What are Ways School Counselors can Use Technology?

Kelly Muic
Kelly Muic
Grade school principal; Ed.D. in Leadership and Administration, Point Park University, PA
Counselor sitting in their office talking with a student.

Why Should School Counselors Embrace Technology?

I have been an educator for over 20 years witnessing the numerous changes that have occurred of how educators use technology. Technology was not an essential component to do our work as teachers and school counselors. However, today (especially now during the aftermath of a global pandemic) we could not fulfill our responsibilities at work without using technological devices, programs or applications. Technology is essential to our work as educators.

There are a variety of ways that a school counselor can utilize technology to support student development. Technology can be used to promote academic growth, social/emotional well being, and college and career development. Technology tools can also facilitate the ongoing communication a school counselor has with parents and faculty. In addition, technology provides an effective means to collect and analyze data necessary in monitoring the needs of students.

Ways to Use Technology as a School Counselor

The American School Counselor Association endorses a model that contains four components that describe the functions of a school counselor in a very succinct manner: define, manage, deliver, and assess. It is these four components to which technology can assist a school counselor to effectively complete work tasks to support students.

Supporting Student Development

School counselors support student development in the areas of academics, social-emotional well-being, and career preparation. Digital tools make a school counselor’s work life more efficient and saves a lot of time. Technology applications like Google Meet and Zoom can ensure counseling sessions can still take place even if students are learning in a virtual format.

In addition to meeting individually with students, these platforms can be used to conduct small groups and teach classroom lessons focused on various topics. School counselors can utilize various technology applications such as Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Calendar and Gmail to take notes and document sessions, schedule their work day, and communicate to others.

Academic Growth

Technology tools that can assist school counselors in developing students academically consist of a variety of educational technology programs. For instance, there are many software programs that work with all devices that reinforce skills that students may be struggling to master. These programs can be individualized to each student’s academic needs. These programs can also be accessed from home for additional time to reinforce core academic skills especially in language arts and math. Also these programs can produce reports in seconds to supply a school counselor with data to monitor a student’s improvement.

Social-Emotional Well-Being

Technology used to support and develop students’ social-emotional well-being consist of many websites that host a variety of services such as videos and information regarding social-emotional learning. For instance, there are many YouTube videos that can be used to promote mindfulness and mediation. There are also many mental health self-assessments that students can complete to help provide information to school counselors to help treat their individual issues.

Career and College Preparation

Technology programs that assist in the exploration of careers, as well as develop specific career readiness skills, are extremely helpful to school counselors. The Every Student Succeeds Act has made career readiness a prime factor for schools to focus on in the overall education provided to today’s students. Having a comprehensive career development technology program is a great way to teach career and work standards and document and store artifacts. Programs such as Smart Futures or Career Cruising have streamlined functions making these career readiness tasks very easy for school counselors to complete.

Technology as a Communication Tool

Technology assists school counselors in facilitating communication with parents and school faculty, and staff. For instance, school counselors can utilize mass email messages to keep families, students, and staff informed about upcoming events, school programs, assessments, and other school counseling-related concerns. School counselors can use the school’s website to provide information and/or create their own web page or blog to communicate specific school counseling information.

For instance, some school counselors create specific “tool kits” which are a specific collection of resources and information for a variety of purposes. School counselors can easily create digital posting using Google Classroom, Google Sites, or Weebly, which provide access to resources and information that would assist in efforts to promote student success, especially with goal planning and goal attainment.

Technology Used for Data Collection and Analysis

Educational technology programs that contain built-in assessment and data collection features are a great time saving tool for school counselors. Assessments (especially state standardized testing) are available in digital formats making the work of administering and correcting tests easier and more efficient. In addition, assessment results are produced in a short span of time helping school counselors and others gather and analyze student data at a moment’s notice.

Student information systems (SIS) are also an essential digital tool that saves time and energy in the never ending work of a school counselor in gathering, analyzing, and reporting data. Examples of such systems are PowerSchool, Edline, Schoolrunner, and Skyward.

Today, technology tools are a primary resource used by school counselors to support students in fulfilling the functions of defining, managing, delivering and assessing students and student information. And thankfully student accounting systems, school-based learning platforms, and educational technology programs and software have improved in quality and increased in quantity over the years. These digital tools have become standard resources used by school counselors, making it possible to support student growth in the areas of academic, social/emotional and career preparation.

*Updated May 2021
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