Using Social Media in Social Work Education

The role of social media in social work education is slowly expanding as social media infiltrates more of our daily lives. Social workers may benefit from understanding these new forms of communication, including the advantages and disadvantages of each platform. One of the best ways to become more familiar with these technologies is to use them for both professional and personal reasons. While clear guidelines and boundaries need to exist for interacting with patients and clients in cyberspace, the role of social media in social work education is only starting to be explored.

Social media provides social work educators a way to connect with colleagues from around the world. Through the use of Twitter or a specialized community on Facebook, educators can share information and resources in real-time. In addition, they can collaborate on research projects, presentations and even publications. In the classroom, professors can use Twitter to engage students in real-time, Podcasts may reinforce the topics that are being discussed, and platforms like Pinterest may teach students how to use different resources to present a coherent story. These platforms also give students the ability to collaborate with classmates and to learn from each other.

To help social work educators and social workers become more familiar with these technologies, we have consolidated websites from around the Internet to create this resource. In addition, we have interviewed social work professors who are currently using social media in their classes in order to provide direct examples of how they use these technologies to further social work education.

If you have additional resources you think should be added, please let us know by using our contact us form. All interviewees were compensated to participate in this interview.

Interview Series on Social Media in Social Work Education:

Interview with Dr. Jimmy A. Young (Ph.D., MSW, MPA) from the University of Nebraska-Kearney

Interview with Dr. Jonathan B. Singer (Ph.D., LCSW) from the School of Social Work at Temple University

Interview with Dr. Laurel I. Hitchcock (Ph.D., MPH, LCSW, PIP) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham

Interview with Dr. Melanie Sage (Ph.D., LICSW) from the University of North Dakota

Resources on Social Media in Social Work and Social Work Education

Resources for Using Twitter in Social Work Education

Resources for Using Podcasts in Social Work Education

Resources for Using Pinterest in Social Work Education

Last Updated: April 2020