Now that I have a different position, I am trying to establish my new normal when it comes to communicating with students and parents. One key difference between my role as a high school counselor and a virtual learning specialist is getting use to not seeing students everyday. Although I still get to talk to students, I am not able to pull them into my office about an issue they may have in the virtual world. So, my position requires me to be creative, flexible, and organized in getting information out to students Well, this is definitely an ambitious goal for me, but I think I may have some new tech tools that can help me this year. So, here are my top ten tech tools for this school year.
My Tech Tools for 2015-16
1. Awesome Screenshot – Since I will not be able to see the majority of students face to face (I have students at four different schools), I may need to answer questions about their course via the computer. One effective way of making sure that I understand their questions is to share our screens with each other.
2. Calendly – This calendar app connects with all your calendars and allows you to tell it when you are available. Use Calendly to assist you in scheduling your parent conferences, meetings, and trainings in under a minute!
3. Doodle – Sometimes I may need to meet with large groups of people and it gets tiresome sending out copious emails. One get way to schedule a meeting is by using Doodle scheduler. Check out how it works by clicking on this link.
4. Dropbox – So let’s say your district has blocked all Google products like Google Docs. What do you do? Well, you can use Dropbox to store and share documents, files, and more with students. By the way, my district has blocked Google (sigh).
5. Emaze – I love creating Power Points and Prezis, but when I found Emaze I was blown away with the number of available templates and how easy it is use! I can create a presentation and share it with my students by using a shared link. Oh, one more thing, you can download a Power Point into Emaze…can you say EMAZING!! Check it out for yourself!
6. Powtoon – Since you only have seven seconds to get someone’s attention, I found simple and creative explanations work the best with students. One way to do this is by creating animations using Powtoon. See the short instructional video below.
7. Remind – In a virtual environment, sometimes it is important to get out a message quick. One way I can do this is by using Remind. Remind allows you to use time stamps and now has a chat option. Check out my post on Remind from last year.
8. Scibblar – Being able to meet with students face to face is important to me in a virtual environment. One way to do this is by creating an online classroom. Scibblar is a free web conferencing service which does not limit the number of meetings, the length of meetings, or the number of students.
9. Vocaroo – For two years, I have been teaching a peer helping blended course. This year, I will not be physically in the same building as my students so I have to creatively think of a way for students to practice their skills. One way to do this is to have the students use Vacaroo so I can hear recordings of their skill practice.
10. Webhuddle – This year I will need the ability to meet with students in real time. Webhuddle is free program that allows one to meet with students online and even share documents!
As I continue in my new role, I will post any new tools that I find to be helpful! Check out other tools and tips below!
Teach thought-50 animation tools
Cool Tools for School
Educators Technology-Best web based audio recording
Educators Technology.Great Screen Capture Web Tools
My Past Posts on Technology
Becoming A Tech Savvy Counselor in 2014
Rockin Tech Tools for School Counselors