In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Technology Adoption in Social Work Education

  • Introduction
  • Journals General Overview
  • Specialized Organizations General Overview
  • Instructional Techniques and Strategies for Incorporating Technology in the Classroom

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Social Work Technology Adoption in Social Work Education
Jennifer Parga, Sara Schwartz
  • LAST MODIFIED: 12 January 2023
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0265


Social work educators have been providing distance education, now called online learning, to hard-to-reach communities for decades; however, the twenty-first century brought an unprecedented growth and expansion of online learning and virtual service delivery options. Most schools of social work around the country offer a combination of asynchronous (self-paced, online, web-based content) and synchronous (live sessions with video streaming capabilities) content, which transforms the way that social workers are trained and how they interact with their faculty and colleagues. Although historically reluctant, social work education has taken intentional steps to institutionally adopt technology and launch new innovations to deliver undergraduate and graduate level programs. The profession has also formally committed to technology integration by assigning one of the twelve Social Work Grand Challenges to Harnessing Technology for Social Good. This Grand Challenge calls for the establishment of innovations in the ways that the profession creates, adopts, utilizes technology to benefit society and emerging social work professionals; specifically listing the creation of technology-related curricula and pedagogy across schools of social work. Students and faculty in schools of social work most certainty experienced the largest implementation of technology use after the COVID-19 pandemic-associated school closures in spring of 2020. This annotated bibliography explores how social work education has adopted technology, considers the implications of these institutional changes, and includes sources that compare outcomes for different delivery formats. This bibliography does not explore specific technology (GIS, electronic health records [EHR], symptom tracking apps, etc.) being taught in social work programs or utilized out in the field. Although some authors do include content on that, it is not the main focus. It is also worth noting that authors have included items that for some may feel dated; however, they have been included as they document the evolution of technology adoption in social work education. It is anticipated that through understanding the historical context, including factors associated with implementation and impact on faculty and student learning, that faculty will be best prepare to education the next generation of tech savvy social workers.

Books General Overview

A limited number of books specifically discuss the intersectionality of technology adoption within social work education. Significantly more books independently discuss technology or social work education. As a result, the following three separate sections reflect this pattern.

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