Today is a big day not just for me but also for 5 other people who took a chance and agreed to collaborate on a book project. The idea for this book grew from conversations (in 140 characters or less – yes on twitter). I was encouraged in 2012 to join twitter by my work colleague Amanda Taylor, I met David McKendrick, Liz Thackray, Denise Turner and Tarsem Singh Cooner on twitter before I ever met them in person.
Back in those halcyon days I dreamed of being able to encourage other academics, practitioners and students to join twitter. I met Tarsem in the flesh at an HEA workshop he was running. I learned so much about the mechanics of social media in one day thanks to Tarsem and his colleague Chris Allen. I learned how to capture online discussions, visual materials and turn them into accessible artefacts which could be used for learning and teaching. It really was a revelation.
When I approached Tarsem, Liz, Denise, Amanda and David I was kind of hoping they would see the book as an opportunity to publicise their work, and promote social media as a valuable teaching and learning tool for social work. I have to say I never anticipated the motivation, excitement and drive these authors brought to the project. I edited this book with enthusiasm and pleasure and am delighted that it’s now real.
When I initially spoke to Di Page about this book I was confident that this was the right publisher for this book. Di and the team at Critical Publishing have supported me throughout this process and helped us to achieve our aim of getting the book from an idea in July 2013 to reality in time for a launch at JSWEC 2014.
Myself and the authors are all aware that this is simply the beginning of a journey into uncharted territory – social media has enormous potential to enhance and compliment social work education and practice. We offer this publication as a starting point in that journey and look forward to having many more conversations and learning about your experiences of using social media.
Joanne Westwood : Editor