when I’m trying to start a global collaborative project with my students or explore a new resource. Without technology, I would be exposed to many fewer ideas and experts.

SWH: How has blogging and social media helped you to carve yourself out as an expert in your field?

Margaret: Blogging and social media can both be instrumental in helping you to share your expertise with others in your field. Both mediums allow people to more easily access your knowledge and therefore identify what areas you are knowledgable about. They can also facilitate connections between you and other people looking to learn about topics that you know. Blogging is particularly useful for sharing more in-depth reflections or information about a specific topic while social media seems more suited to conversations, sharing links to your material, and building connections with others. By sharing your blog posts on social media, you can draw people to that space and share your thoughts or expertise about a specific topic and then others can spread the word about that post, helping to increase the number of people who know about your expertise. Digital “word of mouth” is very powerful so using both blogging and social media, your identity as an expert can grow as people share from one person to another.

SWH: What are your aspirations for yourself and how would you like to see ETMOOC impact education?

Margaret: My own aspirations include working to increase my own knowledge of growing trends within the education and technology fields, such as the Maker Movement and the push to integrate computational thinking in our schools. I seek to be an innovator who is willing to try new technologies (e.g., Google Glass) and pedagogical approaches in order to constantly grow as a teacher and learner and model for students and teachers the importance of exploration, adaptation, and reflection today’s world. I also hope to continue making connections around the world with other technologists and educators who are dedicated to improving the ways in which we all teach and learn. I would like to see opportunities like ETMOOC grow so that more people can have access to that type of self-paced, personalized learning, centered around a supportive community. I believe ETMOOC offers a model to other MOOCs and traditional courses for how people from diverse background and with different learning goals can come together to exchange ideas, push each others’ thinking, and build meaningful relationships. I hope it is a model that is taken up by others in the field of education.

They Deserve A Vote: Live Twitter Chat on Gun Control Debate

Updated Twitter Chat Transcript Added

As founder of Social Work Helper, I have organized a live twitter chat to discuss the gun control debate with the University of Nebraska, University of Montevallo, Meredith College, and Harper College participating on February 19th, 2013 at 6:30PM EST and 5:30PM CST. We will be discussing proposed legislation and gun policy issues before our current Congress using the #hashtag SWUnited to facilitate the discussion. President Obama’s State of the Union address left a powerful impression on observers as he stated,”They Deserve A Vote” over and over as he called the names of those affected by gun violence in the audience.

Under Speaker John Boehner, proposed legislation has not been allowed onto the House floor for debate without having majority Republican approval, as a result, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has refused to bring legislation to the Senate floor that has no chance of passing in the House. Many believe the proposed gun control legislation and assault weapons ban will never make it to the senate floor for an up or down vote.

However, President Obama made a strong case during the State of the Union on behalf of the victims and their families by stating at minimum they deserve a vote by their elected officials. This live twitter event is a collaborative effort between three undergraduate social work professors in order demonstrate how technology can be utilized to enhance policy analysis, macro understanding, and online advocacy.

Meredith College

The event will be moderated live at Meredith College by Professor Deona Hooper, MSW using @swhelpercom. All majors are welcome to attend the live event with the host class, Social Welfare Policy SWK 330 starting at 6:00PM at Ledford Hall Room 206.  Please feel free to contact me via email at hooperde@meredith.edu with any questions. For more information on how to participate in a live twitter chat, please view chat instructions. Also, I recommend using Twubs.com to participate in the chat. Twubs allows you to login with your twitter account, enter the SWunited hashtag, and you are ready to tweet. Twubs will insert the hashtag into each tweet for you, so you won’t have to. I hope to see you at the event.

