Social Work Health Futures Lab

I realize that it has been since April that I have written anything on this Blog and I wish I had some really great excuses. Although, I guess a Global Pandemic is a pretty good excuse but I’ve also been engaged in a few projects. Since my last blog post I have published an article in the Journal of Social Work Education entitled #SocialWorkEducation: A Computational Analysis of Social Work Programs on Twitter and you can find it here. I’ll actually be presenting this at the Society for Social Work Research in January.

I was also fortunate to collaborate with the one and only Jonathan Singer of The Social Work Podcasts on a short article about the analytics of a peer-reviewed blog post as compared to an article, which you can also find here. This is actually part of a larger Peer-Reviewed Blogging effort by Drs. Melanie Sage and Laurel Hitchcock with the Institute for Healthy Engagement and Resilience with Technology. So far the Social Work with Digital Technology blog is just getting started so I’m sure a larger more formal announcement will be made soon.

I was very excited to see my book chapter titled Social Media and Digital Literacies for Nonprofit Educators and Professionals published in the Teaching Nonprofit Management book, edited by Drs. Heather Carpenter and Karabi Bezboruah. This book is essential reading for anyone teaching nonprofit courses, macro social work, and it’s also relevant for practitioners in the field.

One other project that I have been working on for the last decade, and have written about previously on this blog, is related to the Hugs and Kisses Child Sexual Abuse Prevention and Awareness Play that is Virginia’s comprehensive CSA program in kindergarten through fifth grades. I, along with two of my colleagues, were invited to write up an article for Social Work Today about this history of the play and some data that we have collected over the years. You can find this article here.

Perhaps one of the things I am most grateful for in 2020 is the new opportunity to have been selected as a Social Work Health Futures Lab Fellow. This Fellowship is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, hosted by Portland State University, and lead by Dr. Laura Nissen. More about the Lab can be found at the Social Work Health Futures Lab website. This is an 18-month fellowship where I will receive training in Foresight and Futurist Frameworks. I will be able to collaborate with other Fellows on a number of different projects and develop some of my own ideas as they related to digital and new media literacies in social work. I am really excited about this opportunity and hope I can find the time over the next 18 months to blog more about my activities.

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Publications

ORCID Profile: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0566-1783

ResearchGate.net: Jimmy A. Young, PhD, MSW, MPA

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Young, J. A., & Brady, S. R. (2022). Re-Imagining digital and new media literacies in social work education: A critical framework for overcoming #FakeNews, divisiveness, and injustice. Advances in Social Work, 22(2), 270-286. https://doi.org/10.18060/24947

Keeney, A. J., Lee, A., Jayyousi, S., Young, J. A., Guarino, J., & Turner, K. B. (2022). Social work students’ self-efficacy toward direct practice skills in field education using virtual simulations and scripted role plays. Advances in Social Work, 22(2), 303-317. https://doi.org/10.18060/24929

Lin, A., Young, J. A., & Guarino, J., (2022). Mother-daughter sexual abuse: An exploratory study of the experiences of survivors of MDSA using Reddit. Children & Youth Services Review, 138. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2022.106497

Young, J. A., & Ronquillo, R. (2022). Enhancing new media literacies of social work students through a participatory learning environment. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 40(1), 58-78. https://doi.org/10.1080/15228835.2021.2004572

Young, J. A. (2022). #SocialWorkEducation: A Computational Analysis of Social Work Programs on Twitter.  Journal of Social Work Education, 58(2), 215-226. https://doi.org/10.1080/10437797.2020.1817821

Keeney, A. J., Byrnes, E. I., Young, J. A., & Beecher, B. (2021). Beyond COVID-19: What’s next for skill assessment practices in social work education? Social Work Education: The International Journal.  Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2021.2003321

Young, J. A., & Singer, J. B. (2020). What are the analytics of a peer-reviewed blog post as compared to an article? Social Work with Digital Technology. https://doi.org/10.21428/900c7f10.d9456930

Sage, M., Hitchcock, L. I., Bakk, L., Young, J. A., Michaeli, D., Jones, A.S., & Smyth, N. J. (2020). Professional Collaboration Networks as a Social Work Research Practice innovation: Preparing DSW Students for Knowledge Dissemination Roles in a Digital Society. Research in Social Work Practice. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049731520961163

Young, J. A., McLeod, D. A., & Brady, S. R. (2018). The Ethics Challenge: 21st Century Social Work Education, Social Media, and Digital Literacies. Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, 15(1), 13-22.  Retrieved from http://jswve.org/download/15-1/15-1-Articles/13-The-Ethics-Challenge-15-1.pdf

Young, J. A. (2018). Special Section Introduction: Multimedia in Nonprofit Education [Editorial]. Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership, 8(1), 2-3.

