Five Years of Twitter Chats

imgresThis Thursday, March 8th, 2018 will mark my fifth year facilitating a live a Twitter chat. The topics have evolved in that time from the first chat focused on #GunControlPolicy in the wake of the Newtown Incident to Economic Inequality. This Thursday I will be once again facilitating the chat on Economic Inequality in partnership with the folks at #MacroSW and hope that you will all join us. You can find out more about the chat, which also uses the Film Inequality for All as a centerpiece for discussion, by visiting macrosw.com.

Looking back over the past five years I have been wondering what this conversation has actually accomplished? Dr. Laurel Hitchcock and I have published some findings in Social Work Education: The International Journal, which demonstrates that students do benefit from the Live chats. However, I can’t help but feel like the discourse in the United States has changed, in part because of social media and in part because of our current state of affairs. I think it is telling that the first chat was centered on Gun Control Policy and here five years later there has been little to no progress on that front. As social workers, even as a society I think we should be able to do better. This does not imply that having a discussion, whether on Twitter or some other form, is ineffective. Rather, I think it points to the fact that we should be discussing more and that we should be trying harder to implement positive social change. I would say that we are doing better in having the discussion on hard topics that were once very hidden and that is progress.

Progress usually comes about through small incremental steps and I feel like too often we are looking for some grand amazing change that we can all point to as success or failure. It’s more complicated than that, which I would hope we can realize is part of the reason why we must persist in our efforts. Thankfully, many amazing social workers and other change agents continue to persist and change the status quo. For example, #MacroSW now offers weekly Live Twitter Chats on a variety of topics. You have the opportunity to engage, listen, and work to enact positive social change. With a Twitter chat? Yes!!! Change has to begin somewhere and it starts with you, me, us.

The problems facing society are great and complex, but that does not mean we should sit back, toss our arms up and simply give up. I understand that some get burnt out and that change is hard. Change is incredibly hard but totally worth it. I hope that you will join us this Thursday at 6pm Central/ 9pm Eastern Standard Time for a chat about Economic Inequality, but I hope that you will stay and become engaged in whatever topic you are passionate about because we need you, and if you are unsure about how to get engaged then just come and listen or “lurk” on the conversation until you are comfortable enough to engage. I hope you will find something of value with our community.

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Student Documentary Movie Night 2-25-2016 with #MacroSW Chat

Dr. Laurel Hitchcock and I are once again partnering with #MacroSW to have a discussion about Income Inequality in America. We have used this innovative assignment and engaging documentary for a couple years now and even published some of our findings in Social Work Education: The International Journal. I hope you will join us this Thursday at 9pm Central, 6pm Pacific Time as we organize around the #MacroSW hashtag on Twitter to talk about this important issue. Also, please go and checkout the MacroSW blog for more information.

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#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

Questions:

  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

 

 

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:

https://jimmysw.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/special-macrosw-chat-october-28th-at-8pm-cst/

 

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

http://www.laureliversonhitchcock.org/2014/11/07/follow-up-to-1028-macrosw-twitter-chat/

 

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.

 

References:

 

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.

 

 

#MacroSW Chat March 12th 8pm CST #Inequality For All

Laurel Hitchcock and I are once again partnering with the #MacroSW Chat to host a live one hour chat on the topic of Inequality. We encourage you to participate and if you get the chance, please view the film Inequality for All prior to the chat. The film is very well done and it sets the context for the chat. We had a great experience last semester with this assignment and hope to replicate it again. The following is a re-blog from Laurel’s website:

Spring 2015 Live Twitter Chat Assignment for Social Work Students

To help social work students and educators learn about Twitter and develop the skills to participate in a live chat, Jimmy Young of the University of Nebraska-Kearney and I (Laurel Hitchcock of University of Alabama at Birmingham) have designed an assignment for social work students that involves joining a live Twitter chat with other social work students, educators and practitioners from around the country to talk about important social and economic justice issues. The assignment is designed for a policy or macro-practice course, but it can be incorporated into almost any social work course. Here are the some of the details of the assignment:

  1. Students watch the documentary Inequality for All, and then write a brief reaction paper to movie.
  2. Then, students participate in the live Twitter chat scheduled for March 12, 2015 at 8:00 PM CST. This chat will be sponsored by #MacroSW, a bi-weekly Twitter chat focusing on macro social work practice issues, and hosted by Jimmy and I. During the chat, we will ask questions about the film and income inequality that will guide the flow of the conversation.
  3. After the live chat, students write a brief self-reflection essay about the experience of participating in the chat.

