Monthly Archives: September 2012

I spent yesterday afternoon at a development session on the use of social media in teaching. The buzz was that this was a good thing, that it had a fit with the learning and teaching strategy at my institution and that we would want to promote its use.
It will come as no surprises to readers of this blog that I and my co authors are huge fans of social media and it’s potential as a platform for learning, teaching and practice in all forms of health and social care. However yesterday’s session made me think about some of the preconceptions associated with the medium.
There was a presumption at the session that I was at that young people were digital natives, meaning that they had grown up with social media and were completely familiar with all of its applications. Like many assumptions this is only partly the case. Some, if not many of our younger students are digital natives and some if not many use social media and are completely familiar with it. The difficulty with this is that in my experience few of them are familiar with using social media for educational purposes. Social media is not widely used as an educational too in schools so their status may best be described as digital social natives. Encouraging students to see the potential for social media as a viable learning tool can be something of a challenge.
For some other students social media is seen as frivolous, as the domain of the young and not in any way relevant to them, their social experiences and networks do not value it and it is seen as lacking the integrity of more traditional learning tools.
While the recognition of social media as a valuable addition to the learning cannon is intrinsically understood by some there requires to be a more careful consideration of the attitudes of students toward the medium. Equally for educationalists it is important that we are considered in our deployment of social media in the various learning environments we inhabit.
I suppose that my desire is to see social media takes its place in learning and teaching
and to be given respect as an innovative and under used tool however in order for this to happen we need to continue to encourage a more sophisticated debate around the issues that exist

Here’s a chord

“Here’s a Chord,
Here’s another and here’s a third. Now go form a band!” Mark P editor of the seminal punk rock fanzine exhorted readers to get active, to get involved and to become more than bit part players. Many did and British society and culture endured as close to a revolution as we are likely to get.
Some thirty years later and finally I see what Mark meant. If you are reading this blog you will already be at least curious about how social care and social media can support each other. There may be others who are active but regardless of where you are at my message to you is similar to the message that Mark P sent out.
I have been listening to podcasts for some time. I like the idea of “citizen journalism” there is a freedom of expression that the medium offers that differs from traditional media platforms. You can be researcher, journalist, editor and owner and you can do so with relative ease.
The podcast I have developed is the Glasgow Caledonian University “Talking Social Work” podcast. I was inspired to do so through my involvement in Twitter and my contributions to blogs such as this and Not So Big Society. I have become increasingly convinced of the reach and power of new media and I have become increasingly aware of its accessibility if you wish to use it to create something.
The technical aspect is that I record interviews using an Ipad. I convert the video files into Mp3’s using VLCMedia and then edit out interruptions like ringing telephones using WavePad, a software programme. The software is free, the Ipad is the expense. I have worked in social work for a long time and thankfully have a lot of friends who were willing to tell their story. The only premise of the podcast is; “if it goes on in social work it goes on the podcast”
I have received some support from a colleague within the University with the technical aspect and I would thank David here for his patience with my technical ineptitude.
So far we have five in the bag covering academia, practice and the experience of service users, we have radical perspectives and others we would encourage anyone who is interested to get in touch and we will see if we can include you or your organisation. Remember, the basis of this is “If it goes on in social work it goes on the podcast”
Here is a link to the first podcast. Please follow, Retweet or share using any platform that you have.