Meredith’s commitment to academic excellence is reflected in its strong rankings. Meredith ranks 3rd among colleges in the South and 9th for “Best Value” among colleges in the South by U.S. News & World Report. It has also been named one of the “Best Colleges in the Southeast” according to Princeton Review. Meredith students are mentored by committed professors, with an average undergraduate class size of 17 and graduate class size of 18. Experiential learning is an essential component of a Meredith education—97% of undergraduate students participate in internships, undergraduate research or another kind of hands-on learning. For more information, please visit: http://www.meredith.edu/socwork/

SWK 330-Social Welfare Policy: Course content provides students with knowledge and skills to understand major policies that form the foundation of social welfare; analyze organizational, local, state, national, and international issues in social welfare policy and social service delivery; analyze and apply the results of policy research relevant to social service delivery; understand and demonstrate policy practice skills in regard to economic, political and organizational systems, and use these to influence, formulate and advocate for policy consistent with social work values. Read More

University of Montevallo

Professor Laurel Iverson Hitchcock, PhD, MPH, LCSW, PIP from the University of Montevallo helped to facilitate this multi-university event. She can be reached by email at lhitchcock@montevallo.edu, Facebook: University of Montevallo Social Work Program, or by Twitter: @laurelhitchcock and @MontevalloSWK.

The University of Montevallo is a public liberal arts college located in central Alabama with an enrollment of 3500 undergraduate and graduate students. Montevallo’s Social Work Program is first formal social work education program in the State of Alabama, starting in 1926, and one of the oldest programs in the Southeast.  The mission of our Social Work Program is to provide a professional education for beginning level generalist practice with emphasis on the poor, vulnerable, and underserved.  We have four full-time faculty and approximately 100 BSW students.  For more information, please visit our website at: http://www.montevallo.edu/bss/SWK/default.shtm or follow us on Twitter: @MontevalloSWK.

SWK 420 Social Work Practice with Small Groups, Communities and Organizations is a senior-level macro course for social work majors. The course emphasizes ecosystems theory and strengths perspectives to examine groups, communities, and organizations and gives students the opportunity to discuss and practice necessary skills for practice.  Dr. Laurel Hitchcock is the instructor and there are 12 students in the course this semester.  One of the practice skills emphasized in this course is the ability to be informed, resourceful, and proactive in responding to evolving organizational, community, and societal contexts at all levels of practice.  We are using Twitter as part of a class assignment to help students develop skills via social media tools. Read More

University of Nebraska 

Professor Jimmy Young, PhD, MSW, MPA is the other professor who also helped to facilitate this event, and he can be contacted via email at youngja2@unk.edu and on Twitter: jimmysw

The public, residential University of Nebraska at Kearney is an affordable, student-centered regional hub of intellectual, cultural and artistic excellence that has been a prominent part of Nebraska’s higher education landscape for more than a century. As one of the four campuses of the University of Nebraska, UNK is committed to providing an outstanding education in a small and personal setting for over 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The Department of Social Work at UNK is focused on preparing competent social work practitioners who are equipped with evidence-based generalist social work knowledge, skills, ethics and values to promote the dignity and well-being of all people within a diverse society.  The department currently has 4 full time faculty, 2 lecturers, and approximately 140 BSW students. More information about the UNK Department of Social Work can be found on the web http://www.unk.edu/socialwork/.

SOWK 410 Social Welfare Policy and Programs is a course that provides an overview of the history of social welfare policy in the United States. Social welfare policy refers to all organized efforts by governmental and voluntary institutions aimed at the preventing, reducing, and problem-solving social problems, as well as promoting the well-being of all citizens.  Students also explore ways to conduct effective social welfare policy analysis and engage in policy advocacy.  Dr. Jimmy Young is the instructor for this course, which has been enhanced by each student receiving an iPad Mini to augment their learning. Students are using the iPads and social media like Twitter to help develop critical thinking and research skills related to policy analysis as well as how to use digital technology for policy advocacy. Read More

Additional Schools Participating

Professor Ellen Belluomini and her class at Harper College in Palatine, IL will also be participating. She can be contacted at ebelluom@harpercollege.edu and her twitter account is @ebelluomini.