 

While the written parts of the assignment are optional to participate in the chat, we highly recommend some type of reflection so students are engaged with the content from the documentary prior to the chat, and have an opportunity to critically assess how the experience can inform their future social work practice. We have written in more detail about the assignment in previous blog posts which include detailed instructions for the assignment, grading rubrics and tips on how to introduce your students to Twitter. Our first chat was held on October 28, 2014, and you can read details about it here, including a transcript of tweets from the conversation. There is no cost to educators or students to participate in the chat, and we welcome anyone, especially social work practitioners, to join the chat.

 

Because we are working to improve the chat and the assignment as an educational experience for social work students, we are very interested in any feedback from social work educators. 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

Special #MacroSW Chat October 28th at 8pm CST

UPDATE: This Chat was truly amazing. We hope to do this again as we have had spectacular feedback. If you are interested, you can check out this link to see the Chat archive.

 

The Live Chat questions will include:

  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?

 

Laurel Iverson Hitchcock (@laurelhitchcock) and I (@JimmySW) have designed a social media assignment for social work students that involve students watching a documentary and then participating in a live Twitter chat. The assignment is meant for a policy or macro class and involves students watching the documentary Inequality for Alland then participating in a live Twitter chat on October 28th at 9pm Eastern Standard Time or 8pm CST.  We have partnered with the wonderful folks that conduct the #MacroSW chat for this special event and will be using their hashtag #MacroSW to facilitate the live chat.

We are interested in piloting this assignment in classrooms across the country and hope that other social work or human service educators might participate by including the assignment in class and providing us some feedback. Of course if you would rather just join the Live Chat only, that would be wonderful as we hope to have many individuals participate.

 

 

The assignment includes some critical thinking and reflection components that include brief writing pieces and peer- and self-assessment forms. The purpose of this assignment is to 1) help students learn about policies and societal contexts that influence income inequality, and 2) give students the opportunity to collaborate and communicate with other students and professionals using technology. The assignment consists of three parts:

1)  Students will watch the documentary Inequality for All on their own or in class (it is available on Netflix), and then write a brief reaction to the movie including if they agreed with the film maker’s position (why or why not?) and how the movie informed their understanding of poverty in the U.S. (500-700 words).

2)  Students then participate in a one-hour Live Twitter Chat on October 28th at 9pm EST/ 8pm CST. Questions will be based around the film as well as the overarching topic of Inequality. Students will need a free Twitter account, and will demonstrate participation during the chat by: a) posting responses to at least three of the discussion questions; b) responding to at least three other chat participants; and c) include a hyperlink in at least two posts. If you or your students are new to Twitter, you can use the following guide to help get you started (Getting Started with Twitter) or watch this video on how to participate in a Live Twitter chat.

3)  After the live chat, students will write a self-reflection about the experience of participating in the Live Twitter Chat that includes a brief summary of the chat, lessons learned from the chat and how the experience could inform future social work practice (300-500 words).

Naturally you can assign point values or simply include this as part of the class participation. Should you choose to use it as a traditional assignment, the following Rubric will help you with grading and providing directions for students. The rubric is based upon the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards from CSWE.

 

