Using technology to promote your guidance and counseling program among stake holders.
Both qualitative and quantitative research Quantitative research
Use of advanced econometric and mathematical valuation models to identify the firms with the best possible prospectives. Antithesis of qualitative research. in the past decade has steadily revealed a lack of fundamental understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the school counselor A school counselor is a counselor and educator who works in schools, and have historically been referred to as "guidance counselors" or "educational counselors," although "Professional School Counselor" is now the preferred term. with other professionals within both the mental health and education fields (e.g., see Ballard & Murgatroyd, 1999; Burnham, & Jackson, 2000; Carter, 1993; Hoyt & Wickwire, 2001; Struder & Alton, 1996). The visibility of a comprehensive school counseling program may give other professionals a clearer conceptualization con·cep·tu·al·ize
v. con·cep·tu·al·ized, con·cep·tu·al·iz·ing, con·cep·tu·al·iz·es
To form a concept or concepts of, and especially to interpret in a conceptual way: of the goals and objectives of a counseling program within the school environment. Ultimately, this may allow other professionals greater opportunity to collaborate and offer appropriate assistance and resources to ensure effective implementation of the overall guidance and counseling guidance and counseling, concept that institutions, especially schools, should promote the efficient and happy lives of individuals by helping them adjust to social realities. program mission. Promoting one's comprehensive guidance and counseling program is one way to effectively develop, implement, evaluate, and justify all aspects of a comprehensive guidance and counseling program. Indeed, "A guidance program can be enhanced only by informing the public about the indispensable counseling program and its integration into the educational process" (Struder & Alton, p. 6). According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Keys and Lockhart (1999), gaining the support of stake holders for implementing comprehensive guidance and counseling programs may be considered crucial as research indicates multisystematic change must include all parties (parents, teachers, administrators, and communities). Through disseminating dis·sem·i·nate
v. dis·sem·i·nat·ed, dis·sem·i·nat·ing, dis·sem·i·nates
1. To scatter widely, as in sowing seed.
2. timely information, school counselors can advance understanding and confidence among many important others. For instance, they can:
1. Encourage administrators to support their work, especially when faced with competing, noncounseling related tasks (e.g., bus duty, substitute teaching, and handing out punishment as part of discipline)
2. Foster understanding and respect for how school counseling endeavors to advance students' personal, social, career, and academic competencies
3. Help parents and teachers learn how to appropriately refer children for developmental and other counseling-related issues
4. Network and collaborate with other school counselors, locally, nationally, or internationally
5. Interface with both business and industry for promoting school-to-career and other guidance and counseling related initiatives
6. Help to inform student counselors about practical, realistic, and innovative efforts for implementing a comprehensive developmental program. School districts and counselor educators may find that collaborating can serve as a "two-fold" purpose for both parties. Learning about the details of a comprehensive developmental guidance and counseling program can orientate or·i·en·tate
To orient. future school counselors in training to the specific roles of school counselors and programs that are being implemented within local school systems. Also, as school counselors and counselor educators work together, a shared pool of expertise and experiences can advance specific student competencies which a guidance program endeavors to address and the means by which such competencies will be demonstrated and measured
7.Assist professionals in related fields such as school psychologists, social workers, mental heath therapists, family therapists, and expressive therapists to better learn how they may effectively collaborate and complement the work of a school counselor within a comprehensive guidance and counseling program
8.As suggested by Myrick (1997), communicate guidance and counseling activities as they are implemented as one form of an evaluative tool for administrators and other counselors to provide feedback. This way, any necessary modifications may be met for the present program/procedures
The public school system in particular has been challenged in the last two decades on a nationwide level with a diverse number of societal so·ci·e·tal
Of or relating to the structure, organization, or functioning of society.
