By Danielle Schultz
It can be challenging to come up with engaging school counseling lessons that draw in students. One way to pique their interest and enhance engagement is to add a technology component to your lessons. Here are three technology tools you can use to enhance your school counseling lessons.
The minute students hear the upbeat background music, they are ready to Kahoot! Kahoot! is a free web-based application school counselors can use to create learning games that assess students’ knowledge. Students can participate in the learning games using a device such as a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. You can set it up so students play one-on-one or on teams.
Creating learning games in Kahoot! is quick and easy. Add your content to existing templates or follow tutorials to learn how to create your own Kahoot! learning game. Want to take it a step further? Professional development materials teach you how to create great Kahoot! games and even become Kahoot! certified.
If you would prefer to use an already made Kahoot!, you can explore learning games created by other users. In my work as a school counselor, I use a Kahoot! learning game that I created at the end of our career lessons about Holland Codes. You can access my Holland Codes Review Kahoot! and use it with your students. Using Kahoot! during my Holland Codes lessons lets me know in real time how much of the class understands the concepts and what areas we need to go over or review.
I encourage you to explore and use this tool as a fun way to engage your students and assess their learning!
Have you ever wished you could make a PowerPoint presentation more engaging? Nearpod helps you do just that. It allows you to add interactive elements to existing lessons or presentations or build an interactive Nearpod from scratch. The website also hosts 7,000+ ready-made lessons you can use. Nearpod even partners with organizations such as Common Sense Media to provide high-quality lessons that are ready to use.
Nearpod allows students to view and interact with the presentation on their device or smartphone. Interactive features include polls, quizzes, open-ended questions, collaborate boards, fill-in-the-blanks, virtual reality field trips, matching games, and a whiteboard feature on which students can draw or write a response. Nearpods can also play a video clip on all student devices or allow you to have a video clip play on only your device for the class to view.
We have used Nearpod this year in creating and implementing lessons for our Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program. The PBIS team creates lessons related to our monthly PBIS theme. Classroom teachers are then able to easily facilitate the lessons in their advisory period. All students receive the same interactive and engaging lesson. The teachers and the PBIS team can view student responses to the interactive components, such as collaborate boards, to assess student learning.
Do you wish you could have students create a quick video? If iMovie seems cumbersome for students to use during a lesson or activity, Clips is your answer. Clips is an Apple app for creating sharable videos. It is extremely easy to use.
Students are drawn to it because it has the feel of a social media app. Clips allows the user to create videos out of pictures, animations, and video recordings. There are lots of features to enhance your video, such as filters, animated stickers, and music. You can use Clips on an iPad or iPhone.
There are many resources available on the Clips app webpage to help school counselors and educators learn how to create Clips and use them in their work. The Apple Teacher site provides access to free Clips training materials. There is also a free digital book created by Apple titled Everyone Can Create Video.
Clips has many different applications in school counseling lessons. Having students create short Clips during a counseling lesson can help you assess their knowledge about a variety of topics. For example, you could lead students in a lesson about bullying and then ask them to make informational videos about what to do if someone is bullied or who students can turn to for help. After facilitating an organizational skills group, school counselors could lead students in creating Clips to share tips they learned in group with their peers. After giving students time to research a career cluster, you could lead students in creating a video to share with their peers about characteristics and jobs in that cluster.
Technology can be an excellent way to add more excitement, engagement, and interaction into your school counseling lessons. All three of these technology tools offer tutorials or additional information to support you in learning how to use the tool. What technology tools do you use to enhance your school counseling lessons?
Danielle Schultz (schcounselor.com) is a middle school counselor in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She enjoys connecting and collaborating with other school counselors and educators. Danielle can be found on Twitter @sch_counselor and Instagram @sch_counselor.
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