Young, J. A. (2018). Preparing Future Nonprofit Professionals with Digital Literacies for the 21st Century. Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership, 8(1), 4-15. https://doi.org/10.18666/JNEL-2018-V8-I1-8309

Brady, S. R., Leisey, M., Coles, C. D., Lee, J. S., Monico, C., Mann-Williams, A., Netting, F. E., O’Connor, M. K., Perkins, N. H., Rotabi, K. S., & Young, J. A. (2017). Letter to the Editor: Respecting Multiple    Epistemologies in Social Work. Journal of Social Work Education, 53(2), 1-4. https://doi.org/10.1080/10437797.2017.1283272

Young, J. A. (2017). Facebook, Twitter, and Blogs: The Adoption and Utilization of Social Media in Nonprofit Human Service Organizations. Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership, & Governance, 41(1), 44-57. https://doi.org/10.1080/23303131.2016.1192574

Young, J. A., Lee, J. S., & Kovacs, P. J. (2016). Creating and Sustaining an Experiential Learning Component on Aging in a BSW Course. Sage Open, 6(4), 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F2158244016679711

Vaterlaus, J. M., Barnett, K., Roche, C., & Young, J. A. (2016). “Snapchat is more personal”: An exploratory study on Snapchat behaviors and young adult interpersonal relationships. Computers in Human Behavior, 62, 594-601. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1016/j.chb.2016.04.029

Hitchcock, L. I., & Young, J. A. (2016). Tweet Tweet! Using Live Twitter Chats in Social Work Education. Social Work Education: The International Journal, 35(4), 457-468. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2015.1136273

Brady, S. R., Perkins, N. H., Shadik, J. A., Monico, C., Young, J. A., Mann-Williams, A., Sawyer, J. M., & Klein, M. (2015). The Meaning of Cohort Community in Social Work Doctoral Education. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 21(1), 64-71. Retrieved from http://www.reflectionsnarrativesofprofessionalhelping.org/index.php/Reflections/article/view/1409

Brady, S. R., McLeod, D. A., & Young, J. A. (2015). Developing Ethical Guidelines for Creating Social Media Technology Policy in Social Work Classrooms. Advances in Social Work, 16(1), 43-54. Retrieved from https://journals.iupui.edu/index.php/advancesinsocialwork/article/view/17977

Roche, C., Vaterlaus, J. M., & Young, J. A. (2015). A foster care alumna’s past and present technological experience: A feminist case study approach. Sage Open, 5(2), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F2158244015584946

Brady, S. R., Young, J. A., & McLeod, D. A. (2015). Utilizing Digital Advocacy in Community Organizing: Lessons Learned from Organizing in Virtual Spaces to Promote Worker Rights and Economic Justice. Journal of Community Practice, 23(2). https://doi.org/10.1080/10705422.2015.1027803

Young, J. A. (2015). Assessing New Media Literacies in Social Work Education: The Development and Validation of a Comprehensive Assessment Instrument. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 33(1), 72-86. https://doi.org/10.1080/15228835.2014.998577

Vaterlaus, J. M., Patten, E. V., Roche, C., & Young, J. A. (2015). #Gettinghealthy: The Perceived Influence of Social Media on Young Adult Health Behaviors. Computers in Human Behavior, 45(1), 151-157. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.12.013

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. https://doi.org/10.1080/15228835.2013.860366

Young, J. (2013). A Conceptual Understanding of Organizational Identity in the Social Media Environment. Advances in Social Work, 14(2), 518-530. Retrieved from https://journals.iupui.edu/index.php/advancesinsocialwork/article/view/3739

Young, J. (2011). Review of the book CauseWired: Plugging in, getting involved, changing the world, by Tom Watson. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 40(3), 591-594. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0899764010377485

Book Chapters & Contributions_________________________________________________

Young, J. A., & Glennon, A. (2021). Social media in social work: Research, education, and practice. In A. González, A. A. Astray, & A. A. Puelles (Eds.), Social work in digital societies (pp. 95-113). McGraw-Hill.

