We live in a technology based world that is constantly changing and improving the way we live. School counselors are taking advantage of this technology to provide more resources about careers, colleges and mental health and to better connect with students and parents. With more students using the Internet and social media, counselors also have to teach students ways to stay safe while spending time online. There are a variety of useful ways school counselors can benefit from technology.
- Social Media
Counselors can create professional social media accounts or school pages to give parents additional information. Facebook pages can remind parents of upcoming school activities and seminars as well as update them on school closings and early releases. Counselors can also use this account to identify cyberbullying and help address other social issues. Through social media sites counselors can also interact with colleagues and discuss specific issues that students are struggling with.
School counselors should have a dedicated website or blog that students and parents can use to communicate through and obtain important resources. This page can show parents what is happening on a weekly basis and provide instructional videos on everyday problems. Students should be able to access important college applications, financial aid deadlines, and testing dates. There should also be links to resources like the crisis hotline, a school survey, professional articles and useful self-help apps such as Worry Watch, Anxiety Reliever, T2 Mood Tracker, and Talkspace.
- Career and College Planning
One of the areas school counselors help students with is career and college planning. The Internet can help counselors be better informed on colleges admission requirements, applications fees, and numerous scholarships. There are also online aptitude tests that can help students determine their skills and potential career fields. Counselors are able to help students make more informed decisions about the future with this technology.
- Mobile Technology
While counselors shouldn’t answer their smartphone while in a session with students or parents, they could use it to record a meeting. These recordings could then be saved as notes to review at later sessions or to post on a web page to showcase what students are learning during class. Many school districts and counselors are using texting apps as a way communicate with students and parents. This is an easy way to send announcements and remind them of upcoming events. Mobile technology has the ability to help school counselors that are always on the go.
To learn more about how school counselors can benefit from technology advancements check out the resource below from Wake Forest University’s Online Masters in Counseling program.