When the pandemic hit, educators across the country were truly pushed to think outside the box to stay connected to students, coworkers and families. It was during this time that Dyann had to get eager to be uncomfortable. Getting uncomfortable pushed her into unfamiliar spaces and encouraged her to grow as a school counselor who was beginning to embrace meaningful technology integration. Because of this journey and the support of her twin sister, Amy, an idea blossomed. We decided to join forces as the #techCAREtwins to support and work alongside as many school counselors as possible to share how impactful technology could be when integrated into a school counseling program. We also recognize how precious time is to everyone. In this article, we offer many links to templates that we have created to help you get started.
When Dyann first discovered how she could leverage technology in her role as a school counselor to support others and work more effectively, she was eager to learn what else was out there and found several tools to add to her tech toolbox. Here, we explore our favorites.
You CAN with Canva
Canva for Education is a free design tool that allows educators and students to create, collaborate and communicate with ready-made templates or original creations. The possibilities are endless – you can create visually appealing presentations, videos, infographics and more. But what truly makes this tool special is how user-friendly it is. We promise that as soon as you start to use it, you will be searching for ways to use it more! The first template below is based on Amy’s original idea of #Copier PD, bite-size professional development to hang next to copy machines each month. Here are a few of our favorite Canva templates:
Wakelet is a curation tool – also free – that supports educators in gathering, organizing and sharing various resources with others. We use Wakelet for just about everything. Some of our favorite ways to use it are to create newsletters, school counselor lessons and “Meet Your Counselor.” Check out this helpful video to learn more. We would love to see what you come up with!
This has quickly become one of Dyann’s favorite things to create for her community. The creation part of Digital Calming Rooms is a way for her to hold space for others. This creation also generated some new ideas, including Reflection Rooms, so we can hold space for ourselves in times of need. For her, the why was simple. Our students, parents, and community members needed a way to ground themselves in the present moment, to help them find what was relevant and significant to their lives. By plugging in our emotions to other outlets, such as art or music, we see how this tool can support healing. Reflection Rooms were born, a tool that lets students and adult learners create their own calming space with things that are meaningful to them.
Our emotions are sometimes misunderstood. If you provide this tool for all students, staff and families to use in times of need, can you imagine the healing that would take place on your campus?