Creating a mobile app to teach ethical social media practices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External organisations

  • Grant MacEwan University, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • University of Western Sydney


Social media has transformed the way individuals and communities interact. The number of mobile devices connected to social media networks has increased exponentially over the last few years. These devices tend never to leave the sides of their owners and offer potentially limitless flexible opportunities for communication and learning. This paper initially outlines how an individual social work academic created a mobile phone and tablet app to help students explore the ethical uses of social media in social work. One aim is to encourage discussion around the theoretical and technical challenges posed when seeking to ensure an educational mobile app is grounded in social work as opposed to ICT principles of learning. Students’ experiences of using the app in Australia, Canada and the UK are then analysed. The evaluation suggests that the scenario-based principles underpinning the design and engaging in learning on the mobile platform had both positive and negative impacts on student learning. The paper explores the lessons learned from these processes.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-259
JournalSocial Work Education
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • Ethical Practice, Social Media, Learning Design, Professional Practice, E-Learning, Mobile Learning, Technology Enhanced Learning, Blended Learning