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Human Services


Barbara Benoliel


The problem addressed in this study was the lack of a model for technology integration in social work education to meet the needs of graduate social workers in the field. Extant research has focused on the efficacy of online or blended learning, but not on social work educators' technology literacy. The purpose of this study was to explore social work educators' self efficacy related to technology use in curriculum and pedagogy. Digitally immigrant educators, defined as those over the age of 35, were studied since this group struggles in adjustment to technology, commonly used by younger students. The conceptual framework synthesized von Bertalanffy's general systems theory and Bandura's self-efficacy construct to understand the relationship between social work educators and technology. In this concurrent mixed methods and grounded theory study, participants (n = 396) provided quantitative responses about self-efficacy to the Computer Technology Integration Survey and answered additional questions about technology integration in the classroom. Findings from the correlational analysis revealed a model that connects positive self-efficacy to the number of digital tools used in the classroom, technology integration in pedagogy and curriculum, and teaching the concept of a 'digital divide.' Qualitative data from open-ended questions (n = 260) and 4 individual interviews were analyzed by thematic content analysis. Findings included issues that inhibit technology integration: personal motivation, time, and lack of institutional support. This study may contribute to positive social change by proposing a technology integration model for social work educators to use as an innovative strategy for preparing future professionals in the practice of social work.

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