Young, J. A. (2020). Social Media and Digital Literacies for Nonprofit Educators and Professionals. In K. C. Bezboruah & H. Carpenter (Eds.), Teaching Nonprofit Management (pp. 237-253). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Young, J. A. (2019). Twitter Chats. In L. I. Hitchcock, M. Sage, & N. J. Smyth, Teaching Social Work with Digital Technology (pp.473-475)Alexandra, VA: CSWE Press.

Young, J. A. (2019). Live Tweeting for Social Work Education. In L. I. Hitchcock, M. Sage, & N. J. Smyth, Teaching Social Work with Digital Technology (pp. 462-428)Alexandra, VA: CSWE Press.

Hitchcock, L. I., Sage, M., & Smyth, N. J. (Eds.). (2018). Technology in social work education: Educators’ perspectives on the NASW Technology Standards for Social Work Education and Supervision. Buffalo, NY: University at Buffalo School of Social Work, State University of New York. {*Contributing Author}

Young, J. A. (2015). Live Tweeting Documentaries in the Classroom: Engaging Students and Enhancing Discussions with Social Media. In R. K. Morgan, K. T. Olivares, & J. Becker (Eds.), Quick Hits for Adjunct Faculty & Lecturers: Successful Strategies from Award-Winning Teachers (pp. 45-46). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Other Publications & Contributions

Young, J. A. (2021, September 16). The Future of Authenticity [Blog Post]. Retrieved from The Social Work Health Futures Blog website: https://socialworkhealthfutureslab.org/27627-2

Young, J. A. (2021). Expert advice for aspiring graduate students. MSWOnline. Retrieved from https://mastersinsocialworkonline.org/degrees/masters-in-social-work/#expert=jimmy-younghttp://www.onlinemswprograms.com/in-focus/interview-with-dr-jimmy-young.html

Young, J. A., Miller, H., & Mann-Williams, A. (2020, April 24). Hugs and Kisses: A Model for Child Sexual Abuse Prevention. E-News Exclusive for Social Work Today.  Retrieved from https://www.socialworktoday.com/news/enews_0420_1.shtml

Hitchcock, L.I., Bakk, L., Michaeli,  D., Young, J.A., Sage, M. & Smyth, N.J. (2020, March 12). Using Twitter at a Professional Conference [Blog Post]. Retrieved from Teaching & Learning in Social Work website:  https://www.laureliversonhitchcock.org/2020/03/12/using-twitter-at-a-professional-conference/

Sage, M., Hitchcock, L.I., Michaeli, D., Young, J.A., Bakk, L. & Smyth, N.J. (2020, February 14). How do you do relational Twitter?: Developing your Professional Collaboration Network [Blog Post]. Retrieved from Teaching & Learning in Social Work website: https://www.laureliversonhitchcock.org/2020/02/14/how-do-you-do-relational-twitter-developing-your-professional-collaboration-network/

Michaeli, D., Hitchcock, L.I, Young, J. A., Sage, M. Bakk, L. & Smyth, N.J. (2020, January 31). Twitter for your Professional Collaboration Network (PCN)[Blog Post]. Retrieved from Teaching & Learning in Social Work website: https://www.laureliversonhitchcock.org/2020/01/31/twitter-for-your-professional-collaboration-network-pcn/

Hitchcock, L. I., Sage, M., Michaeli, D., Young, J. A., Bakk, L., & Smyth, N. J. (2019, December 18). What is a professional collaboration network and why do you need one? [Blog Post]. Retrieved from Teaching & Learning in Social Work website: https://www.laureliversonhitchcock.org/2019/12/17/what-is-a-professional-collaboration-network-and-why-do-you-need-one/.

Young, J. A. (2019, January 17). Master Your Privacy Settings in 2019. Web Exclusive for Social Work Today. Retrieved from https://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/exc_0119.shtml

Young, J. A. (2018, June 23). The Golden Age of the Internet and Social Media is Over [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.husita.org/the-golden-age-of-the-internet-and-social-media-is-over/

Young, J. A. (2017). Teaching Social Media for Nonprofit Managers: ARNOVA Teaching Section Mini-Grants Program. Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, Indianapolis, IN.