Harper College is a comprehensive community college dedicated to providing excellent education at an affordable cost, promoting personal growth, enriching the local community and meeting the challenges of a global society. Harper College is one of the largest community colleges in the country. The Career and Technical Programs Division of Harper College offers an associate in applied science degree in Human Services. The program provides both the academic and experience credentials necessary to qualify students for work in the human services field. The coursework is taught by dynamic instructors with demonstrated expertise in the fields of human services, social work, clinical practice, and management. The human services experience inside and outside the classroom includes opportunities for education, practice, service learning, interactions with community resources and ongoing application of the roles and responsibilities of a successful human service professional.  http://goforward.harpercollege.edu/

HMS 211 Human Services Crisis Intervention class.Introduces techniques for beginning crisis counseling, including recognition of crisis, assessment of crises, and referral to the appropriate crisis agency.  Special attention will be given to the process of intervention and to the recording of information regarding problems with alcohol and other drugs.  Participants will implement a variety of crisis skills through an experiential format.

View Archived Twitter Chat:

How Do You Plan to Promote and Participate in Social Work Month 2013 – Update

by Deona Hooper, MSW

March is always a very special time of year for Social Workers because Social Work awareness, World Social Work Day, and Lobby Day all occur in the same month. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW)  has recently put together a publication called “100 ways to promote Social Work Month”.  Join us on Mondays 8PM EST using the hashtag #SWunited for a Live Twitter Chat to discuss various topics and how we can impact our profession. The publication by the NASW provides many innovative ways for students and professionals to give social work more visibility through media.

swhelper.org is dedicated to increasing the visibility of the social work profession. I think its great that other professions have had the opportunity to utilize media to drive support for causes most important to them. However, my desire is to participate and support projects that help to educate the broader public on the necessity of our profession. In addition, Lobby Day provides a specific opportunity for social workers to engage in the national conversation on the social safety net that we implement. Welfare and Entitlement reforms and other important legislative decisions are going to made in the near future by our leaders, but should they happen without input from the social work profession? Let’s start by increasing our online presence and visibility in the media.

Help us make #socialwork  trend world-wide on World Social Work Day on March 19th, 2013 by tweeting the hashtag #socialwork.

Here are some links to see what others around the world are doing for World Social Work Day 2013: 1.  World Social Work Day in Turkey 2. World Social Work Day 2013 | BASW Resources 3. European Association of Schools of Social Work 4. Australian Association of Social Workers 5. Canadian Association of Social Workers 6. World Social Work Day-Philipines

Top 5 Tools to Help Protect Against Cyber Bullying

I will be sharing with you a few useful tools and recommendations to help protect yourself and/or your children from cyber bullying both online and offline. Although social media and the internet has revolutionized the way our society communicates, it also presents many dangers that both children and adults must navigate in order to protect themselves from harm.

Those who wreak havoc on others primarily rely on either one of two factors in which to inflict damage on their intended target:  1) anonymity or 2) position or status that by virtue give them credibility over their victim. Their predatory actions depend on the silence of their victim, the inability of their victim to prove the harm being inflicted upon them, and/or the powerless feelings by the victim to stop future behavior.

One of the best examples of this psychology is in the movie “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” where a state’s guardian/worker uses his authority to impose his will on the main character, Lisbeth. Click here to View Trailer.  This post in no way serves as legal advice, but hopefully it may help you to access your situation from a strategic point of view.

What victims and potential victims should realize is that your tormentor’s psychology is obsessed with maintaining their public persona in order to conceal their private activities. Your silence is their best weapon, but I must caution you that any attempts to expose their evil side without a strategic approach will catapult them into defensive mode. Your tormentor will intensify his or her efforts in order to further undermine your credibility.

By recognizing your tormentor’s psychology, you can turn your silence into your best strategic advantage. Without them being in defensive mode, your tormentor conducts business as usual which is being the devil to you, but a saint in front of everyone else.

Why not use this period of time to document their behavior? Other than in person harassment, the most commonly used means to harass or threaten is either via computer or via phone. Here are few tools and recommendations to help support your accounting of events, but keep in mind these tools are double edged sword. Don’t send anything that you don’t want archived or saved.

