|If you're looking for ways in which to further your social work continuing education, don't forget to look into online seminars. There was once a time you had to hope a seminar would come to your area if you wanted to attend. If it was a top speaker, you could expect to pay a hefty sum for a seat in the auditorium. While this is certainly still a valid way to attend a seminar, it is no longer entirely necessary. Thanks to the online age, seminars from a wide array of prominent speakers are available on the internet. You can sit at the feet of the masters, learn about a topic from any area of therapy, and never have to leave the house.
Seminars taught by the top masters in the field are often the only chance the average therapist will get to learn directly from the top minds. Sure, you can read textbooks and other works of academia. But these works are so polished, researched, and annotated that you rarely get much of a sense of the author behind the words. Is that even important? Perhaps it is. While there is no substitute for formal social work education or initial training, there is something to be said for speeches given in a less formal setting. This is where you begin to hear some of the personality and original ideas from the people who have moved the field forward.
Another benefit of many seminars is the audience participation. While not always a feature, many speakers like to include guest questions and interaction in the seminar. While watching such a speech online won't give you the opportunity to directly participate, you can learn a lot from people coming from your own background. Often, a question will be asked that was on the tip of your tongue. Good taped seminars will cut out some of the filler as well, so you won't hear the questions that are clearly designed only so the askers can hear themselves talk.
Finally, don't overlook the importance of seeking out opinions about the seminars themselves. This is one of the greatest aspects of online social work education outlets. Rather than just reading a book, setting it aside, and moving on, you can engage other professionals in the field about what you just watched. Many times, this can give you a new and interesting perspective on what you take away from the seminar. Debates can spring up, and you should participate in these any chance you get. Remember that the purpose of spirited debate is not to change the other person's mind, but to refine and hone your own arguments, while making sure you aren't carrying around incorrect and poorly conceived viewpoints. All of this is a part of maturing in your field and it will conspire to make you better at your career.