Category: Social media knowledge sharing aka “The medium is the message”

Digital life and death

I stumbled on this approach/resource via a tweet from social work tech group.   Both the tech and pod cast sites seem like a lively spot to support knowledge sharing for social workers.

Death and Grief in the Digital Age: Interview with Carla Sofka, Ph.D.

[Episode 109] Today’s episode of the Social Work Podcast is about Death and Grief in the Digital Age. I spoke with Dr. Carla Sofka, professor of Social Work at Siena College. Dr. Sofka has been studying and writing about the intersection of technology and death and grief since the earliest days of the world wide web. Her edited 2012 text, Dying, Death and Grief in an Online Universe, looks at how changes in communication technology have revolutionized the field of thanatology.

In today’s episode we talk about the role of social media in how, why, where and when, who we grieve. She shares stories of people whose loved ones have died, only to find out that because of social media they are the last to know. Carla provides some digital literacy around death and grief in the digital age. She talks about social media posts as death notifications, about establishing digital advance directives and thinking about our digital dust.

She talks about STUG reactions which are Sudden Temporary Upsurges of Grief. I had never heard of a STUG reaction, but I actually had one during our conversation. You’ll hear me talk about college friend of mine who died several years ago and during the interview start to tear up as I recalled getting a Facebook notification that it was her birthday.  We then talked about internet ghosts, memorial pages, memorial trolls, how and when people should respond to death notices online and what that means for the loved ones. She suggests that just as we provide sex education to kids, we should be providing death education.  She also recommends including technology assessment in the standard biopsychosocialspiritual assessment. We ended our conversation talking about resources for mental health professionals who want to learn more.

The Social Work Podcast

Provides information on all things social work, including direct practice (both clinical and community organizing), research, policy, education… and everything in between.

Social Work Tech 

Social Work Tech

These articles are intended to help practitioners, psychotherapists, students, and visionaries in social work (and related fields) to understand technology tools and utilize them so that one can be better organized, improve delivery of intervention, and promote personal and professional development.
To empower personal and professional development of helping professionals through the use of technology.


Canada’s direction of “universal access” to a basic need, broadband

News release from michael gurstein Centre for Community Informatics Reseach, Development and Training and Open Media

In historic decision, CRTC rules that all Canadians must have access to reliable, world-class mobile and residential Internet

Today’s CRTC decision is a game-changer for rural Canadians. Trudeau government must step up and help turn this exciting vision into reality


December 21, 2016 – The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has just ruled that all Canadians must have access to reliable, world-class mobile and residential Internet services. The decision underpins a call for a new national strategy from the CRTC and citizens alike, resulting from the Commission’s Review of Basic Telecommunications Services consultation.


OpenMedia, which led a nearly 50,000-strong citizen movement for Internet as a basic service (and facilitated more than 95% of the comments to the CRTC proceeding), describes today’s decision as truly historic. The ruling will be a game-changer for rural and underserved communities across Canada where Internet access is either unavailable or unaffordable, due to a digital divide keeping almost one in five Canadians offline.


“Canadians asked for universal Internet access, support for rural communities, world-class speeds, unlimited data options, and minimum guarantees for the quality of their Internet. And today, we won it all!” said Josh Tabish, campaigns director for OpenMedia. “With this ruling, the CRTC has finally listened to Canadians and agreed that residential and mobile Internet is a basic service required for modern life, as important as the telephone.”


Tabish continued: “For too long, rural and underserved communities all across Canada have faced an uphill battle to participate meaningfully in our digital economy. Today’s decision will go a long way toward closing this digital divide. Now that the CRTC has spoken, we need to hold the Trudeau government accountable for ensuring this exciting vision becomes a reality.”

Key points from today’s CRTC decision, and the accompanying national broadband strategy:


  • 100% of Canadians must have access to reliable, world-class mobile and fixed Internet services.
  • The decision includes: Internet access defined as a basic service, access to world-class speeds, options for unlimited data packages, and a level playing field for rural and remote Canadians.
  • New network speed targets of 50 Mbps download speed and 10 Mbps upload speed, and the ability to subscribe to fixed Internet package with an unlimited data option.
  • Canadians from coast to coast to coast must have access to high-speed mobile and residential Internet connections. To fund this, the CRTC will redistribute hundreds of millions of dollars from telecommunications company revenues over the coming years.
  • Going forward, rural, remote, and urban communities must be able to access Internet speeds five times as fast as the U.S. minimum (10/1) and the government will encourage the widest availability of the fastest 4G/LTE mobile networks.
  • Finally, the CRTC issued a new report outlining the imperative for a national broadband strategy and what the federal government should consider when building it.

