Tips on how school counselors can use technology to up their game
Monday, February 25, 2019
In a time when school counselor caseloads can vary from the desired ASCA model number of 250 students per counselor to a caseload of over 900 students, counseling offices are constantly searching for avenues to produce large results with limited time and resources.
Utilizing new technology is a great way to reach the masses and leave a lasting impression. New apps and websites are constantly hitting the market and can help counselors work smarter and not harder. Here are a few of my favorites:
School counselors have great resources and opportunities for students and families, yet, we need an avenue to share this information. Many counseling offices use social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
A few years ago, the Remind website was created and changed the student/teacher communication scene tremendously. It has been a highly popular program that allows teachers to text information to students and parents without any personal contact information being revealed.
Teachers as well as counselors have found the resource to be a great way to get information to classes/grade levels in a succinct manner. Students are attached to their phones and will typically check a text message before they look at their email or return a voicemail.
Counseling offices often use the Remind technology to remind families of information nights, deadline dates, new opportunities for scholarships, etc. Prioritizing the announcements that will be used on Remind is important. If overused, students begin to ignore the announcements.
Setting Your Calendar
Meetings, meetings, meetings. School counselors are constantly scheduling meetings or being invited to meetings. Acuity, an online appointment scheduling software, has created a calendar in which students and parents can book an appointment online. There are several similar programs on the market with a similar goal, including Youcanbookme.
By having an online calendar, counselors can avoid the back and forth emails of availability. Online calendars can also provide an increased number of college visits to your high school campus. In the world of college admissions, admission representatives can play a major role in how your school and students are viewed by a college.
Repvisitsv is a software program that was created to increase the relationship between high school counselors and college admission representatives. The website is free and is designed to create an online calendar for college representatives to see the availability of your school for college rep visits and aids in the college representatives travel plans for the year. It is a win/win for both parties.
The program takes out the continuous emails back and forth as to when a rep can stop by for a visit to see your students. By having your school on the website, it could increase the visibility of your school by college representatives that will be in the area for a college fair or campus visit.
The role of a school counselor in a building varies and can change rapidly. To keep up with the latest trends in the school counseling profession, technology can be an excellent tool. By utilizing counselor groups, following lead counseling organizations (ASCA, NACAC, etc.), and watching the trends of dynamic individual counselors, a school counselor can begin to navigate how they want to shape their program and school.
Blogs, posts, tweets, etc., can help a counselor feel more educated about the changes that are happening in their state, profession, and world. Following a wide range of individuals will keep a counselor in the loop.
Here are some great starting points:
School counseling news: ASCA and state school counselor organizations.
College admission tips: @NACAC and @CollegeEssayGuy, @CommonApp, and colleges and universities that your students want to attend. Several colleges have phenomenal blogs that provide great insight to their admission practices and trends. An example is Georgia Tech’s admission blog.
By using electronic devices to deliver information in a trendy manner, counselors are able to connect with their students in a mode that is convenient and efficient.
Talk with your students and families to see which format for social media or application of technology is the best fit for your school and utilize that format as your sole source of information. Once it is established, followers are bound to come and trending is inevitable.
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