Young, J. A., & Hitchcock, L. I. (2017). Inequality for All: Live Tweeting in Social Work Education. CSWE Curricular Guide: Introducing Economic Well-Being Resources in Social Work Curricula. Alexandra, VA: CSWE Press. Available at https://www.cswe.org/Centers-Initiatives/Initiatives/Clearinghouse-for-Economic-Well-Being/Resources.aspx?searchtext=Young&searchmode=anyword

Battista-Frazee, K. (2017). The High-Tech Social Worker – Myth or Reality? Social Work Today, 17(1), 10. Retrieved from http://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/011917p10.shtml  *(Interviewed about this topic for the article with a quote in the article)

Young, J. A. (2015, October 6). Social Work Education Twitter Chat [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.husita.org/social-work-education-twitter-chat/

Young, J. A. (2015, February 15). New Media Literacies and Participatory Culture [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.husita.org/new-media-literacies-and-participatory-culture/

Young, J. A. (2013, November 25). Interview with Dr. Jimmy A. Young on Social Media in Social Work Education. OnlineMSWprograms.com. Retrieved from http://www.onlinemswprograms.com/in-focus/interview-with-dr-jimmy-young.html

Young, J. (2013, May 9). Social Media: What is your New Media Literacy Score. Socialworkhelper.com. Retrieved from http://www.socialworkhelper.com/2013/05/07/social-media-what-is-your-new-media-literacy-score/

Professional Collaboration Networks. What is a PCN?

Last summer I was fortunate enough to participate in a Think Tank at the University of Buffalo School of Social Work. The school just launched a new Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) program this fall and a part of that program is helping students develop a Professional Collaboration Network or PCN. As part of the think tank I helped to conceptualize and define what a PCN is and how it develops.

So what is a PCN? Well it’s when a social worker creates a process for learning and exchanging information online with a purposeful set of people and organizations in order to meet some specific professional goals, This is part of the definite came up with and you can read more about PCNs over on Laurel Hitchcock’s blog. This first post is actually part of a series of posts that detail how a social worker can use digital technology to develop and sustain a professional network. So be sure to follow for the rest of the series and if you have any questions feel free to reach out via Twitter.

#APM19 Social Work Education Conference

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Once again I find myself attending the Council on Social Work Education’s Annual Program Meeting in Denver, Colorado. I really enjoy this city and all it has to offer, but the main purpose of this post is to highlight some of my research and give more context to the work I am presenting at this conference. I have already written one blog post about this conference and my poster presentation, which you can view here.

This post is mainly to highlight my two other presentations during the conference. One related to my work to better understand how Social Work Schools and Programs use Twitter, and the other to illustrate how to teach Digital Literacies. The first presentation is based on a research paper that is currently under review. The title and proposal are below:

#SocialWorkEducation: Using Data Science to Understand How Social Work Programs use Twitter

Social media can be a valuable tool in social work education to help collaborate with others, promote programs, engage with alumni, or promote interprofessional education. 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) and include digital platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat. 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; Hitchcock & Young, 2016; National Association of Social Workers [NASW], 2017). As more and more organizations adopt social media to promote their services (Goldkind, 2015; Young, 2017), social work education programs have also utilized social media for a variety of purposes.

The purpose of this paper is to examine how social work education programs use Twitter by leveraging the principles of data science. Data science allows for the analysis of big data sets that can be structured or unstructured to develop understanding, extract knowledge, and formulate actionable results (Cariceo, Nair, & Lytton, 2018, p. 1). Specifically, a text and sentiment analysis of 26,000 tweets, collected over a 10-month period, was performed utilizing the Information, Community, and Action framework (Lovejoy & Saxton, 2012). The author first coded a sample of 2,000 tweets with graduate research assistants utilizing the framework to help identify keywords that could be used in performing a larger text analysis. The sample of tweets also helped to establish more rigor and validity for this study as the author was able to obtain an inter-rater reliability score of 72%. Disagreement within the sample of tweets was addressed and discussed to help identify the most meaningful keywords and categories that could be used for the larger database of the 26,000 tweets. Utilizing the Lovejoy & Saxton (2012) framework categories and keywords, Microsoft Excel along with Microsoft’s Azure Artifical Intelligence Software was utilized to analyze the larger database to identify how social work programs use Twitter and what kind of tone, or sentiment, their tweets contain. Sentiment analysis identifies tweets as positive, neutral, or negative based on the frequency of words within the tweet by using a lexicon. This data mining analysis helps to illustrate how programs engage with other Twitter users to promote their respective schools or programs.

The findings suggest that programs tweet primarily to share information about a variety of topics and opportunities, categorized as Information. Programs also tweet calls to action and try to engage with their online community but not at the same level of sharing information, categorized as Action. A smaller sample of the tweets did engage in more of a dialogic connection between users to promote conversation or interaction, categorized as Community. A majority of the tweets have a neutral sentiment with some also being identified as positive or negative. Interestingly, larger programs were able to produce more tweets and engage with a larger audience. Tweets by larger programs often received more likes and retweets than other smaller programs. A possible reason for this could be the number of staff available in larger programs, but more research is needed to have a definitive conclusion.

