BPD Update Online, Fall 2003
Life on the Cutting/Bleeding Edge: History of Technology at BPD (Cont)
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Committee on Information Technology and Distance Education Edited by Carol J. Williams, Associate Editor, BPD Update

Computer Graphic Courtesy of Steve Marson

Under the leadership of Lynn Adkins, the current Committee Chair, the Technology Committee has established subcommittees for each of the CSWE mandated curriculum areas, as well as a subcommittee on free internet resources. Each subcommittee has posted a web page, and these pages can be accessed through the BPD Website by clicking on the link for the Technology Committee and then clicking the “Subcommittees” link.

Leadership of the BPD Technology Committee and its members has extended beyond the confines of BPD itself. Several members of the Committee have assumed major leadership roles in CSWE and BPD, through which they worked to expand the use of technology in social work education:

• Lynn Adkins – Current Member of the CSWE Commission on Accreditation, and Chair of its Distance Education and Technology Committee
• Jerry Finn – CSWE Treasurer (2001 - 2004)
• Steve Marson – Past Member of the BPD Board (1999 – 2003); CSWE Ad Hoc Technology Committee (1996)
• Marshall Smith – Member of the CSWE Board (1999 - 2002) and the Board’s Technology Committee
• Bob Vernon – Member of the CSWE Board (1999 - 2002) and the Board’s Technology Committee
• Carol Williams – Member of the CSWE Board (2003 – 2006)

In February of 2000, Committee member Carol Williams was appointed to the CSWE Commission on Conferences and Faculty Development and named the coordinator of the APM Media Technology Center. She enlisted the help of the BPD Technology Committee in planning workshops, and all but one of the Media Tech laboratory sessions for the 2000 APM were presented by members of the BPD Technology Committee. Dennis Cogswell and Marshall Smith also broke new ground at that APM by offering the first APM Media Tech workshop with an online pre-session for participants.

The focus of Media Tech was shifted during the three years that Carol coordinated it, to center on use of technology in teaching in each of the CSWE mandated curriculum areas, and to invite emerging technologists to present their work in the form of “Electronic Posters”. The BPD Technology Committee’s members played a key role as reviewers for Media Tech presentations and as presenters in both the Media Tech theater and laboratory sessions offered at APM. Carol also advocated for the review of APM abstracts online, a major innovation that CSWE has initiated for the 2004 APM.

Beginning in 2001, a work group composed of Carol Williams, Robert Vernon, Irene Queiro-Tajalli, Darlene Lynch, Debra Gohagan, Lynn Adkins; Michael Berghoef, began developing a tool for the assessment of course web sites. This tool will be presented at the Reno conference. This tool will be another Committee “first”.

Also in 2001, Committee member Carol Williams became Associate Editor of BPD Update, and established a web site for BPD Update online. All issues of Update beginning with Winter 2001 have been placed on the web. Carol also writes a regular column (the Technology Corner) which includes technology resources for BPDers. Visit Update online by using the publications link on the BPD website, or go directly to: http://bpdupdateonline.bizland.com/

To bring this history up to the minute, BPDers will present a number of technology workshops in Reno:

Thursday Morning:

• Innovative Use of Technology for Recruitment: Producing and Using Your Own CD-Rom

Friday Morning:

• Using Electronic Advocacy to Address Issues of Social And Economic Justice
• Using Technology for the Instruction of Social Work Values and Ethics

Friday Afternoon:

• Using Technology for the Instruction of Research and Statistics
• The BPD Listserv and Website
• Enhancing Your Social Work Course with Electronic Toolbox Programs

Saturday Morning:

• Using Distance Education to Connect Diverse Communities, Colleges and Students
• Spurring Students to Social Action: The Use of Media and Interactive Techniques

Please come and join us!

*Jerry Finn, in his 1998 article (see below), made the first published reference to the “bleeding edge”.


Finn, J. (1998). “A Brief and Incomplete History of the BPD Information Technology Committee”, BPD Update 20(2), p. 19 – 20.

Marson, S.M. (1997). “A Selective History of Internet Technology and Social Work”, Computers in Human Services, 14(2), p. 35 – 48.

Vernon, R. (2003). “Website History”, Retrieved 9/9/03 from http://bpdonline.org/site/indexer/42/content.htm

Click here to go to Bob Vernon's article on the History of the BPD Website.

An article on Student/Faculty Collaborations is on the next page...

Spiral, Horizontal Line Spinning

BPD Update Online, Volume 25, No. 3, Fall 2003

The BPD Update Online Web Site is sponsored by Lyceum Books.