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An application is one or a set of technologies that solves user problems, for example, Microsoft Word or Excel. An application does more than just provides information. For example, a spreadsheet does more than present information in rows and columns. It allows users to easily change one cell and it quickly recalculates all related rows and columns. An assessment application can customize, administer, score, and interpret a clinical assessment. Some applications are rather simple, for example, the application by Youth For Tomorrow that finds a good out of home placement for kids. Others are very complex, for example, a management information system for an agency.
Applications that you review should allow you to test out the application by entering in information. Do not review applications that only allow you to see a few input and output screens from the web without entering in information such as fake client data, since you cannot get a good idea of how the application operates by just looking at screens. Applications can run from one's hard drive or from the Web. Those that run from the hard drive require you to download a program, install it, and then run it. Those that run from the Web allow the user to interact with the application without downloading. For example, some statistical packages, like SPSS, require that you install the application on your computer, whereas web based statistical packages such as SISA run statistical tests directly from the web. You may need to search the web for useful applications.
For some applications to review, see http://wweb.uta.edu/faculty/schoech/cussn/diskcopy/diskcopy.htm. Acceptable applications are those with a * behind them. If you find a good applications to review that is not on this link, send the URL to the class listserv for others to consider. I have a file of some applications that the class found interesting and relevant. Be sure to discuss the relevance of these for the human services in your analysis. Sharing information is one of the ways to earn class participation points. One source of software is from the software review section of my journal, JTHS, although applications are getting more and more complex for review by any one person. You can substitute a generic advanced technology application and use the form below to discuss its relevance to the human services. However, check with me prior to your review to see if I agree that the advanced application is relevant to the human services.