Social media are defined as applications and websites that allows users to share content, usually of their own making. More than just a teenage pastime, social media users include individuals and organizations, across a broad range of social positionalities. Key social work organizations, such as the NASW and AWSB, have begun noting the proliferation of social media usage in education and practice and have begun developing guidelines to govern their use. The American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW), in their Grand Challenges of Social Work initiative, has also highlighted social media as an important area of growth for research and education. Despite the field’s nascent enthusiasm, practical and ethical concerns persist.
Maria Rodriguez and Jama Shelton
Gail Woods Waller
The explosion of global media platforms and user-generated content has fundamentally changed the way people receive and share information. All organizations—whether corporate, government, or nonprofit—now function as media outlets for their constituents. Yet citizens have more power than ever to shape and filter the type of information they see, read, and hear, which creates greater political divisions, increases distrust in institutions, and ensures highly individualized media consumption. In this new environment, successful media campaigns for cause advocacy, branding, marketing, and public relations require culturally relevant messaging, multichannel integration, and targeted digital engagement.
David A. Patterson
Social workers across fields of practice now have a wide array of technology tools and applications for the conduct and augmentation of practice tasks. This entry is intended as a primer on information and communication technology computer hardware tools and software programs. It describes the essential features and practice utility of an array of information and communication technology hardware, including desktop and laptop computers, tablet computers, and smartphones. Software applications are described with a focus on their social work practice functionality in the capture or retrieval, analysis or synthesis, and presentation or dissemination of information. Described are many emerging Web-based applications with noteworthy practice significance.