Throughout our participation in this proceeding, OpenMedia argued that only a properly-funded national strategy can tackle Canada’s digital divide. We asked the CRTC to create new rules to ensure all Canadians have access to guaranteed minimum service levels on fixed and mobile networks — rules that will enable all Canadians to enjoy equal opportunity to participate in the social and economic activities afforded by Internet access at a fair price.


Our community-driven submission argues that these new rules should not hinder industry, but should instead promote investment, competition, and openness.


Canadians can call on the government to build on the CRTC’s vision to create a national broadband strategy at

About OpenMedia

OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.

-30- Contact Katy Anderson Digital Rights Specialist, OpenMedia 1 (888) 441-2640 ext. 5


“… departmental silos that make it difficult for digital staff across the organizations to integrate their efforts for success..”

From: and partners, focused on organizations management of information communication technology (ICT)

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see report here:

…“With limited resources, how do we best leverage the power of the digital environment to make the world a better place?”

The answer in this report, on a strategic level, is ‘alignment’. What that means is that for nonprofit organizations to truly harness the power of the digital age, we need to make sure that each of our organizations are aligned with the systems, structure, culture, and performance management architecture to fully take digital into account. The best plans for digital marketing, brand building, advocacy or fundraising will fail if the staffing, skill sets, and structure of our organizations are misaligned. For example, this report shows that some organizations do not have dedicated staff to run digital programs, while other organizations have departmental silos that make it difficult for digital staff across the organizations to integrate their efforts for success.  Mike Johnston President and Founder, hjc

Social media challenge… out of the Netherlands

This group is working through facebook etc.


Global Social Media Challenge for Social Workers

Now it’s time to organize the first Global Social Media Challenge for Social Workers. To help you to be a Social Media Pro. To grow your networks. To increase your impact. But most of all: to have lots of fun with each other. You’ll receive from February 8th till 19th each day a small challenge in your inbox plus lots of tips from the experts!

Hans and I are aiming for 6000 Social Workers in this Challenge. We need you! Please accept our invitation and join us (It’s all for free). 

You can sign up here >>>


Research, open access and academic blogging

… So if the gathering pace of the open access movement means that research papers will be more likely to be publicly and freely available via ‘gold’ and ‘green’ routes in the future, does this reduce the need for research blogs? Not at all, in my view. Blogs can be vehicles for making clear the connections between multiple papers and projects, giving researchers opportunities to write in-the-round overviews of cumulative bodies of work. They can also help contextualize research, and unpack the detail of full-text papers irrespective of whether these are open access or paid-for. In this way blogs can perhaps help translate ideas, promote uptake and increase the use of findings. …

Source: Research, open access and academic blogging

“…it’s time for the social sector to make some real investment in digital skills”

The Ontario Non-profit Network (ONN) provides analysis on the use of information communication technology (ICT) in this post  Andi Argast notes the need for organizational leadership to integrate ICT into operations in the administrative sense and suggests a relevance for daily organizational activities.

Openness, particularly when considering how we structure our internal teams and work with partner organizations, is an important piece and a step in the right direction. But it’s not enough: what is needed is recognition within the sector that investing in digital skills training is an investment in ourselves and the future of the sector.

How we link ICT to services to everyday engagement…care is critical if we are to keep our eye on the prize.

I wandered about the article and found important big vision examples found here:   from the work of Sameer Vasta

Slide 6: Kudoz

Kudoz is an atypical disability day program being run in Vancouver. Instead of going to a standard, set adult disability day program, participants use their mobile devices to choose special activities and adventures each day: a program that is tailor-made to their interests. These activities are hosted by volunteer businesses and organizations who have the capacity to provide new and exciting experiences outside of the regular day program model. For example, a bakery can host a cupcake-baking activity, or a pet-shop can host a learn about animals experience. Kudoz uses technology to play the role of connector, connecting the participants with a new pool of volunteers who are eager to help.

While in Ottawa, we do have examples of ICT innovations for clients, such as applications for mental health self care, centres with computers that can be used and perhaps more youth friendly sites there has been a loss of momentum from some years ago on supporting practical client access and engagement with ICT in service delivery.

It seems to me that while we have organizational websites sharing information outward, we are not encouraging Connectivism  (conceptualization used by Stephen Downes and others), which is client centred or embedded.

It may well be linked to the our own organizational challenges, understanding and cultures on how to engage in social media and ICT.  It would help, if we shared more amongst ourselves current projects and principles that are emerging.

Maybe this is already occurring and it simply needs to be … shared?