Adj. issues/problems which require specific educational, career, and socio-emotional interventions. In the past 25 years, school guidance and counseling programs have increasingly come to serve as an integral part of the school's total education program, primarily being designed to aid students in developing their various strengths as well as to become responsible and productive citizens (ASCA ASCA American School Counselor Association
ASCA Australian Shepherd Club of America
ASCA Arab Society of Certified Accountants
ASCA American Swimming Coaches Association
ASCA American Society of Consulting Arborists
ASCA Association of State Correctional Administrators Member Resource Guide, 1990). How can important members of the education community advance their understanding of guidance and counseling so that they may better do their part in fostering important partnerships for conducting the work of facilitating student success? How can school counselors actively develop and sustain public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most to garnish garnish v. to obtain a court order directing a party holding funds (such as a bank) or about to pay wages (such as an employer) to an alleged debtor to set that money aside until the court determines (decides) how much the debtor owes to the creditor. support for their work in an effective and efficient manner?
Inflated student-to-counselor ratios, limited levels of available time, and prohibitive pro·hib·i·tive also pro·hib·i·to·ry
1. Prohibiting; forbidding: took prohibitive measures.
2. budgets can make the important job of public relations a frustrating frus·trate
tr.v. frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing, frus·trates
a. To prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; thwart: challenge. Traditionally, counselors have had to meet with others or otherwise go to relatively great lengths to reach audiences in different parts of the school, community, or even profession. With today's technologies, this is no longer necessary. Instead of limiting the message to an audience with whom the counselor is present such as during a conference or meeting, technology can assist in communicating a message which can be received at the convenience of the target audience without the barriers of space, place, or time. Knowledge of the finer functions of various software can help the school counselor collaborate on presentations and show them to remote audiences without leaving their offices or schools. The key to making this happen lies within the seamless integration An addition of a new application, routine or device that works smoothly with the existing system. It implies that the new feature or program can be installed and used without problems. Contrast with "transparent," which implies that there is no discernible change after installation. of multiple software programs and the far reaching power of the Internet. In essence, technology can carry the message throughout a vast terrain as if it were a "baton being carried over a stretch of many miles using many runners." Once making an initial investment of time and work, various technology applications can make your efforts work for you. The remainder of this article demonstrates how a multimedia presentation (MMP MMP Matrix Metalloproteinase (enzymes related to tissue healing/remodeling and cancer cell metastasis)
MMP Mixed Member Proportional (New Zealand electoral system)
MMP Multi-man Publishing ) can be automatically and efficiently converted and distributed using media such as (a) disk; (b) print; (c) video; (d) electronic mail; (e) the World Wide Web; and (f) other computers over an intranet (see Figure 1).
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
THE MULTIMEDIA PRESENTATION
One popular technology tool for persuasive communication is the multimedia presentation. A MMP is created by a computer program and incorporates a series of projected images called slides. Slides may incorporate animated text, graphics, pictures, audio and video clips A short video presentation. , graphs, tables--and any other electronic representations--in an integrated series (Sabella, 1998). Microsoft Corporation's PowerPoint[R] is a computer program that has become widely used throughout business, government, and schools for communicating a sundry sun·dry
Various; miscellaneous: a purse containing keys, wallet, and sundry items.
[Middle English sundri, from Old English syndrig, separate. of topics among a wide variety of audiences. One feature of the program which probably makes the software a popular choice is its presentation "wizard." The wizard is a utility within the software that assists the user, in a step-by-step fashion, to perform a particular task. For example, the layout wizard allows the user to pick, from a graphical menu, various aspects of layout and design elements which are then automatically processed by the wizard. Other features of PowerPoint which make it popular (and relatively simple to use) include:
* An AutoFormat function which automatically recognizes and maintains a presentation's layout. Similarly, the AutoFit Text feature automatically resizes text to fit into a placeholder place·hold·er
1. One who holds an office or place, especially:
a. One who acts as a deputy or proxy.
b. One who holds an appointed office in a government.
2. so that it doesn't "fall off" the slide. This means that counselors don't have to spend time trying to make the text fit on a slide, it happens automatically.
* Automated and customized number and bullet outlining.
* Use of table drawing tools to quickly insert a table of any size. Then, a counselor may add a border, change the fill color, or customize a single cell--just as you might do in a word processor or spreadsheet application.
