Developing Ethical Guidelines for Creating Social Media Technology Policy in Social Work Classrooms


  • Shane R. Brady University of Oklahoma
  • David A. McLeod University of Oklahoma
  • Jimmy A. Young California State University San Marcos



Social work education, Social media, Information technology, Ethical decision making


This paper will discuss social media technology in the context of social work education. While social media technology is prevalent in social work education, most discourse about ethical use of social media in the classroom has taken a prescriptive and overly cautious approach that neglects the context dependent nature that social work educators teach in as well as the overwhelmingly positive potential of social media technology in the classroom. This paper utilizes social constructivist theory and the Competing Values framework to guide the development of an ethical decision making framework for social work educators to use in order to create dynamic classroom policies related to social media technology. The authors strive to make a modest contribution to the existing literature related to social media technology and social work through the development of this new ethical decision making framework and discourse related to social media technology, ethics, and social work education.

Author Biography

Shane R. Brady, University of Oklahoma

Dr. Brady is a first year assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work. Dr. Brady received his PhD in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012, and also holds a Masters in Social Work degree from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor as well as a Bachelor’s in Social Work from Eastern Michigan University. Dr. Brady’s research interests include; community organizing, digital advocacy, social media and social work, grass roots organizing, social movements, homelessness, qualitative methods, community based participatory research, and youth participation