There’s nothing worse than an out of touch school counselor, right? How can they help students if they can’t connect with them? According to THE Journal, an educational news source focusing on technology, many counselors are now using classroom software, tablets and other technology to connect with students.
“Technology is a good fit for counselors,” Russell Sabella, a professor of counseling in the graduate program at the College of Education at Florida Gulf Coast University, told the news source. “Like counselors, who exist to help students meet their potential, technology provides us tools to help people achieve even beyond what it is they would have been able to achieve without technology. Our current generation is the most highly connected generation in the history of recorded time, and oftentimes …our face-to-face time is of a higher quality because of how it is we’re able to stay connected when we’re not face-to-face.”
Sabella said very few schools are using technology in a professional way even though there are many resources available. He said many schools are resisting technology because they are intimidated by it. Many education pros may even be afraid that technology is replacing them, but there’s always going to be the need for someone there to comfort students and talk to them about certain issues that are going on in class and at home.
The American School Counselor Association said one tool that can be surprisingly effective is Facebook, the social networking giant that it seems every kid is on these days.
“If you are a school counselor and have never used Facebook, we encourage you to experiment with it so that you can better understand why your students value it and so you can be prepared to counsel them on issues that might arise,” the ASCA said in its report on Facebook. “Adults who teach teens to drive do so having years of experience themselves; we think it’s prudent to use and understand the technologies your students are using.”
After counselors get on Facebook, the ASCA said they should help develop school social media policies, respond to incidents that may pop up between students who use Facebook and assist the community with looking to detect behavior that may be bad for the school or district.
What do you think about counselors using Facebook to gain a better understanding of kids? Is Facebook something that should make its way into the classroom computer or stay at home? We want to know what you think!