Monday, July 15, 2013

Counselor Tech Tools for Summer

Now that summer's here and you may have a tad bit more patience and time on your hands, exploring and learning some new tech tools will put you a step ahead.  Here are a 5 tech tools that are great for counselors that you can become familiar with during your break:

-YouTube:  Did you know that you can make a school counselor playlist on YouTube?  Meaning that all your school counselor related videos that you like and use regularly can be easily accessed.  Here's how:

You will need to have a gmail account to log in.

Once you find a video that you like click "add to" and add to your counselor playlist.  For this post, I just found a video from the NOH8 (no hate ) campaign, which by the way is a great clip to show to middle/high school levels.

Click "Add to"

As you can see I have multiple playlists.  The first time you add, you'll have to name your list, after then it will remember  that list name.

Choose your school counselor playlist
Everything saves to your school counselor playlist, here's how mine looks.  When I need to show a clip, I just go right to my playlist and click on the video I need to use.

-Smore:  I learned about this great online flyer/newsletter site from blog buddy Danielle from The School Counselor Blog. This is another free and very user friendly tool that allows you to create flyers and newsletters that can be shared through email, social media or even embedded into an email or website.  I'm so going to be using this for my monthly 5th grade newsletter (hey, I'm trying my best to keep up this paperless theme).  This may or may not be a good fit for you depending on the type of school that you work in.  The vast majority of the parents at my school have email and prefer email as a means of school communication, so this will be absolutely perfect for getting out my school counselor news!  Just in case you're wondering how I have parents emails, there are 2 ways I get them.  First, of course is through the teacher's email lists and also the PTA provides a contact list booklet for each class which I also use.

Screenshot of me setting up a newsletter using Smore.

-Tagboard:  Another tool to read all things through social media in one spot.  If you didn't already know, social media is a great way to network, get resources and ideas from other school counselors from all over the world.  At times going to various social media sites can be a little overwhelming but thanks to tagboard, you can easily read and see everything by hashtag (the # pound symbol).  Good school counselor tags are #scchat, #schoolcounselor, #schoolcounseling, #asca

Just type in the hash tag to search (I used #scchat)

All types of social media are searched (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc)

Well look who's picture showed up during the search!

-Google Drive:  This is a complete must have for any school counselor.  This is how I created my Online Minute Mtgs and Paperless Counselor Notes.  Please note that you will need to have a (free) gmail email account to access Google tools.  If you're aren't sure how to navigate through Google Drive, there are many tutorials available on YouTube (hey you can make a playlist on tutorials if you'd like).

-Dropbox:  It's time to ditch the "old school" USB drive, welcome to cloud based storage!  Store all of your documents, videos, pictures in one place.  I use Dropbox Every. Single. Day.  It's a must use for school counselors.  One of my favorite features about Dropbox is that you can share folders with others.  Have a group of counselors that you share resources with, make a Dropbox folder where everyone can easily find and access those shared files (don't worry only people "invited" to your shared folder have access to the files).

Hopefully you'll find these tools helpful as you enjoy the rest of your summer break and as you prepare when you return back to school.  

What other tech tools do you use as a school counselor that are life savers?

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  1. love Dropbox! I use it for keeping individual folders on students that are receiving interventions in the classroom. I keep notes on the team meeting re: the student. Notes also include data from interventions. The principal and I both have access.

  2. Hi Andrea! Great post! I'm already using Dropbox & Google Drive! I'm excited to start using Tagbosrd & S'more! Thanks for always sharing great tips !!

  3. I love all of your tips! I use Dropbox for personal use all the time, but it's blocked on our school system!! Darn! Thanks!

  4. Love this! Thank you! I have a question about google drive vs. chrome vs. plus. Just not sure how they play together... I think there have been some changes lately and it has made it hard for me to keep up!