In this lesson, we’ll explore how blogs, websites, social media and mobile technology help counselors automate their processes and disseminate information.
Automating High School Counseling
Mrs. Riggs has been a high school counselor for over 20 years.
While she has been successful in her role, she realizes that technology can increase automation to eliminate manual processes and promote efficiency. Mrs. Riggs enrolls in a seminar called Automation for Counselors in Education.The facilitator, Mr. Ramos, explains that they will explore how technology can lighten their workload and meet students where they are, online. He explains that there are many types of tools that counselors can use: some every day, some as needed and all tools coordinated for major events.
Mr. Ramos starts by defining a ‘blog’ since many of the participants have never used a blog. Blogs are webpages utilized by an individual or small group to provide information in an informal or conversational style of writing. He then polls the counselors and asks them to brainstorm what type of information would be useful for students to read in a blog.Here’s what they mentioned:
- How to request a meeting with the counselor
- Enrollment week and processes
- Testing requirements and dates
- Information on visiting colleges
- College financial aid information
- Graduation requirements, activities, costs, dates and locations
Ramos agrees the possibilities of disseminating information using blogs are endless and any of these topics would be an appropriate blog entry.Mr. Ramos moves on to the uses of mobile technology for counselors.
Many mobile applications exist to enable counselors to push information and reminders to student’s cell phones. These applications prevent administrators from texting students’ cellphones directly and vice versa.To start, counselors will find a mobile application that meets their needs. Most are free and easy to maneuver from a desktop or cellphone.
Next, they sign up and create a fun name like ‘Mr. Ramos’s Reminders,’ and then invite students to join.One participant asks how most counselors ask students to join the reminders. Mr. Ramos provides these examples:
- Give the join code over the morning announcements
- Print the code and distribute to each classroom
- Notate the code outside your office
Mrs. Riggs suggests counselors create a code for each grade level to ensure the intended audience receives the messages while others aren’t inundated with irrelevant information.Next, Mr.
Ramos discusses how websites automate processes.
Mr. Ramos polls the participants to determine who has created counselor websites. Then he invites them to discuss their use. One participant mentions that most schools will allow counselors to create a website on their platform; however, if one is not available there are many free websites counselors can use.
Another participant shares that much of the information disseminated in a blog can be reiterated on the counselor’s webpage including videos, FAQs and educational articles.After this discussion, Mr. Ramos turns to social media.
He starts this section by asking counselors if they have a social media account they use for work; most do not. He encourages them to poll their students to determine the most popular social media applications used by students, and then sign up.Counselors can use social media to answer questions, upload flyers and pictures and disseminate all types of important information.
You can even trend certain topics by using a certain symbols. Mr. Ramos ends the presentation by posting #CounselorsRock!
Automation eliminates manual processes and promotes efficiency. In today’s technologically advanced world, counselors are using technology to reach the masses.
Blogs, websites, social media and mobile technology are a few tools counselors use to help their students.