Social Work programs can play a pivotal role in helping students to become lifelong learners, increase their digital literacies, and model ethical and appropriate technology use through their curriculum and online presence. However, technology in social work education has been adopted sporadically with moderate degrees of success. This paper supports this notion by evaluating how social work programs use Twitter for a variety of purposes. Attendees will understand how programs are using Twitter and gain ideas for their own programs and efforts regarding the use of social media. By examining the past usage of Twitter, this presentation will help participants look forward to understanding how to use Twitter in more effective ways.

This research project has been fun and challenging as I have had to learn how to use new software to capture and analyze Big Data from Twitter. I mainly used Microsoft’s suite of tools but also supplemented with Rstudio where needed. Computational social science is a new area for me and I still have so much to learn but my hope is that this project will launch some important conversations and future research. One specific aspect that came out of this research was the development of the Top Ten Social Work Schools/Programs on Twitter. Be sure to click the link to find out more 🙂

The second presentation in Denver is related to my ongoing work around New Media Literacies or Digital Literacies, which I have written extensively about here on my blog and in the literature. This presentation has been a few years in the making and something that I myself have even had challenges with, which is why the title of this workshop is so pertinent.

What if there’s no WiFi? Teaching Digital Literacies in Social Work Education

Over the past several years social media and digital technologies in social work education and practice has exploded with books, articles, and trade publications being devoted to the topic (Goldkind, Wolf, & Freddolino, 2018; Hitchcock & Young, 2016; Hitchcock, Sage, & Smyth, 2018). The expectation among students to become digitally competent professionals has been discussed in the literature and many recognize the need to infuse these technologies into the classroom in ways that can build technical competence, social and cultural competencies, and digital literacies (Perron, Taylor, Glass,  & Margerum-Leys, 2010; Young, McLeod, & Brady, 2018). Digital literacies has become essentially an umbrella term that covers many forms of literacy (Considine, Horton, & Moorman, 2009). Media literacy generally refers to “the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and communicate messages in a wide variety of forms” (Hobbs, 1998, p. 16). The emphasis of media literacy is learning and teaching skills related to the process of critically analyzing and creating messages in a variety of print or digital forms (Hobbs, 1998).  There has been an emergence within the literature regarding the use of social media and digital technologies for the acquisition of specific social work skills that mirrors the forms and methods of media literacy (Hitchcock & Young, 2016; Jones, Sage, & Hitchcock, 2019; Sage, Singer, LaMarre, & Rice, 2018; Young, 2015). The challenge with digital literacies in social work education is that the concept is too broadly defined, and it has not been thoroughly developed, discussed, or researched enough to provide specific guidance on what conceptual framework of digital literacies is suited to the development of professional social work skills. Teaching digital literacies needs to move beyond the skills of critical analysis to building the capacity for engaging, understanding, and communicating with others in a genuine, authentic, and ethically appropriate manner.  Digitally literacies are as much about understanding the how as they are about understanding the why.

The purpose of this workshop is to differentiate between the concepts of digital and media literacies (Belshaw, 2011; Hobbs, 2011; Jenkins, Clinton, Purushotma, Robison, & Weigel, 2009; Rheingold, 2012) as they apply to social work education. Participants will learn about leveraging the participatory culture of social media through the pedagogical framework of Connected Learning to create applied learning activities that motivate students to learn. “Participatory culture is a culture with relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing creations, and some type of informal mentorship whereby experienced participants pass along knowledge to novices” (Jenkins et al., 2009, p. 3). The Connected Learning framework rests on six principles: it is interest driven, peer supported, academically oriented, openly networked, production centered, and maintains a shared purpose (Ito et al., 2013). The essential part of Connected Learning and Participatory Culture comes down to the idea of epistemology, or how one comes to know what one knows. It is important to be able to use knowledge, skills, and values in the participatory culture of social media to better understand how to function, participate, collaborate, and ultimately achieve some task or goal. Fortunately, bridging all these ideas together in the classroom is relatively easy and educators can accomplish multiple objectives in their quest to enhance the digital literacies of their students.