Criteria Exceeds Expectations Meets Expectations Below Expectations Points
Movie Reaction
Reaction to Movie ReviewEPAS 2.1.3 a – Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments Very clearly constructed and communicated reaction or reflection to the documentary. Insightful, thoughtful, and supported. An adequate reaction is provided including thoughts, insights, questions, concerns or “a-ha”s expressed clearly. Weak reaction or reaction is not justified with thoughts, evidence or personal experience.
Understanding of Poverty in Movie ReviewEPAS 2.1.5 a – Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination Review provided description of insights related to poverty with clarity, evidence, included examples from the documentary. Sought to explore diverse viewpoints and provide insight into the lives and thoughts of individuals in the film. Review provided some description of insights related to poverty, but only included some evidence from the documentary to support their thoughts. Discussed only one diverse viewpoint. Review provided some description of insights related to poverty, but little or no evidence or examples from the movie were provided to support discussion. Review did not demonstrate cultural sensitivity or attempt to understand diverse viewpoints.
Writing Mechanics in Movie ReviewEPAS 2.1.3 c – Demonstrates effective written communication consistent with professional social work standards. Writes with no errors in grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. Writes with minor errors in grammar, capitalization, punctuation and spelling. Writes with major errors in grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling (3 or more errors).
Live Twitter Chat
Policy Content in TweetsEPAS 2.1.8 b – Analyze policies that advance social well-being. Original tweets consistently provide new resources or ideas about income inequality or poverty that add value to the discussion. Tweets are creatively and succinctly written to stimulate dialogue and commentary. Most original tweets provide new resources or ideas about income inequality or poverty that add value to the discussion. Most tweets are written to stimulate dialogue and commentary. No or a few original tweets provide new resources or ideas about income inequality or poverty that add value to the discussion. No or a few tweets are written to stimulate dialogue and commentary.
Hyperlinks and other resources in TweetsEPAS 2.1.3 b – Synthesize multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom. Tweets include accurate hyperlinks to resources that enhance the topic. Effectively uses tiny URLs as needed to stay within the 140-character limit.   Selects hyperlinks representing the most current resources about the topic. Tweets include hyperlinks to resources relevant to the topic. Uses tiny URLs most of the time to stay within the 140-character limit. Usually selects hyperlinks that represent the most current resources about the topic. Some tweets include hyperlinks, but not all resources are relevant to the topic. Inconsistently uses tiny URLs to stay within the 140-character limit.   Hyperlinks connect to many out-of-date resources.
Writing Mechanics in TweetsEPAS 2.1.3 c – Demonstrates effective written communication consistent with professional social work standards. Writes Tweets with no errors in grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. Writes Tweets with minor errors in grammar, capitalization, punctuation and spelling. Writes Tweets with major errors in grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling (3 or more errors per tweet).
Comments & Contributions in TweetsEPAS 2.1.1 d – Demonstrate professional demeanor in communication. Consistently responds to tweets with positive, respectful, and succinct comments while providing a meaningful addition to the discussion. Re-tweets are appropriate for the assigned discussion topic and always include the source’s Twitter username. Always uses the appropriate hashtag. Creates and sends tweets more frequently than required. Most responses to tweets are positive and respectful while providing a meaningful addition to the discussion. Most re-tweets are appropriate for the assigned discussion topic and include the source’s Twitter username. Consistently uses the hashtag. Creates and sends tweets as often as required. Some responses to tweets are negative and disrespectful and/or provide little value to the discussion. Re-tweets are often inappropriate for the assigned discussion topic and fail to include the source’s Twitter username. Consistently does not include the hashtag. Creates and sends tweets somewhat less often than required.
Self-Reflection
Self-Correction & Self-ReflectionEPAS 2.1.1b – Practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continue professional development. The reflection demonstrates ability of the student to question their own biases, stereotypes, preconceptions, and/or assumptions and define new modes of thinking as a result. The reflection demonstrates ability of the student to question their own biases, stereotypes, preconceptions. New modes of thinking are not evident. There is some attempt at self-correction, but the self-reflection fails to demonstrate a new awareness of personal biases, etc.
Active LearningEPAS 2.1.1 e – Engage in life-long learning The reflection shows tremendous thought and effort. The learning experience being reflected upon is relevant and meaningful to student and assignment learning objectives. The reflection shows some thought and effort. Student makes attempts to demonstrate relevance, but the relevance is unclear in reference to assignment learning objectives. The reflection showspoor thought and effort. Most of the reflection is irrelevant to student and/or assignment learning objectives.
Writing Mechanics in Self-ReflectionEPAS 2.1.3 c – Demonstrates effective written communication consistent with professional social work standards. Writes with no errors in grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. Writes with minor errors in grammar, capitalization, punctuation and spelling. Writes with major errors in grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling (3 or more errors).

 

Lastly, to help us with improving this assignment we ask that you assess the quality of the Rubric for this assignment by using the following meta-rubric and share it with us.

Jimmy Young

Laurel Iverson Hitchcock

Criteria

What students did on various aspects of the assignment (Tally for each occurrence):

What can be done better next time (change in assignment & directions):

Content Understands what income inequality is and can write a professional opinion about it:Understands how poverty is a form of oppression:Articulated meaningful learning:
Tweets Multiple links and resources used:Respectful language used:Hashtags and user IDs used:
Writing Skills Understandings what a professional reaction is and can write one:Understands what a tweet is and can write one:Understands what a self-reflection is an can write one:

 

Thank you and we look forward to chatting with you via Twitter on October 28th.

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