The Use of Technology in Rural Human Service Agencies

By Brenda Moore, Larry Watson and Hugh Clark.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper presents findings from an exploratory study of rural human service agency workers and their “use and comfort” with common software and the Internet. In addition, their degree of computer anxiety, self-efficacy in terms of computer use, and their perceptions of the effectiveness of computers in helping clients is assessed. This study reflects a fairly high level of use and comfort with basic computer technology in terms of common software and the Internet. Responses for each of the three constructs were totaled and averaged for a Computer Anxiety Total Score (m = 3.54, sd = .517), Computer Self-Efficacy Total Score (m= 3.53, sd = .686), and a Computer Effectiveness Total Score (m = 3.18, sd = .487). Then a Computer Comfort Total Score was computed by totaling all responses to the 25 items and averaging the total (m = 3.40, sd .399). When the Computer Comfort Total Score was correlated with the Total Use Score and the Total Comfort Score, there was a statistically significant relationship between these variables, indicating that use and comfort relate to human service workers’ anxiety, self-efficacy, and views of effectiveness in helping clients.

Keywords: Technology, Human Services, Administration

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.153-164. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.303MB).

Dr. Brenda Moore

Department Head, Department of Social Work, Texas A&M University - Commerce, Commerce, Texas, USA

Dr. Moore has a background in social work practice, administration and planning. Her professional experience includes work with the Salvation Army, United Way, and city municipalities as well as non-profit agencies. Since joining the faculty at Texas A&M University-Commerce in 1993, her research interests have focused on community collaborations, technology in social work education and practice, and educational theory.

Dr. Larry Watson

Faculty, Department of Social Work, Texas A&M University - Commerce, Commerce, Texas, USA

Dr. Watson has a number of years experience in human service adminstration. He has been involved in the fields of foster care and adopton. He served in administrative roles in higher education prior to become a full-time faculty in social work education.

Hugh Clark

BSW program director, Department of Social Work, Texas A&M University - Commerce, Commerce, Texas, USA

Dr. Clark has been serving as a faculty and administrator in social work education for more than 10 years. He has experience in the non-profit housing sector, both as an administrator and on the board of directors. His teaching and research interests include social policy, social work research, functioning of human service agencies and their boards, and human service administration.

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