Conference Theme: This session relates directly to the conference title ‘beyond islands of innovations’ where we explore how partners in the Greater Manchester region are working together to ensure that learning technologies are not implemented in isolation, but used consistently throughout a social worker’s career.
Context: The Greater Manchester Social Work Academy is a teaching partnership composed of local authorities, private or voluntary institutions, and Higher Education providers in the Greater Manchester region. We are funded by the Department of Education and Department of Health with the aim of improving the quality of initial social work training and continuing professional development for qualified social workers. This is also set in the context of Devo Manc. Our role within the partnership has been to advise on and help implement learning technologies to help meet the aims of the partnership.
In this session: This session will be based around the implementation of PebblePad as a tool to aid reflection for social workers during their initial training, how it has been evaluated (at the time of writing the evaluation is being planned, but data will have been collected and analysed by the time of the conference) and what our next steps are when it comes to implementing it more widely within the partnership. However the focus of the session is not on portfolios or PebblePad per se, but on the challenges around choosing, rolling out and evaluating an intervention on a cross-institutional basis, and we will draw on lessons learnt (and no doubt, yet to learn) from our work across the whole project. How do you get the right people involved in discussions? How do you deal with the power dynamics at play? How do you deal with the vicious circle of ‘what do you want this tool to do?’ vs ‘what can the tool do for us?’ How do you develop the policy and procedure to ensure that How do you stop people from referring to you as “the IT person”?
Why should you attend this session: If you are currently or planning on working with a variety of partners (those partners might be internal, such as other Faculties, services, the Student Union, or external) on implementing new learning technology solutions, or scaling up existing projects then we think this session will be for you. Whilst we have some answers to our questions, we don’t necessarily have the right answers, nor do we have all of the answers: we would love to hear what your answers are (especially when it comes to how to stop people from referring to you as “the IT person”).
Berry-Lound, D, Tate, S and Greatbatch, D (2016) Social work teaching partnerships programme: an evaluation
Greater Manchester Combined Authority (2015) Taking charge of our health and social care in Greater Manchester: the plan http://www.gmhsc.org.uk/assets/GM-Strategic-Plan-Final.pdf
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