  1. Screenshot– Provides  users the ability to capture a time stamped photo of whatever appears on their computer screen as well as available on android and apple phones. For more information view “Screen Capture Tools: 40+ Free Tools and Techniques”
  2. Find IP Address in Emails– Some may think creating an another email account will maintain anonymity by protecting their identity.  However, this is not the case. Email accounts provide the IP address for the computer being used to access the email account. For more information view “How to Find the Location in the Header of Gmail”, this article also gives information on other email account types.
  3. Youmail  and Google Voice-Are harassing phone calls a problem? Do you feel the need to log your incoming, outgoing calls, and text messaging….then you need to add these two apps to your phone ASAP. Youmail is unique because it can track and catalog hangups, incoming calls, and voicemails to your phone. In addition, you can call block and ditch calls with a no longer in service message. Additionally, it will act as a caller id even when someone tries to block their number and when your phone is off. Google Voice gives you the ability to add a second line to your phone with a new number without having to give out your carrier cell phone number. Also, it provides a recording option for your phone calls. Caution In the same way you may use these tools to protect yourself, don’t engage in behavior that will allow these same tools to be used against you. Often times with bullying, their tactic is to strike, but catch you in the act of retaliating.
  4. Reporting Harassment and Threats- For Information on reporting to Twitter view “How to document harassment and cyberstalking on Twitter”, for Information on reporting to Facebook view “Track Your Facebook Abuse, Bullying and Spam Reports”, and for information on general reporting view “Cyber bullying, School Bullying, and Bullycide”
  5. Social Media Monitoring-Some parents maybe ambivalent on whether to monitor or not monitor their kids behavior. This resource provides several resources to parents of children being bullied and parent’s of the bullying child. Most importantly, it provides a comprehensive tool to monitor all of your child’s social media and cell phone usage in order to provide a comprehensive picture of your child’s activity both incoming and outgoing.

Do You Know What to Do If You Think Someone is Suicidal #SWUnited Live Twitter Chat 11/19/12 at 8PM EST

by Deona Hooper, MSW

On November 19, 2012 at 8PM EST, we will have a  live twitter chat to discuss suicide prevention and the social work response. I have attached the link to the National Suicide Prevention website for information and tools for use in practice. Here is the link as follows:  http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

@swhelpercom will be moderating the debate using the hashtag #SWUnited with guests @harperlevy and @drbillschmitz

Here is an excerpt from Psycentral entitled “What to do when you think someone is suicidal“:

Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S., and the third leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year olds. Still, suicide remains a taboo topic, is highly stigmatized and is surrounded by myth and mystery.

One of the biggest — and most destructive — myths is that if you discuss suicide, you’re planting the idea in someone’s head, said Scott Poland, Ed.D, the prevention division director at the American Association of Suicidology and associate professor at Nova Southeastern University. Clinical psychologist and suicide expert William Schmitz, Psy.D., likens it to talking to someone who’s recently been diagnosed with cancer. By mentioning cancer, you’re not forcing the topic front and center. “If someone is diagnosed with cancer, it’s on their mind.” Bringing it up shows support and concern. Similarly, by talking about suicide, you show the person that you truly care about them. In fact, lack of connection is a key reason why people have suicidal thoughts; isolation contributes to and escalates their pain. Do you know what to do if someone is suicidal?

Read More

Update  The Live Twitter Chat on Suicide Prevention and Identification brought to light some interesting perspective. Here are few of the tweets and the full archived discussion is attached.

View Archived Chat: http://storify.com/SWUnited/

***Update View Archived Chat***#SWUnited Live Twitter Chat-Voter ID Laws and Implications 11/5/12 8PM EST

***Update***

View archived discussion on Voter ID laws and implications at SWHelpercom-chat-on-2012-11-12.

