Welcome to The New Social Worker's Blog

The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Technology and Social Work

This week, I bought a new phone... my first smart phone, my first android. And I don't have a clue how to use it.

Apparently, according to the manual, it can do everything from checking my work email to syncing my work calendar to making breakfast for me, if I know how to program it to tell it to do so.

I'm all for technology. I'm all for automating things so that what once required 3 photocopies of a form can now be done completely electronically. I'm all for internet searches saving me from a trip to the library. I'm all for webinars and video conferences and call waiting and the whole deal. Probably (hopefully), at some point, I will be all for these fancy pocket computer phones... once I figure this thing out.

But it leads me to wonder about technology and social work. As a staff member on socialworkchat.org, I have loved and gained benefit from twice weekly chats with professionals far more advanced in a field I was just beginning. I have loved message boards that helped me decide where to apply to social work school, websites with test prep information, and blogs like this one. We have so many technological resources now than at any other time in social work history.

But is this a good thing? In a profession that is often based on tone of voice and body language, is it good for us to spend so much time using a screen to obtain information and to bond or is this preventing us from spending as much time face-to-face with others?

What technologies do you use? What are you hoping comes in our social work future?

1 comment:

  1. I tried to use my iPod touch as a calendar, but it's just not as effective as pencil and paper. I do also keep an online calendar so that my coworkers can see when I am free. I know others at my organization sometimes use an iPad to show short video clips or images in session. 

    I think the biggest way I use technology is to suggest to my clients to quit or cut down on Facebook! :p