The specific digital literacies that will be covered in this workshop stem from the 12 New Media Literacies Skills identified by Jenkins et al. (2009). These skills include appropriation, performance, judgement, simulation, transmedia navigation, multitasking, distributed cognition, collective intelligence, play, networking, negotiation, and visualization. Participants will understand what each term means and explore specific strategies to teach each skill using technology when appropriate, or not using any technology at all if there is no WiFi for instance. It is important to consider which digital literacies to utilize in the classroom because a careful review will ensure that the educator has matched the literacies appropriately to their learning objectives in the course. It’s important to remember that social media and digital technologies are just tools and should not be used to replace sound pedagogy (Young, McLeod, Brady, 2018). However, building applied learning activities around the ideas of new media literacies can help students to realize the potential of social media and digital technology for solving complex issues and developing tangible skills that will be incredibly useful during the course of their professional career. Through the demonstrations in this workshop educators will be able to help students develop the requisite technical, social, and cultural competencies to be ethical and effective social workers.

This workshop will be very hands-on, which is good because it is early early Sunday morning 🙂 Hopefully social work educators will come away from the workshop understanding that digital literacies are critically important for our students and that while we can teach them the necessary skills, knowledge, and values to ensure they are competent ethical professionals, we don ‘t necessarily need to rely on technology to get the job done. This may sound weird, especially coming from a technology advocate like myself, but in the real world, we may not always have access to the latest technologies or even the fastest internet. We should not let that slow us down in terms of preparing our students for the vastly digital world we now practice in.

CSWE #APM19

It’s that time of year again where I am attending the Council on Social Work Education’s Annual Program Meeting in beautiful Denver, Colorado. I wanted to provide a bit of context for a Poster Presentation I am giving with a colleague from Eastern Michigan University. 4f616c91_3217_4da7_807e_ede1e41bf98e_276dbd3a-8822-49ba-9246-41767b077386Dr. Angie Mann-Williams and I have been working with Virginia Repertory Theatre and Families Forward Virginia for the past decade on evaluating the Hugs & Kisses Child Sex Abuse Prevention and Awareness Play. The poster we are presenting demonstrates the unique and innovative model of how this evaluation demonstrates that children in kindergarten through fifth grades are able to increase their knowledge of good, bad, and secret touching as well as understanding that they can take action to stop secret touching. Here is the conference proposal:

The American Medical Association (2008) identified childhood sexual abuse as a silent epidemic whereby at least one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18 (Centers for Disease Control, 2011). It has been widely documented in the literature that being sexually abused as a child increases the risk of developing behavioral issues, mental health disorders, as well as other health issues (Dong et al., 2002; Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000; Whitaker et al., 2008).  As a result, significant interest and resources have focused on child sexual abuse prevention.  The aim of this presentation is to highlight Hugs & Kisses, a school-based child sexual abuse prevention play, along with the program’s robust mixed-methods evaluation model. The presentation will also address how this program and evaluation model has been carried into social work coursework to demonstrate the role that evaluation research has on social work curricula at the bachelor’s and master’s levels.

Since 1983, Hugs & Kisses has been presented annually in elementary schools throughout Virginia. The primary safety lessons taught in the play are: 1) the concept of secret touching; 2) if you experience secret touching you should tell a trusted adult; 3) private parts of your body are those that are covered by a swimsuit; 4) children have the right to say “no” to secret touching; and, 5) secret touching is never the child’s fault.  Hugs & Kisses is a joint production of Families Forward, Virginia Repertory Theatre, and the Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS). With a rich 36-year history, Hugs & Kisses continues to be an innovative prevention program with a rigorous evaluation model.

Families Forward, Virginia Repertory Theatre and the Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS) each play a unique role in the facilitation of the Hugs & Kisses play.  The presenters, who act as the program evaluators, interface with all stake-holding agencies to facilitate the evaluation. To evaluate the efficacy of the play, a mixed-methods systematic evaluation model was developed.  The evaluation model includes a teacher evaluation form to test pre-play preparation and post-play experiences, a valid and reliable children’s questionnaire to assess the level of knowledge children gain as a result of viewing the play, and comparative results over time. The aim of the teacher evaluation is to evaluate their understanding of the content of the play as well as their readiness to discuss the main themes of the play in a post-play discussion.  The children’s survey targets the post-play knowledge of the key themes of the play.

