Practical Computer Skills for Social Work

Practical Computer Skills for Social Work
Claire Gregor, Learning Matters
ISBN 1844450600, £12


The social work degree has a requirement that all social  work students have to display a reasonable level of computer literacy through gaining their European Computer Driving Licence, writes Kevin Thomas.

Intended to help social work students meet the requirement, Claire Gregor demystifies information technology, and manages to explain its relevance to 21st century social work.

Word processing, managing files, e-mail, using the internet, preparing presentations, as well as spreadsheet and database applications are all covered. Each has its own chapter, together with a set of activities that aid familiarisation, build the reader’s confidence, and provide a guide to compiling an ECDL portfolio.

The author pre-empts the “but what have computers got to do with social work?” question by beginning each chapter with an explanation of each application’s use and relevance to the job. A good example is spreadsheets, which are increasingly used in case recording. The manual also highlights the dangers of recording and sharing information in an electronic form.

Care should be taken when sending e-mail; more people will have access to electronic information than with paper files.

This is a well thought out and user-friendly publication that covers every aspect of IT that a social worker is ever likely to use.

Kevin Thomas is a senior social worker, Gwynedd Council

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