ideas, innovations and apps for social work in the age of smartphones and social media
Digital Engagement UK, a consulting and training company, recently conducted an online survey (60 professionals) and group discussions (25 professionals) on social media and digital tools in the everyday professional practice of youth professionals and teachers. Katie Bacon and Natasha Turberville, founders of Online Youth Outreach and authors of the report “Finding the Digital Edge“, gained insight into the experiences of youth practitioners and teacher`s use and application of social media within their everyday practice. Here their main results taken from the report’s executive summary:
There is increasing awareness of the need to adopt and integrate social media and digital tools into the everyday professional practice of youth professionals and teachers.
77% use social media in their work with young people. Of note there is nearly an equal split in usage between communication (broadcast, notify, connect) and teaching.
Our research also identified a remaining cohort, 23% of respondents, who advised that they did NOT use social media in their work with young people. Within this group there was a real sense of the concern around the blurring of professional boundaries and potential imposition on the privacy of young people.
The research clearly identified 3 groups within the educational setting with clear opportunities and challenges around the integration and adoption of social media.
- Identify social media champions.
- Include social media as part of students curriculum.
- Ensure students are consulted in any social media activation plan.
- Theme Social Media activity through the year to compliment over curriculum and additional learning outcomes.
- Model good practice, built on student consultation.
- Identify staff social media champions to create a support network for less experience staff.
- Use social media management tools (Hootsuit).
- Demonstrate and share success and learning’s.
SENIOR MANAGERS: Recommendations
- Provide training for staff to ensure competencies are in place to integrate social media into overall business plan.
- Create a Student, Practitioner, Manager working forum to oversee social media activity.
- Place the students first: involve them in setting the agenda.
- Create and share clear and open social media policies to set professional standards.
- Include social media targets/outcomes in practitioners performance reviews.