The sample was gathered during the spring 2016 tour of Hugs & Kisses.  The aim of the sampling process is done to maximize representation of all counties and cities in which where the play is booked, including urban, suburban, and rural localities. Families Forward distributed evaluation materials to 50 schools that initially book the Hugs & Kisses play.  All participating schools were asked to choose one class per grade for the children’s evaluation process.   Thirty-one of the 50 schools where the play was booked (62% response rate) participated in both the student and teacher evaluation process. This participation netted 2,700 children’s questionnaires and 154 teachers’ surveys.

Based on the data received, this presentation highlights key findings from the systematic analysis.  Such findings will include the pass rates for the children’s questionnaire (overall and by grade), teachers’ readiness to discuss various aspects of child sexual abuse, and factor analysis of the children’s survey instrument. Lastly, findings from the analyses whereby the teacher’s surveys and children’s surveys are matched to determine the effectiveness of in-class discussions, in-service training, and study guide on enhancing the children’s understanding of the themes of the play.

Just in case you wanted to see a quick snippet of the play, here is a video from Virginia Repertory Theatre:

The play is really amazing and over one million children have seen the play in Virginia since 1983. Our evaluation data clearly show this play is having a tremendous impact. One thing we did differently with our poster was utilized a new design that has been developed by Mike Morrison. Below you can see our poster and you should be able to click on it to expand it and see a bit more information.

 

We have a paper under progress so we don’t want to share too much information at this time. We are also moving forward with several papers related to this overall project and I hope to be updating regularly about the Hugs prevention program, so stay tuned 🙂

 

Tenure & Promotion

I guess it’s nearly been a year since my last blog post so I should probably update 🙂

To be honest, I have been contemplating moving from WordPress back to blogger and just haven’t pulled the trigger. Mainly, I just don’t blog that much anymore but I do plan to keep a blog because it’s a good placeholder for conference papers, research, etc.

Screen Shot 2019-10-03 at 10.33.59 AMThe actual reason for this post is to just mention that I have been granted tenure and promotion to Associate Professor here at California State University-San Marcos. Some of you that follow me on Twitter already know this but we had a small celebration last night for all the faculty that were recently promoted. It was a nice gathering and incredibly interesting to hear about the work of my colleagues across campus.

One thing that really stood out to me was when my Dean was going over some of my academic achievements thus far. Here is a quick snippet:

  • 22 Publications across journals, book contributions, trade publications, and curriculum guides.
  • 57 presentations at national and international conferences.
  • 14 different courses taught in social work education, including one I developed from scratch that focused on social media use, digital activism, and eCitizenship.
  • 30 reviews for conference proposals, journals, or books.
  • Seemingly countless hours of committee service
  • At least 1,467 tacos consumed (although that number is just an estimate).

So the Dean may not have shared my love for tacos with everyone but I was a bit in disbelief by some of the other stats because I feel like I haven’t been in the Academy that long and still have so much more work to do and research to complete. I have plenty of years left to finish it all and I look forward to the many opportunities that may come my way. Huge thank you to my colleagues in my department and across my professional collaboration network for getting me to where I am today. And of course, many many thanks to my wife and family because without them I simply would not be able to achieve anything!

Here’s to the next several decades of teaching, research, and service!!!

Council on Social Work Education #APM18

Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t written anything on this blog since March. Sorry to my regular readers, all two of you, but life has been pretty busy. I will try to post something about that later.

Here I wanted to post about the 2018 Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, taking place in Orlando Florida. I am presenting a poster on how Schools of Social Work use Twitter. IMG_6487.jpg

In case you weren’t able to stop by to see the poster I thought I would link to it here and write a little more about this project. Please Retweet #SocialWorkEducation: A Content Analysis of Social Work Programs on Twitter has been a project in a process now for over a year. It all started by tracking the schools or programs of social work on Twitter that I know about. I created a List and then used If This Then That (IFFT) to track all the tweets and download them to a GoogleDoc. There is a much easier way to do this with Python and some Programming but I’m still learning Python 🙂 Plus Twitter seems to change their API often and so this was an easy way that got the job done, even though it took forever!!!

I just want to know how schools and programs use Twitter, what they share, and who they might interact with. Take a look through the slides below for a bit more information.

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I do actually have more tweets to analyze and I am currently working with one of my grad students on developing a coding scheme to apply to a larger dataset. I hope to have this other project done within the next several months so you might be interested in checking back here to see my progress. Or you can always follow me on Twitter 🙂 imgres

The Annual Program Meeting is always fun and informative. I hope I am able to meet you there or catch up with old friends. Stop by and say Hi during my poster presentation.

