Getting Ready for #NCDAHouston!

It’s hard to believe that the 2019 NCDA Global Career Development Conference is happening next week.

If you are planning to attend, please consider joining us for our session, #112 Share and Share Alike: Peer-Recommended Tech Tools that Bridge the Distance in Career Development, on the schedule for Thursday at 3:30pm.

Thanks to Karol Taylor, who sparked the topic idea with her suggestion to have a roundtable where attendees could share their favorite apps, we have a full session of sharing planned. Deb and I will each share our top 10 tools of the past year, we will introduce our growing Tool Library, and we will let you know about a few other helpful technology collections. But, the exciting part of this session will be the resources suggested by all who attend.

If you aren’t able to be at the conference in person:

  • Watch this blog! We’ll share not only our slide presentation, but also the tools we collect during the session, shortly after the conference.
  • You can also follow the conference hashtag, #NCDAHouston, all week.
  • What tools would you recommend? Add your suggestions here in the comments area. 🙂

 

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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.”

jamboard.png

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.

Featured Resource – The Free Mindfulness Project

Welcome to the first in our new series of “Featured Resource” posts! As we continue to build the Tool Library, we thought it would be helpful to introduce you to some of these tools with a little more detail and an invitation for you to provide your feedback. The featured resource this month is The Free Mindfulness Project.

mindfulness

Clinical Psychologist Peter Morgan created this site to share a range of resources from videos and poetry to apps and discussion forums. What can you find on The Free Mindfulness Project? Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Guided Mindfulness Exercises – Whether you are looking for a meditation guide to take you through breathing awareness, imagery, or a body scan you’ll find multiple options here. You’ll also find a range of timed self-guided options available. Try the “5 minutes just bells” download for a quick mindfulness break at your desk. More than 25 files are available for you to download with an open, Creative Commons license (CC: BY-NC-SA).
  • How is my mind right now? – “We are living in an increasingly busy world. Often we are wrapped up in thoughts and feelings, constantly moving from one thing to the next without a moment’s peace.” Sound familiar? This brief page provides the place to begin your mindfulness journey.
  • Discussion Forum – Are you interested in talking to other people about mindfulness? This site provides a link to Everyday-mindfulness.org, an active online community in which you can join conversations and groups to learn more.

While this site’s blog and Twitter account have not been active recently, the resources listed above remain available and relevant.

What do you like about The Free Mindfulness Project? What is your favorite mindfulness tool? We’re looking forward to your feedback. 🙂

P.S. You may not be surprised that I would pick a mindfulness tool first. I have been a fan of the Stop, Breathe & Think app for years now, and continue to be amazed at the growing focus on mindfulness in education. If you are interested in learning more, please take a look at my recent interview with Coach and Counselor Tiffany Guske – Mindful Online Teaching and Learning.

Namaste, my friends. 🙂

Introducing … Our New Tool Library!

Are you looking for ideas or resources to support your career counseling or coaching work? Make your first stop our new online Tool Library.

We’ve categorized a collection of tools into nine primary subject areas: Anxiety, Career, Eating, Elementary, Family, Mindfulness, Recovery, Transitions, and Trauma. Each subject is divided into four tool types: Blogs and Podcasts, Apps, Twitter accounts, and Websites.

This resource is in ongoing development, and we’ll officially launch it at the NCDA Annual Conference in Houston this June. Our session “Share and Share Alike: Peer-Recommended Tech Tools that Bridge the Distance in Career Developmentwill include an overview of the resources as well as our favorite tools of the past year. We’ll also get attendees involved in sharing their recommendations during and after the session.

In the meantime, take some time to review what we’ve built so far. For a guided tour of the Tool Library, click on the image below for a brief screencast:

We welcome your feedback in the comments below.

  • What other types of tools would you want to see us include in the future?
  • How easy (or difficult) is the library to use?

 

 

 

Snap This! A Snapchat Experiment in Teaching Career Development

We had an amazing time at the NCDA Global Conference this year! Thanks to all of the organizers and attendees for the many effective learning and community-building opportunities. And a special thanks to all who joined our session on site! If you were not able to attend the conference, you can catch up on some of the event’s highlights by searching Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for the event hashtag: #NCDAPhoenix.

In this post, we are excited to share our Snapchat presentation. It includes some Snapchat basics, along with a description of how we used Snapchat this past year in our courses – both campus-based (Deb) and online (Melissa). We each shared our goals for integrating social media, some lessons learned, tips for getting started, a list of suggested activities, and additional resources (also provided below).


Additional Resources

Are you using Snapchat with your students? If so, we’d love to hear more about your experience! If you aren’t using Snapchat, but are thinking about it, please add your questions to the comments here, so we can respond and continue the conversation.

Happy snapping. 😉