Toward a comprehensive technology assessment

Paper to be presented at #husITa16 in Seoul, Korea, 29 June 2016.


Michael Berghoef, Janet Vizina-Roubal and Jessica Gladden (Ferris State University, USA).


Background: While the field of social work has long recognized the need for thorough Bio-Psycho-Socio assessment, there has been a lag in the emphasis to include comprehensive technology assessments by many educators and practitioners as part of a larger overall individual or family assessment. Historic reasons for this and possible educational solutions will be discussed.

Methods: A query of early technology adopters in social work education and practice combined with a literature review of both the professional literature and current social work textbooks was utilized to build a comprehensive and multifaceted technology assessment prototype.

Results: While many excellent technology assessments are emerging, there remains a widespread lack of adoption by most therapeutic professionals. Early adopters are creating evaluations methods for assessing technology’s impact on individuals and families but many still neglect to cover these areas sufficiently if at all. Schools of social work as well as other continuing education institutions seem to be ready developmental partners, if sufficiently nuanced and comprehensive exams and training in their administration are sufficiently developed and promoted.

Implications: At this historical moment, the reach of technology into family life spans so far in terms of the scope of its impacts, for example ranging from educational technologies for distance learners and assistive technologies for people living with disabilities, to the other extreme of problematic gaming or pornography addictions. Such important differentials must become a systematic part of the routine comprehensive social work evaluation. Furthermore, models will need to be developed and maintained that allow for continual updating, given the rapid development of technology and its wide variety of effects.


To follow


To follow

Back to programme