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Using Facebook to Explore Boundary Issues for Social Workers in a Networked Society: Students' Perceptions of Learning

This paper examines final-year MA and BA social work students' experiences of using Facebook as part of an enquiry-based blended learning design. A Think Family and Whole Systems module was redesigned using constructivist principles of emergent learning. This redesign enabled students to engage in life-like situations to help them reflect on the implications of using social networking sites as social work practitioners. It is suggested that student confidence in being able to outline the ethical issues, personal privacy concerns for professionals and service users, and the potential positive and negative aspects of using social networking sites for future professional development increased as a result of engaging with the learning design. To cater for the increasing use of social networks in society, a rationale for the learning design is outlined from the perspective of social work education. The paper then outlines the lessons learnt from students' engagement with Facebook as a site for learning.

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