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Intersections between Technology, Engaged Learning, and Social Capital in Social Work Education

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As the use of technology becomes ubiquitous in the social environments of everyday life, it is imperative that social work educators find ways to draw on the possibilities that technology offers to provide robust, relevant, and effective social work education. Engaged learning and social capital are central to the adjustment, retention, and success of college students, including underserved populations, and that technology plays a role in these processes. However, the intersections of technology, engaged learning, and social capital have not been examined within higher education generally, nor within social work education specifically. In the current study, focus groups were conducted with social work undergraduate and graduate students for the purpose of examining these intersections. Findings indicate that engaged learning and social capital complemented each other, and both were facilitated by technology. Social media is a launching pad for learning beyond the classroom and enables new ways of sharing to create awareness. However, there also exists ambivalence about technology in social work education. Findings are discussed with regard to their implications for fostering social work students’ success.
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Keywords: Social media; engaged learning; social capital; social work education; technology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Texas State University, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ, USA 2: Texas State University, Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, TX, USA 3: School of Social Work, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, USA

Publication date: April 2, 2016

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