* Its ability to include spreadsheet data and graphical charts. Charts can be "linked" to a separate data file and automatically updated when the external data changes.
* A host of topic-related templates which provides a uniform look throughout a presentation.
* A free and readily available PowerPoint viewer (available at www.microsoft.com/office/000/viewers.htm) so that individuals who do not own the PowerPoint program can still view the presentation.
* Note pages with each slide which are automatically created in a separate frame for easy viewing. Speaker notes may be used for reference or for collaborating with others.
* The ability to record a narration which can be played back in a synchronized syn·chro·nize
v. syn·chro·nized, syn·chro·niz·ing, syn·chro·niz·es
1. To occur at the same time; be simultaneous.
2. To operate in unison.
1. manner with the original presentation and which includes all slide transitions and animations.
* An AutoShapes (e.g., arrows, starts, and callouts) feature for use in creating diagrams, flowcharts, or other conceptual diagram banners and layouts.
* Automated conversions to various formats for easy access from different platforms (e.g., World Wide Web; self-running presentation; and word processing word processing, use of a computer program or a dedicated hardware and software package to write, edit, format, and print a document. Text is most commonly entered using a keyboard similar to a typewriter's, although handwritten input (see pen-based computer) and document).
Transfer to Disk
A standard floppy disk can store up to 1.44 megabytes of data which can accommodate a modest MMP, one without many graphics or sound files. For presentations which are rich in graphic, sound, and perhaps video, other storage devices may be needed such as a ZipDisk or a compact disk recorder (CD-R (CD-Recordable) A writable CD technology using a type of compact disc that can be recorded, but not erased (CD-Rs are "write once" discs). CD-R discs are used to master CD-ROMs, to back up data and to make copies of data for distribution. ), which can hold approximately 120 and 700 megabytes of data, respectively. Many educational institutions maintain at least one computer connected or "attached" to the school's network that is capable of writing to a ZipDisk or CD-R. In this case, a counselor can save a presentation from any computer which has access to the school's network (from within the school or from a remote location such as home) to a shared location accessible from any computer on the network. Then, the counselor needs only to access the file over the network using the computer with the CD-Recorder to then save it to a CD-ROM CD-ROM: see compact disc.
in full compact disc read-only memory
Type of computer storage medium that is read optically (e.g., by a laser). (also known as burning a CD). Once a presentation is saved to either a floppy or compact disk, it can be given or mailed to others within a district, at meetings, or other functions where stake holders congregate con·gre·gate
tr. & intr.v. con·gre·gat·ed, con·gre·gat·ing, con·gre·gates
To bring or come together in a group, crowd, or assembly. See Synonyms at gather.
1. Gathered; assembled.
Transfer to Print (Newsletter and Report)
Counselors may find the need to present to a specific audience a newsletter or paper report with the same information about their school counseling programs that was presented in a MMP. Rather than starting over and inputting the same information into a word processor or desktop publisher, the counselor needs only to allow the PowerPoint program to complete this task automatically. While PowerPoint is still open, click on the [File] button on the menu, then [Send To], and finally [Microsoft Word A full-featured word processing program for Windows and the Macintosh from Microsoft. Included in the Microsoft application suite, it is a sophisticated program with rudimentary desktop publishing capabilities that has become the most widely used word processing application on the market. ] (see Figure 2). The subsequent menu then allows the counselor to indicate the format in which the transfer takes place, specifically where the slides and slide notes are placed. After opening the resulting word processing file, the counselor may make some final adjustments or edits such as inserting headers, footers, a title page, or perhaps some extra information not included in the MMP. Depending on the speed of the computer, the process should require only 1 to 5 minutes for the entire conversion. Once transferred to print, the counselor may then disseminate dis·sem·i·nate
v. dis·sem·i·nat·ed, dis·sem·i·nat·ing, dis·sem·i·nates
1. To scatter widely, as in sowing seed.
2. the new file via disk or email attachment See e-mail attachment. .