Join us for a Live Twitter Chat on Voter ID laws and Implications with guest Johanna Fields, MSW Candidate and NASW-NC Intern, on Presidential Election Eve. Johanna wrote an article in the NASW-NC Blog  identifying the issues on both sides of the Voter ID Laws Debate. @SWHelpercom will be the moderator using the hashtag #SWUnited. NASW-NC stands for the National Association of Social Workers-North Carolina State Chapter.

Johanna  is in her last year of the MSW program at VCU in Richmond, VA. She has direct practice experience by working with children through group home and intensive in-home settings and with adults with Developmental Disabilities through in home services. She has focused her education on Macro Social Work and has experience working with the general assembly in VA, volunteering on a Presidential political campaign, and through her current internship where she is gaining a wide variety of macro experience. Her career goals are in the macro arena, but specifically in policy analysis. You can visit her Twitter at @wilwarin712 and/or Linkedin johannafield) for more details.

Here is an excerpt of her article:

The requirement of showing photo identification when voting has become a major point of contention, not only in our state, but across the nation. Last legislative session, North Carolina passed a bill requiring all voters to show photo identification in order to vote. Governor Bev Purdue, however, vetoed it before it became law and legislators were not able to reverse this veto. This is still an important issue as it may return in the 2013 legislative session. It is an issue that divides us along party lines with amazingly few exceptions. The passion from both sides is palpable (and understandable), but perhaps we can set aside the mud-slinging for now and look at this issue through a bi-partisan lens.

While voter integrity and involvement are important and valid issues, there is little concrete evidence of fraud in the current system. This issue is likened to speeding, however, in that a tiny fraction of those who engage in this illegal activity are actually caught. Requiring photo ID is just a piece of the puzzle, as it only stops one form of potential fraud and there are contradictory arguments as to how easy impersonating someone at the polls really is. On the other hand, this law would keep over 460,000 North Carolinians from being able to vote (and those are just the ones who are already registered and have been active in exercising this right in the past) (source: Democracy NC ). This data shows that the law would disproportionately affect minorities and those aged 65 and older.

Read More

 

Financial Lives of Young People in Foster Care

YPII is one of 15 sites across the country participating in Opportunity PassportTM, a package of resources designed by the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative that teaches young people who have been in foster care how to manage their finances, and matches their savings toward approved asset purchases such as a car to get to work, a computer for school, or housing.

The Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, a national foundation that supports young people transitioning from foster care into adulthood, commissioned a recent report that examines the impact of this matched assets and financial education program on young people aging out of foster care. Carol Behrer will discuss the report’s findings, her experience on the ground in Iowa, and the importance of programs that target asset accumulation among vulnerable young people in the child welfare system.

Enduring Assets: Findings from a Study on the Financial Lives of Young People Transitioning from Foster Care

By Clark Peters, PhD JD AM; Margaret Sherraden, PhD AM; and Ann Marie Kuchinski, MA

This report, published in September 2012, examines the impact of the Opportunity PassportTM‘s asset matching and financial education resources in the lives of young people aging out of foster care. The report found that these supports have a tangible impact on the ability of young people to lead financially stable lives long after they have left the foster care system. This summary presents major findings of the full report. For more information, download our news release.

The Jim Casey Foundation’s Youth Opportunities Initiative is the force behind the research on this invaluable topic. The Foundation designated Carol Behrer the Executive Director of the Youth Policy Institute of Iowa (YPII) to participate in our Twitter Chat.

[vimeo width=”640″ height=”380″]http://vimeo.com/43135529[/vimeo]

Here are a few of the tweets during the Live Chat. 

View Complete Chat Here

A live twitter chat was held on October 15, 2012 at 8 PM EST for a #SWUnited Twitter Chat which will discuss the Financial Lives of Young People in the Foster Care System. The Jim Casey Foundation’s Youth Opportunities Initiative is the force behind the research on this invaluable topic. The Foundation has designated Carol Behrer the Executive Director of the Youth Policy Institute of Iowa (YPII) to participate in our Twitter Chat.

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