So many tools, I must try them all!

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Here we are, the Tech Twins, at NCDA Houston! We had a blast meeting at our presentation, where we met so many other Tech Fans. In addition to sharing our own current favorites, we turned the tables and asked participant to share their favorites. Here they are, busy at work!

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They wrote lists on a google drive document, they wrote them on notecards, and they shared them on our newsprint. Here’s just one page: IMG_3631.jpg

And, true to our word, when we got home, we added them all (86 NEW ITEMS!!!) to our library, including 3 new categories (wilderness therapy, relationship therapy, and multicultural topics).

Here’s a quick reference that might be helpful as you search for new items in our library: https://www.wikihow.com/Search-in-Google-Sheets-on-PC-or-Mac Also – we have our orientation video to the library on this post: https://technologytwins.com/2019/03/22/introducing-our-new-tool-library/.

Here are the slides with our favorites:

Hope you take some time to explore these new tools. I (Deb) recently tried out Genius Scan (recommended by our users) to see if the end product would look better than a simple picture.  I’ll let you be the judge! The one on the right is Genius Scan. I took them both on a table, under the same light. I even brightened the one with the left!

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As an aside, NCDA proposals for 2020 are underway! Come share your knowledge with us!

 

Trying a New Tech Tool -Google Jamboard

I (Deb) teach a technology and counseling course in the summers, and each summer, I try to cover not only what is longstanding technology (telephone counseling, email advising/counseling, video chats, dropbox/google drive), but also to push the envelope in exploring other tools such as apps and also collaborative tools. This past week, I experimented with one of the tools in Google Drive, the “jamboard.”

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This class meeting was face-to-face, but I try to have them use technology regardless. The focus was on how to ethically integrate technology into face-to-face counseling, including what needed to occur prior to that decision, during (when with the client), and after it was introduced. They were divided into 3 groups of about 8 in each group and asked to use the sticky notes (but not talk) to brainstorm options for their group. Here’s an example of the before group:

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Following this, they were told to organize the stickies into similar themes. You can see the “during” group’s attempt at doing this as they started changing the colors to match the theme.

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Finally, they were asked to collapse similar ideas and then prioritize them into steps. This is the “after” group’s attempt to do this:

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Following this, we discussed each stage, and I added to it, and allowed other groups to add to each group’s ideas. Then, we processed the use of the tool, and how it might be used with a client or with other colleagues. We decided that the tool was useful for the first part of brainstorming, where everyone throws ideas up, and it gave everybody the chance to contribute. It became more difficult in the next steps, where the decision had to be made as to who would do the classifying, and who would prioritize the steps. Clearly, 8 people couldn’t do the prioritization, and there was no easy way to foster that decision. Someone would have to step up to be the leader, even if it was with the goal of delegating tasks (you 3 prioritize the green stickies, you 3 prioritize the blue…).

The class thought that this could be a useful resource with a client in a number of ways. If the client was struggling with anxiety or depression, this board could provide a number of creative strategies or reminders (e.g., cognitive reframes) to help them in the moment. By the counselor also adding in a few (hopefully evidence-based) ideas, this could also strengthen the working alliance. The board could also be used to house goals, steps, links to videos or resources, encouragements, and so forth.

As an instructor, I thought it was a useful tool. I hadn’t thought through the mechanics involved in the steps of ordering and prioritizing. I guess I figured they could figure that out – but it proved to be a situation where one person in each group just took over. If I were to do it over again, I’d probably provide some suggestions on how to go about those steps. My goal in not was to provide them with the freedom to explore and create without my being overly prescriptive – but the desired result didn’t occur. Next time, I might have a sticky that outlines next steps, such as providing specific steps that need to occur, enough so each person might have a task, and have each person to put a sticky with their name and task #, from which point they would proceed. All in all, it was a fun experiment. It achieved the goals of building experience with a new technological tool for the students, as well as helping them to think through the steps of integrating technology. I’ll probably keep this one with some minor modifications for next year.

Dysfunctional Career Thinking

How one thinks about themselves, their options, and how they make decisions is an essential component of effective career decision making, as identified by Cognitive Information Processing. When that thinking becomes negative, or even escalates to dysfunctional, it can color the way the one views their strengths, interests, skills, as well as their career options. It can even impact their decision making process. Imagine telling yourself “I never make good decisions” as you are trying to make a career decision- it’s not going to bode well for the process!

Thus, career practitioners must learn how to help clients identify and alter those thoughts that are prohibiting progress in career decision making.

To read more about DCTs, check out this blog entry, written by Tech Twin Deb.

Social Media -Have Things Changed Since Last Year?

According to the Pew Research Center, nope, not by much.

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Can you guess what’s hip with the young’uns (18-24)? If you said Snapchat and Instagram, you are on your game!

Other questions this article answers:

  • How often do adults visit social media sites?
  • Does that differ from frequency of young adults?
  • Who uses P*interest?
  • Does site preference vary by education level?
  • Are there racial/ethnic preferences for social media?

Why is this important? From both a counseling and marketing perspective, knowledge of what SM our clients or potential clients are using regularly is incredibly helpful, in that we can tailor our interventions as well as our advertising and outreach to the mediums that are most often used by the individuals we are seeking to help.

For access to the full article, click here.

Reflections on Dr. John Krumboltz

This week, we heard the sad news of a well-beloved theorist and colleague, Dr. John Krumboltz. I had the pleasure of interviewing him on the phone many years ago. The quality wasn’t the greatest, but as an instructor, I was so thrilled to have John Krumboltz share his theory but also his personality with me, and in turn, my students, and I’m equally as honored to share his thoughts and his voice with our followers.

Here’s a little tidbit on his thoughts about the contribution of Happenstance Theory to the field. In this bite, he talks about the role of mistakes in learning. Finally, I’ll end with his thoughts about what excites his curiosity.

Always an encourager, always willing to take celebrity pictures with students and faculty fans, alike, and always giving of himself. So blessed to have known him. We’d love to hear your stories as well.

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