[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]
Transfer to Video
How might you reach a population that may not have easy access to computers? Or, how could you present a MMP to an entire student body in attendance at your school or to their parents at a special event? To do this, you may need to transfer your MMP to video format and either make it available in public places such as the library, send it home with students for home viewing, play it over the school's television network, or have it shown through the local community cable access channel. Although many families still may not own a computer, the percentage of households with more than one television set has reached an all-time high (87%); and children are more likely to have a television set in their room today than ever before (48.2%). Further, nearly half of all homes with children have access to at least one television, a video cassette recorder video cassette recorder
a device for recording and playing back television programmes and films
video cassette recorder video n → Videorekorder m
(VCR VCR: see videocassette recorder.
in full videocassette recorder
Electromechanical device that records, stores on a videotape cassette, and plays back on a TV set recorded images and sound. ), home video game equipment, and a personal computer (46.3%; Stanger & Gridina, 1999).
To transfer a MMP to video, you need to connect the computer to a VCR. Then, if you choose, you can connect the VCR to a television to view what you are recording. Anything displayed by the computer will be recorded on VCR tape while the VCR machine is in record mode. Ideally, the counselor would create a narrated, self-running presentation (i.e., a presentation that automatically advances slide elements and slides transitions allowing a viewer to watch a presentation from beginning to end without any assistance) which would then be viewed on VCR tape. The only special consideration for this procedure is that your computer have an output connection capable of converting the computer's digital signal to analog, one that can be handled by a VCR and television. The National Television Standards Committee (electronics) National Television Standards Committee - (NTSC) The body defining the television video signal format used in the USA. The UK equivalent is PAL.
Also, humorously, "Never Twice the Same Colour". (NTSC (National TV Standards Committee) The committee that developed the television standards for the U.S, which are also used in Canada, Japan, South Korea and several Central and South American countries. Both the committee and the standard are called "NTSC. ) standard for television is incompatible with most computer video standards, which generally use red, green, blue (RGB (Red Green Blue) The computer's native color space, which is the color system for capturing and displaying images. RGB was derived from our own perception of color because human eyes are sensitive to red, green and blue (see trichromaticity). ) video signals. However, you can insert or attach special video adapters See video capture board, video graphics board and display adapter.
video adapter - graphics adaptor to your computer that convert NTSC signals into computer video signals and vice versa VICE VERSA. On the contrary; on opposite sides. .
Some newer computers have included hardware designed to provide video outputs although many still do not. One way to make the transfer in the absence of a video output is to connect your computer to a projector that includes outputs which can be connected to a VCR. In this case, the computer projector is the converter (1) A device that changes one set of codes, modes, sequences or frequencies to a different set. See A/D converter.
(2) A device that changes current from 60Hz to 50Hz and vice versa. and also the monitor. However, counselors may want to consider purchasing and installing the computer hardware, a PC Video card (installed on the inside of the computer) or a Video Bus (an external device connected outside of the computer. For example, see www.ati.com, www.cdw.com, or www.belkin.com/videobus2), which easily allows for this kind of transfer. At one time, such hardware were cost prohibitive although many are now under $100. Typically included with the device is video editing software Video editing software is application software which handles the editing of video sequences on a computer. It usually includes the ability to import and export video, cut and paste sections of a video clip, and add special effects and transitions; and it sometimes includes the for adding text and special transition effects to your resulting video.
Transfer to the World Wide Web
The importance of placing your MMP on the World Wide Web lies in making your message easily accessible to both a regional and global audience. Community members, business, industry, parents, and others outside of the school environment can more conveniently and readily learn about your guidance and counseling program. A presentation that is easily accessed and which contains rich, meaningful, and useful information can positively contribute to the profession's credibility while lending support to its members. Similarly, counselors may elect to use the power of this technology for providing consultation to other stake holders in the form of online training and development. Counselors who make available to parents and others MMPs about best practices in areas such as communication, studying, career development, or other academic, personal, and social endeavors stand to provide timely and much needed assistance while also promoting their own program.
