Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become an integral part of social and working lives. Within social work ICTs play a vital role, helping professionals to store and share information and contributing to new forms of practice. This book goes a step further than simply describing ICT skills, but asks why ICT is used and how this affects practice and the experience of people who use services.

The book has a practical focus and includes guidance on:

  • Best Practice for Social Work and ICT
  • ICT Use in Social Work
  • Service Users, Carers and ICT
  • Technology and Professional Practice
  • ICT and Social Work Agencies
  • Social Work Programs in the Virtual World
  • ICT and Practice Based Learning

Written in a student-friendly style, Social Work and ICT is interspersed with activities and exercises to enable students to develop their skills and knowledge. Each chapter also includes a ‘Taking it Further’ section with useful websites, suggestions for further reading and ideas to improve practice. The book has been designed to enhance professional practice and it will be essential reading for all undergraduate programs in social work.

ICT and Practice Based Learning

ICT and practice based learning

The mainstream1 view of social work education regards the practice placement as an integral part of learning, and of critical importance in the learning process. The argument is that whilst on placement, students gain the opportunity to integrate theory, practice and research in a supervised environment. And it is this integration that many see as ‘the essence of social work both as a profession and as a field of study’ (Sherraden and Sherraden, 2000: 61). This chapter considers the relationship between ICT and the process of practice learning. We saw in the previous chapter how Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) have become a regular part of teaching and learning in universities across the UK. In this chapter ...

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