In search of a model for examining the impact of computer-assisted EPB on practice and education for practice, the authors review basic traditional “slow motion” social work practice and compare it to what one of the authors (Kreuger, 2004) calls “fast practice.” Fast practice involves not only immersion by practitioners in the ramified electronic assemblage (Wise, 1997) of hypermodern equipment and applications (Franklin, Nowicki, Trapp, Schwab & Petersen, 1993; Forte, Healey & Campbell, 1994; Kreuger & Stretch, 2000; Maypole, 1991; McCarty & Clancy, 2002; Rogge & Cox, 2001), but also the possible collapsing of Western practice orientations to social work that may foreshadow a newly emerging “decentered” profession (Fulcher, 2003). In addition, the authors present data collected about technology usage among human service providers to assess how traditional social work practice components are being transformed by computer-assisted technology, suggesting that computer-assisted practice may be moving into an entirely different direction (Crisp, 2004). Traditional Practice Components
Traditional social work practice and educational settings have been characterized by relatively closed interaction systems, with practice and educational encounters contained almost solely within bounded physical space utilizing locally available resources (Germain, 1978; Gutheil, 1992; Gutheil, 1996). This characterization parallels the larger social and economic organization of surrounding communities. But the post-industrial period has witnessed a transformation of the surround-
ing organizational field from industrial to information-based, and social work and educational institutions have invested an incredible amount of energy trying to stay on top of these changes (Crook & Brady, 1998; Oliver & Huxley, 1988). Computer-assisted electronic technologies have created an environment where organizations and staff struggle to maintain and enhance their interorganizational and professional capabilities (Pickering, 1995). These organizations by expanding their interactional boundaries largely become locality-free communication systems as a result (Blakely, 1994).