PowerPoint makes it relatively easy to save one's presentation to the World Wide Web. The program first requires that you save the document as an HTML HTML
in full HyperText Markup Language
Markup language derived from SGML that is used to prepare hypertext documents. Relatively easy for nonprogrammers to master, HTML is the language used for documents on the World Wide Web. (hypertext markup language (hypertext, World-Wide Web, standard) Hypertext Markup Language - (HTML) A hypertext document format used on the World-Wide Web. HTML is built on top of SGML. "Tags" are embedded in the text. A tag consists of a "<", a "directive" (in lower case), zero or more parameters and a ">". ) document by clicking on [File] and then [Save as a Web page]. The resulting menu (see Figure 3) allows the counselor to choose (a) the destination folder In a graphical user interface (GUI), a simulated file folder that holds data, applications and other folders. Folders were introduced on the Xerox Star, then popularized on the Macintosh and later adapted to Windows and Unix. In Unix and Linux, as well as DOS and Windows 3. for the files generated by the program; (b) the title of the presentation which will later become the title of the Web page; and (c) the name of the file which becomes the name of the file that users will point to in their Web browsers The following is a list of web browsers. Historical
Historically important browsers
In order of release:
[FIGURE 3 OMITTED]
Making a MMP accessible over the Web requires the presentation files be stored on a Web server (i.e., a computer that delivers or "serves up" Web pages). Some school networks include a folder that is set up to be a Web server which allows its contents to be accessed via the Web. In this case, choosing this folder as the destination is all that is needed. Otherwise, an extra step is needed to move the files to a Web server to which the counselor has access (i.e., you know the access identification and password). Once an accessible Web server is located, the easiest way to transfer the files requires that the counselor use the Microsoft Windows See Windows.
(operating system) Microsoft Windows - Microsoft's proprietary window system and user interface software released in 1985 to run on top of MS-DOS. Widely criticised for being too slow (hence "Windoze", "Microsloth Windows") on the machines available then. 95 or higher operating system operating system (OS)
Software that controls the operation of a computer, directs the input and output of data, keeps track of files, and controls the processing of computer programs. . When converting from PowerPoint to HTML, choose the [Web Folders] icon on the left side of the menu (see Figure 3) and then click on the icon shortcut (1) In Windows, a shortcut is an icon that points to a program or data file. Shortcuts can be placed on the desktop or stored in other folders, and double clicking a shortcut is the same as double clicking the original file. for the appropriate Web server. If none have been established, click on the [Add Web Folder] icon and follow the directions to establish a "shortcut" to the Web server. To add extra files to the Web server without having to open PowerPoint, click on the [Network Neighborhood The source of network information in Windows 95/98/NT4. See Win Network Neighborhood. ] icon located on the desktop, then on the folder associated to a specific Web server. Finally, copy the files from your computer to the server the same as you would copy files from one folder to another on your computer. For those that do not use the Windows operating system, you will need to use a File Transfer Protocol A communications protocol used to transmit files without loss of data. A file transfer protocol can handle all types of files including binary files and ASCII text files. See Kermit, Zmodem and FTP. (FTP FTP
in full file transfer protocol
Internet protocol that allows a computer to send files to or receive files from another computer. Like many Internet resources, FTP works by means of a client-server architecture; the user runs client software to connect to ) program which allows for the transfer of files from one computer to another over a remote connection. One of the easiest to use and available for free is CoffeeCup Free FTP. (Go to www.hotfiles.com and put the name of the program in the search field to locate and download this program.) When opened, CoffeeCup Free FTP presents a split screen. You can call up a list of files on your computer on one side and the contents of the Web server on the other side. Moving the files is as simple as dragging them from one side to the other. Once complete, your files are accessible via the World Wide Web.
