Why Choose a Master in Social Work (MSW) Degree?


Many arrows and question marks, and MSW?
I ‘m often asked why people should choose to pursue a master in social work (MSW) degree over the myriad of other human services graduate degrees that are available. My answer is the same one that influenced my degree choice many years ago: an MSW degree opens up more career paths than any other comparable degree. No other human services-oriented degree encompasses this breadth:

• Therapist, planner, community organizer, executive director, policy analyst, researcher, program developer
• Work across systems: individuals, families of all forms, groups, organizations, neighborhoods, service systems, communities, regions, states, nations Continue reading

How People Ignored Each Other Before Smartphones


Photo of family on front porch reading, gazing away, not interacting

How people ignored each other before smartphones

I came across this great image on Twitter (via @SBartner) yesterday, from the That is Priceless blog by Steve Melcher. Beyond giving me a chuckle, it reminds us that people have always had an ability to be together and not talk to one another (and who says that’s always a bad thing?).

And it reminded me of an image from a post I made one year ago that featured the negative impact of another technology on social interactions.

I would love to see any other images that continue this theme. If you have any, please share them in the comments.

As noted on Steve’s blog, the original painting is by Peder Severin Kroyer. Thanks to Laura Gibbs for her help identifying the painting, The Hirschsprung family, before I knew about the Steve Melcher’s original blog post.

There are many other funny technology-captioned paintings on the That is Priceless. Check them out!

2014 In Review: The WordPress.com Stats Helper Monkeys Come Through Again


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Not my most productive year blogging, especially the last half of the year which was incredibly hectic at work. Here are the highlights:

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

An E-book (free) on the Facebook Mood Experiments Controversy


Screenshot of E-Book Created on Readlists

E-Book Created with Readlists.com

In June 2014 the news of Facebook’s mood experiments with manipulating its users’ Facebook feeds broke with the publishing of the Atlantic article Everything We Know About Facebook’s Secret Mood Manipulation ExperimentsControversy ensued on all sides of the debate–even I jumped in with a blog post on the question of harm that could have been created.

Good educators always look for those real world examples that provide a compelling illustration of principles being learned in class. The Facebook Mood Experiment Controversy provides just such an opportunity for those teaching about research ethics, human subjects issues, and communications/marketing research; I could see using them a Social Work Research Methods Class. So with this in mind, I have created an e-reader using a cool tool called Readlists. Continue reading

See Big Data Grow on the Internet in Real Time


An animated preview of “The Internet in Real Time” website

Click the animation to open the full version (via PennyStocksLab).

We’ve all heard statistics about how much data is shared on the Internet in just a few minutes. Well here is a site that will make it come alive: The Internet in Real Time. This animated image gives you a preview of what the site does: but when you actually land on the web page, it starts counting at 0 for each of the types of data in question. And then it starts to count up.

Is this really what people mean by Big Data? No, not exactly. But I think it helps to make the concept of big data more understandable. If you sit with the website active for just a few minutes you very quickly understand how data can get to be so big.

Did Facebook’s Secret Mood Manipulation Experiment Create Harm?


Facebook Shows No Regard for Impact of Its Human Mood Experiments

Facebook Shows No Regard for Impact of Its Human Mood Experiments

Yesterday, The Atlantic broke the story about “Facebook’s Secret Mood Manipulation Experiment” This story isn’t about Facebook manipulating news feeds for advertising–that’s not news to any of us who have been paying attention (and, I might add, their ads are labeled). This story is about Facebook subjecting people to mood experiments two years ago, without full informed consent and without a post-experiment debriefing.

Continue reading

Innovation in Social Work: Where Does it Come From?


 

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 Cross-posted from SocialWorkSynergy

As social workers, we often confront complex situations. And we are all about developing solutions and strategies for change. In doing so we draw on our past experience, research, the experience of colleagues, and best practices. But sometimes we come up short and find we need new ideas–we find that we need to innovate. Continue reading