Digitalizing social work education: preparing students to engage with twenty-first century practice need

Taylor-Beswick, Amanda ORCID logo ORCID: (2022) Digitalizing social work education: preparing students to engage with twenty-first century practice need. Social Work Education .

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This study, designed to surface student conceptions of digital development throughout their professional training, concluded mid-2019. Whilst mentioned in brief in a previous publication, this paper reports the work in full. The learning from it is important to formulating a response to practice changes driven by Covid19. Practice shifts that forced the profession to do social work at a distance, at speed, and largely through a screen. While not to dismiss efforts to adjust to the restrictions put in place to mitigate the spread of the virus, the lack of digital capabilities across the profession meant that the pivot to online practices presented significant and avoidable challenges. Informed by student descriptions of an educational experience devoid of digital development, this paper offers a solution. The ‘Digitalising Social Work Education Framework’ provides a context in which to review the facilitation of digital capabilities development. It is a means to ensuring that curriculum design, content, and delivery equips students to use technologies for their learning and in practice. It avoids reducing digital professionalism to a set of technical skills and promotes the need to engage with the realities of sociotechnical practices, including those that erode people's privacy, rights and freedom from interference.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Social Work Education
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
ISSN: 0261-5479
Departments: Professional Services > Vice Chancellor's Office
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2022 09:47
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 13:16


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