Transfer to Electronic Mail (email)
Presentations can be delivered to interested and important others via email attachment, especially when using distribution lists or mailing list An automated e-mail system on the Internet, which is maintained by subject matter. There are thousands of such lists that reach millions of individuals and businesses. New users generally subscribe by sending an e-mail with the word "subscribe" in it and subsequently receive all new servers (e.g., listserv) capabilities. Sabella (1999) described listservs as the following:
When you sign up for a magazine subscription, your personal information is placed into a database. When it's time for the magazine to be published and mailed, you automatically receive a copy. Listservs are kind of like that except that they are usually free and you contribute to their publication. Specifically, you decide which lists to subscribe to depending on your area of interest. Once you subscribe to a list, you will receive any messages that list members send to the group. Other members receive messages you send to the group. So, listservs are a high-tech electronic discussion group. (p. 11)
To send a MMP via email, one must address an email to an individual or group of recipients and "attach" the file to the email, hence, an email attachment. Most email programs See e-mail program. make this procedure as simple as clicking on an icon called "attachment," often times represented by an icon of a paper clip. After clicking on the attachment icon, a menu appears which allows the sender to browse and find the file on his or her computer. Simply choose the file you wish to attach before sending the email. In the text part of the email, the user may write a description, introduction, or anything else about the file. The recipient of the email receives both the text and the file usually designated as an icon within the email. As a cautionary note, before opening an attachment, the recipient is wise to scan the attachment using an anti-virus program lest lest
For fear that: tiptoed lest the guard should hear her; anxious lest he become ill.
[Middle English, from Old English they open a virus that was either intentionally in·ten·tion·al
1. Done deliberately; intended: an intentional slight. See Synonyms at voluntary.
2. Having to do with intention. or innocently sent by someone. Once receiving a MMP via email attachment, the recipient can decide to open, view, save, print, or forward it to others.
Transfer to the Local Area Network (LAN (Local Area Network) A communications network that serves users within a confined geographical area. The "clients" are the user's workstations typically running Windows, although Mac and Linux clients are also used. ) or Intranet
Virtually all schools maintain internal networks that makes sharing a PowerPoint file a matter of two simple steps. First, a counselor needs to copy his or her file to a shared folder which is accessible to all in the school. Then, he or she need only send an email to the entire group via the network's distribution system announcing the availability and location of the file. To make accessing the file most convenient, a counselor can include as part of the email the file's location in the form of a link. When others click on the link within the email, the presentation is automatically located and launched. The same procedure is possible for sharing a presentation throughout a district if the district's network is set up for this level of file sharing Copying files from one computer to another. See peer-to-peer network, file sharing protocol and file and printer sharing. . The advantage of disseminating your presentation to local colleagues in this manner as compared to sending it via email attachment is that it reduces the "traffic" within email communication systems and prevents storage devices from becoming "bogged down" with multiple copies of a file. The disadvantage is one of convenience. Recipients may need several extra steps to access the file and several more to save their own copy of the presentation for personal use or distribution.
A NOTE ABOUT FORMAT
When transferring your MMP to disk or disseminating to others, you will have to decide in which format the file will be saved. If it is saved in a standard PowerPoint format, the recipient of the file will need the PowerPoint program to manipulate the MMP. However, if your intent is only to allow your recipient to view the MMP, PowerPoint allows you to save your work in what is known as a PowerPoint Show format. This format allows the user to click on the file once accessing it on disk and view the show as it was intended to be seen, including all custom animation, without owning the PowerPoint software. However, the Show format makes it relatively difficult to edit the file (which may be an advantage in regard to the integrity of the MMP). To save a show in this format, click on [File], then [Save As] and choose [PowerPoint Show] under' "Save as type." Alternatively, a recipient can view a regular PowerPoint file by downloading and installing a free PowerPoint viewer program as previously mentioned.
ADVANTAGES OF USING TECHNOLOGY TO PROMOTE A SCHOOL COUNSELING PROGRAM
Effective comprehensive school counseling programs require a diversity of stake holders, which includes students, principals, teachers, staff, parents, and the community. Advancing knowledge and understanding among all the stake holders can be a daunting daunt
tr.v. daunt·ed, daunt·ing, daunts
To abate the courage of; discourage. See Synonyms at dismay.