A Whole New Semester & Perspective

Media Literacy I can’t believe summer has come and gone. Actually, I can’t believe I haven’t written a blog post since March, WOW. To be fair I have been super busy editing a special issue of the Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership, which I hope will be out sometime in the beginning of the next year…AND we added a new addition to the family. Charlie is sure getting bigger and his brothers and sister love having him around. I would just like to get more sleep 🙂

This semester I am teaching courses on social work law and ethics as well as program evaluation and research. The latter course is going to fun and interesting because research is always fun and interesting, right!?! I have a couple ideas so I’m going to try my best to share them here and report on how well they went over in the class. This is part of my attempt to get back into the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, where I have published several pieces on digital technologies, digital literacies or new media in the past. By making this claim, that I plan to share more here, I am hoping it keeps me more accountable but time will tell.

The other day, the wonderful @Melanie Sage asked on Twitter how we are teaching digital literacies this term. There were some great ideas from having students evaluate an app for social work practice to using the new Social Work Tech Standards to create an infographic. I continue to use my new media literacies instrument to assess student’s level of digital literacies, which I have written about here and also provided the survey if you wish to use it here. But in my research class, I am going to talk specifically about the idea of judgment, or crap detection, and critical consumption. We now live in a very dubious society, some contend it’s because of social media and the proliferation of garbage content, but as the internet and social media continue to evolve I think we need to take a step back to reflect and consider several things. This is the critical thought aspect of judgment, where I think we can consider varying viewpoints and empathize with those opinions. The challenge, however, will be politely disagreeing with opinions and helping some to understand facts. I will use my example of cloaked websites but I will also have students try to find their own examples as well. Be it friends on Facebook sharing questionable news pieces or simply blogs that are completely opinion based.

This could be very hard, and I think some students may initially feel it is a waste of time, but my hope is that they learn more about critical consumption of content and the skill of judgment, but more importantly the skill of engagement. The idea of listening to another person’s opinion, empathizing with them, but (if the situation calls for it) providing some fact based education. I really don’t know how this will go, but that lends itself to me being accountable to come back here to share my experience. Wish me luck, and if I have any new ideas between now and then, I will try to share them on this blog as well.

But what about you. How will you be engaging students and developing their digital literacies? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments section.

Thanks,

JY

Are you a Social Media Master?

Social-media-masterI was recently visiting a colleague’s blog and reading through some possible assignments that social work educators can integrate into their curriculum. One of the assignments was about finding an online quiz to assess digital literacies. I am happy to report that I have written about this topic in the academic literature and utilized such a tool. I am now offering that tool here just for the amusement of anyone who wants to see what their New Media Literacy score is. Enjoy.

I had to add a password to the quiz so find me on Twitter and I’ll be happy to share.

https://csusm.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eu1yxhAywTfXcS9

The Millionaire-Billionaire Rule

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I honestly have no idea whether that meme above is accurate, but truthfully I don’t really care. The reality is that economic inequality in this country is at an all-time high, and that is not a good thing!

I realize many are still coming to terms with the idea or reality of a Trump Presidency but I would actually be pleased if he follows through on his promise NOT to take the $400,000 Presidential salary.  Trump will join only two other Presidents who have NOT taken a salary while in office, Presidents John F. Kennedy and Herbert Hoover, if he keeps his promise. This got me thinking about income inequality and the salaries of our elected officials. According to a brief report from the Congressional Research Service, the average salary for elected representatives is around $170,000 a year, and we know they all get some pretty amazing benefits…like a members-only gym and amazing health insurance. But what I think is more important is, what is the net worth of these individuals when they take office. Trump, for example, is reported to be a Billionaire, and by some estimates more than half of Congress are millionaires!!!

Do millionaires and billionaires working for the public good really need to take a government salary or could that money be spent elsewhere?

I personally think it could be used more effectively somewhere else!

To that end I created a petition on We The People, the government website for petitions, to see if we might make a change in regards to the ultra wealthy elected officials. Specifically, I think that anyone who is an elected official or appointed to a Cabinet position AND is worth more than a million dollars should not take the government salary. Instead, that money should be diverted to Education, Health and Human Services, or the Veteran’s Administration. These are critical areas that always seem to be the first on the budget chopping block and perhaps we could help save by spending money where it matters the most. If you think this is a valuable idea then I encourage you to sign and share the petition. Share it with your networks on Twitter, Facebook, or wherever you hang out online. Let’s see what kind of change we can make.

Here’s the link to the petition: https://wh.gov/ieMAH

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