Tools to Help Counselors Connect With Students Online
Top Ways for Guidance Counselors to Connect With Students Online
Educators have always played a critical role in developing the next generation, with a variety of obstacles to overcome: socioeconomic disparities, neurodivergence, social pressures, varying levels of parental support, and more. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic demanded that educators continue handling the same obstacles while suddenly losing personal contact with their students.
To the credit of teachers and guidance counselors, they have quickly adapted and continue to provide meaningful experiences for their students remotely. These educators have used a wide variety of virtual tools to provide individual and group connections with students, prepare students for post-high school plans, monitor emotional and mental health, and handle assignments.
We’ve compiled this list of virtual tools to help counselors connect with students online. Hopefully, these tools will cut down on the work you need to do and increase your impact as you continue to work remotely.
Classes, Assignments, and Grading
The first step is to ensure you have the proper tools to provide meaningful classes and easy methods for students to submit homework.
Kami is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to draw, edit, and create notes directly on your shared or projected screen. Students can also use Kami on their devices to make it easier to follow along during class. This extension is free, designed for educators, and compatible with Microsoft Suite, Google Suite, Canvas, etc.
Zoom enables teachers and guidance counselors to use a private, safe video platform to engage with entire classes or one-on-one meetings. With the ability to use filters and music to lighten the mood and help students loosen up, it’s a great, free way to connect with students.
Many schools were using Canvas before the pandemic, and it’s a great way to use technology both remotely and in person. You can keep all assignments, grading, and support videos in the same place, making it an effective tool for student communication and progress. Canvas also produces webinars and other training materials to support educators.
Emotional and Mental Health Tools
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the US has seen a pandemic in suicide and mental health decline, particularly teens. Educators can use the following tools to keep tabs on their students’ well-being and effectively deal with stress.
SmilingMind is an Australia-based app designed specifically to help children and teens practice mindfulness. Since launching in 2012, SmilingMind and has had great success in assisting children in noticing signs of mental illness and developing strategies to manage it early on. Their mission includes high priority on inclusion and accessibility, so the nonprofit offers this meditation app for free.
The Calm app contains a wide variety of guided meditations on many topics. Through these virtual guided meditations, guidance counselors can help students work through anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Calm offers some free meditations, with many more specific guided practices available with a subscription.
One of the leading causes of poor mental health is a lack of connection and meaningful relationships. Google Forms can help bridge the human connection gap for your students. It can be used for routine check-ins with students to ask them how their week is going, emotional highs and lows, identify stressors with homework or lesson material, problems at home, or see how post-graduation plans are going.
Post-Graduation Planning and Support
There has been a significant culture shift in the way that Americans think about college. So, with a crushing national student debt currently sitting at over a trillion dollars and the rise of the gig economy, educators need to be equipped to help students prepare for whatever work choices lay ahead after graduation.
Shamrck is a comprehensive platform used to connect with students. Shamrck’s mission is to help students feel confident in any post-graduation options that work for them, whether it’s military service, trade school, starting a business, or going to college.
Counselors and students are equipped with local resources, predictive analytics for career choices, tutoring, workplace learning, and more. The platform also uses AI to connect students to relevant advice and information effectively. As a result, Shamrck is a unique tool designed to help students succeed wherever their life, skills, and passion take them.
myKlovr is a platform designed for students preparing to go to college to get personalized advice. Guidance counselors can use myKlovr to connect students to the portal, find relevant scholarships, create a list of dream colleges, and walk you through the application process. Several free accounts are released each day, with the option to subscribe for $18 a month.
All educators are heroes, not only to their students but to the entire global population. At Shamrck, we believe we have to support counselors and teachers to match individual students to their dreams. Whether it be trade school, directly entering the workforce, or college, all students deserve the opportunity to follow their passions and not feel like any single path is better than another. Use these tool to help school counselors connect with students online.
Shamrck’s platform captures all of these values. Create your account today!
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