Quick Overview of Course

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Advanced Use of  IT in Human Services introduces students to the field of human services information technology.  Typically, the first 2-3  sessions and the last session are held in a classroom setting.  The remaining sessions are held in an online video classroom.  The aim is to use technology to teach about technology use in social work.  Most students report that the course requires a conceptual change where students learns to view social work practice from a technology perspective.  

Description of Course from the syllabus

Electronic technologies support most complex processes in modern societies, e.g., airline travel.  Technology can support human service practice and make it more accessible and effective.  Many computer and telecommunication tools exist that allow practitioners to find, collect, store, manipulate and present information to support practice decisions and monitor interventions.  Some of these tools are databases, spreadsheets, graphic presentation, multimedia, computer based training, expert systems, performance support systems, distance learning, geographical mapping, simulations, games, assistive devices, smartphones, and the Internet.  Other tools exist that can perform routine social work functions independent of a practitioner, e.g., information & referral, stress reduction, diagnostics, prevention intervention, cognitive interventions, etc.  This course examines information technology-based support tools  and systems, their development, and their use in human service practice. The major student assignments involve developing a personal web page and exploring a technology based solution to a human service problem/situation.  The aim is to make students critical consumers and potential designers of technology based tools and systems. This course is approved as a Direct Practice or Community and Administrative Practice elective for MSSW students.

Evaluation of Previous Online Courses

I have taught online courses with results and satisfaction comparable or better than my classroom courses.   I have evaluated some online courses and published or presented the results.  Click below for evaluative information.

Personal Information

I am a professor who teaches Administration and Community Practice.  I have also taught this technology class to students in Shanghai, China via the U. of Hong Kong.  I also work approximately 1/2 time on funded research.  Typically my grants projects involve some form of web or phone technology or both.  For example, one grant developed Web based training for TDFPS (CPS) supervisors and program directors to use data in their decision making.  Another grant developed a virtual drug prevention community for teens.  Another evaluated 15 technology related state grants and work with the Computer Science & Engineering Assist Lab.   Another uses web-phone technology to support case management in order to optimize client adherence to treatment  To find out more about me, click here.

Text  (we will especially use the system development content.  Other content will be updated with articles)

Schoech, D.,  (1999). Human Service Technology:  Understanding, Designing, and Implementing Computer and Internet Applications in the Social Services.  NY: Haworth Press, 451 pages, paperback edition.  Click here for a link to purchase the book at Amazon.com.   If you become a member of HUSITA calling cards, you can download a PDF version of the text for free.