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In the battle to help students reach their goals, school counselors are on the front line. Their passion, knowledge and support helps students make it to college, and they are often credited by college graduates as one of their main supporters. The skill set that counselors need to maintain, however, is changing, and many are finding that they have to learn new tech skills to continue effectively helping their students. Here are four tech skills every school counselor should master.
1) Social Media
Facebook is the most commonly-used website. With nearly a billion active users, Facebook is one of the top platforms for communication in the developed world. Increasingly, business owners and managers are connecting with potential employees through Facebook. Students who have a page to point to are more likely to be noticed than those who do not. Guidance counselors can help students create their Facebook profile. Further, many students do not understand the importance of having an appropriate social media presence and are likely to share information or make comments that may lead potential employers to choose another candidate.
2) Office Documents
Students and employees are expected to be able to use basic office and document software. To get a job or to get accepted into college, students need to be able to demonstrate basic proficiency with these software packages. Guidance counselors can help students create necessary essays and resumes. By putting forth extra effort and fully mastering these platforms, counselors can help their students gain an advantage over others. Additionally, students can use these programs to create their own creative works or business documents.
One of the best ways for students to impress potential employers is to run an informative blog. These blogs are great for a number of reasons; students who run them will learn about particular subjects and become much more proficient writers. Further, blogs will help students learn how to perform online research effectively. A blog can make a great impression on employers, and students will learn about commitment. Blogs are easy to set up, and a few small tweaks can improve their appearance. Guidance counselors who can help students start and maintain blogs can give them a tremendous advantage after high school has ended.
4) Smart Phones
Smart phones and other mobile devices are becoming embedded in the lives both students and professionals. Many students will have smart phones they take to school with them. These devices provide access to tens of thousands of potentially useful apps that students may be able to use to help them perform better in high school, college on the job. Guidance counselors who know how to best utilize these devices can help students better their future with devices that they love to play with. Additionally, guidance counselors can help poorer students find used smart phones to help them connect with the rest of the world as easily as their peers with more resources.
Guidance counselors can be a student’s best ally. The support system and advice they provide can make the difference between a student succeeding and a student struggling. There are, however, ways guidance counselors can go above and beyond what most do. By keeping up with new tech trends and ways technology can help students, guidance counselors can be even more effective.
Beth Frost is a high school guidance counselor and guest author at Best Master’s in Counseling, a site with resources and information on top-ranked masters in counseling degree programs.