[Middle English daunten, from Old French danter, from Latin task. A method which is highly expedient ex·pe·di·ent
1. Appropriate to a purpose.
a. Serving to promote one's interest: was merciful only when mercy was expedient.
b. and yet effective is needed. Technology can provide the tools necessary for effectively and efficiently proliferating Proliferating is the multiplication of a certain thing. Often it is used as a biological term to describe the increase of cells due to cell division.
Look under proliferate or proliferation for more details. a message about one's school guidance and counseling program among many with varied interests. Using software such as PowerPoint over different media can:
* For the most part, be instantaneously in·stan·ta·ne·ous
1. Occurring or completed without perceptible delay: Relief was instantaneous.
2. updated and received by all stake holders
* Be quite cost effective, especially as compared to the financial and human resource cost of live presentations
* Be more easily and repeatedly accessed from virtually anywhere, anytime
* Include a message that is rich with sound, animation, clip art A set of canned images used to illustrate word processing and desktop publishing documents. , photos, graphs, and data
* Be easily tailored to each specific audience
* Be copied and altered by others for more efficient collaboration
* Facilitate the sharing of information thus reducing repetition
* Communicate to others that you are knowledgeable and capable of using desirable technology skills which can respectably be modeled for the students you serve. In this case, the medium is the message.
Perhaps the most important use of electronic tools for promoting one's program is the ability to shift time and location. No longer are counselors required to be present for collaborating and communicating with others. A multimedia presentation can be stored on various media to accommodate a wide variety of recipient needs. Using the Internet to send a presentation allows counselors to literally cultivate cul·ti·vate
tr.v. cul·ti·vat·ed, cul·ti·vat·ing, cul·ti·vates
a. To improve and prepare (land), as by plowing or fertilizing, for raising crops; till.
b. the message across a global audience within a matter of seconds. Once a presentation arrives, target audience members can access and view the presentation at their own convenience and at their own pace. Because software such as PowerPoint allows the counselor to easily include narration and timed slide transitions, an audience member can learn from a presentation exactly what was intended to be communicated as if the counselor were present. And, if the recipient chooses, he or she may study the information as frequently as desired, pass along the information to others, or respond to the presenter for further inquiry or feedback.
DISADVANTAGES OF USING TECHNOLOGY TO PROMOTE A SCHOOL COUNSELING PROGRAM
The most apparent disadvantage of using technology are the limits imposed by a counselor's own technological proficiency pro·fi·cien·cy
n. pl. pro·fi·cien·cies
The state or quality of being proficient; competence.
Noun 1. proficiency - the quality of having great facility and competence . Learning how to use programs such as PowerPoint is a critical component of the school counselor's professional development. For better or worse, computers are changing the ways in which we conduct our work, interact, and especially make decisions. Counseling professionals must adapt to new ways of interfacing with machines and the people that use them in a way that promotes the goals and objectives of their work. No aspect of society or economy can function effectively and compete without such tools. Information and networking technologies are now essential tools for manipulating ideas and images and for communicating effectively with others--an important component of the counselor's job (Sabella & Tyler, 2001).
According to Casey (1995), technologically literate counselors can actively contribute to school reform and achieve desirable outcomes, thereby retaining a prominent role for guidance and counseling programs. Continuing education continuing education: see adult education.
or adult education
Any form of learning provided for adults. In the U.S. the University of Wisconsin was the first academic institution to offer such programs (1904). , in general, is usually a low priority amidst many competing demands for the school counselor's time. Even when continuing education is offered, many counselors choose more familiar topics, much to the dismay of technology-minded administrators. Technologically literate counselors usually seek continuing education from sources outside of traditional counseling conferences and periodicals. Perhaps one of the most powerful features of PowerPoint that a counselor can first use is the Help menu and the program's Introduction. The Help menu is a comprehensive, easy to understand, and logical explanation of the program's features in a question and answer format (see Figure 4 for an example of a help menu screen). Similarly, the PowerPoint Introduction provides a self-paced introduction that simply and easily explains essential concepts to new and infrequent in·fre·quent
1. Not occurring regularly; occasional or rare: an infrequent guest.
2. users, helping them become more effective and produce more quickly. Finally, school counselors can gain technological competencies important to them in their work by collaborating with counseling supervisors and technology specialists to provide practical training and technical support.
Another disadvantage includes issues of access. Although cost for software, hardware, and Internet access See how to access the Internet. is at an all time low, it is still prohibitive for some counselors and their schools. The good news, however, is that, even if a school does not have the needed equipment, nearby libraries, other schools, and universities are likely to have both the equipment and staff to support you in their use. A final disadvantage is that all machines inevitably fail or become corrupt, often times without ample notice or warning. Counselors should periodically and consistently back-up their work when this event occurs.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
School counseling programs need to be an integral part of a school's mission for helping all students to achieve academic, personal, social, and career success. This requires that school counselors facilitate greater levels of collaboration and communication with all stake holders. Changing systems in contrast to traditional attempts of changing individuals is becoming the trend or shift in order to effectively address the educational needs of our nation's students. Together with the need for accountability, we suggest that effective and efficient uses of technology among school counseling professionals is necessary for making guidance and counseling programs more comprehensive and an integral part of our schools.
Counselors need to be smart consumers of electronic hardware and software and especially make wise decisions about how they are used. According to Sabella and Tyler (2001), counselors must remember that the purpose of incorporating electronic tools into their work is not to create new tasks. Rather, when effectively used, these technologies should help the well-prepared school counselor complete his or her work more effectively by reaching larger numbers, targeting interventions, and focusing energy where it is most required. When evaluating the viability of a specific technology, counselors must ask themselves whether they will receive an acceptable level of return on their investment. That is, will an investment of money to purchase, maintain, and upgrade a certain technology, plus the time to adequately gain necessary skills for using it, assist the counselor in doing his or her job more effectively, efficiently, and/or more enjoyfully?
This article endeavors to help counselors promote their work by helping many important stake holders understand and support guidance and counseling in an effective and efficient manner. The same tools and procedures can be used in other areas. For instance, using MMP's, counselors can also:
1. Enhance multicultural mul·ti·cul·tur·al
1. Of, relating to, or including several cultures.
2. Of or relating to a social or educational theory that encourages interest in many cultures within a society rather than in only a mainstream culture. competencies by sharing rich MMPs with others around the world. For example, D'Andrea (1995) wrote about several activities which include music, art, food, and photos that can foster both multicultural appreciation and technological literacy Technological literacy is the ability to understand and evaluate technology. It complements technological competency, which is the ability to create, repair, or operate specific technologies, commonly computers. among elementary school elementary school: see school. students.
2. Scan in the work of students, such as art projects, and share with other faculty, parents, etc. by creating a MMP and moving it to the World Wide Web.
3. Conduct a large group guidance for all students at the same time. After a MMP is created, it can be transferred to video and then shown on the school's television network. For classes that have computers, the counselor can use the Internet to conduct a live chat about the topic. For classes that do not have a computer, the counselor can follow up that day and conduct live discussions.
4. Provide Teachers-as-Advisors with a MMP to use with students thus insuring that they are presenting consistent and accurate information to students.
5. Provide peer helpers (e.g., peer mediators) MMPs for learning relevant helping skills and attitudes as part of a homework assignment.
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Russell A. Sabella, Ph.D., is an associate professor, Counseling Program, College of Education, Florida Gulf Coast University About FGCU
The newest university in the State University System of Florida, the school was established by then-governor Lawton Chiles in 1991, although the site of the university wasn't chosen until 1992, and construction pushed back even further still (until , Ft. Myers, FL. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beverly L. Booker is a school counselor at Heritage High School, Newport News Newport News, independent city (1990 pop. 170,045), SE Va., on the Virginia peninsula, at the mouth of the James River, off Hampton Roads, near Norfolk; inc. 1896. , VA and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology Counseling psychology as a psychological specialty facilitates personal and interpersonal functioning across the life span with a focus on emotional, social, vocational, educational, health-related, developmental, and organizational concerns. , University of Louisville See also
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