Snapchat and Irma in Teaching Career Development

Hurricane Irma presented a unique challenge and opportunity last week for this Snapchat experiment. True to my 3x a week commitment, when Friday came, I decided to post this:

Immediately, I got responses back from most of my student followers, of their pets! Once I had heard from them, I decided to send this:

On Monday, I heard from the students that I was the only professor they had heard from during the hurricane. I was reminded how this tool can be used to connect in a caring way with students, and how that connection can make such a difference for them (and for me). I’m also challenged to think about how to balance the academic purpose of the tool (Book quotes are coming up!) and the personal connection. Curious as to how others manage that.

Advertisements

Snapchat Adventures

This week, I (Deb) was toying with the decision to include snapchat into my graduate level career class about a week prior to the first day of class, and then made the decision to go all in on the morning of class. I created a new account so they wouldn’t see any private snaps for friends and family should I become addicted. Per advice from another site, I gave it the class name. I contacted a gen z-er (my daughter) to help me figure out how they might interact with something I post without jeopardizing their privacy . I made a 10 second welcome video, that was very low on the professionalism side, and high on the personal side.

Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 12.14.31 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-08-31 at 12.14.41 PM.png   Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 12.14.51 PM.png

I was still brainstorming how I might use this tool for the class. I decided to beg the class for their help. I was surprised that about ¾ of the class of masters’ and doc students had snapchat. So, I offered it as an option to explore how we might use Snapchat in the class for assignments, to extend the lessons, and for extra credit. I brought my gen z-er with me to class, just in case (always have technical support nearby).

I had loaded my snapcode onto a powerpoint slide and was shocked that it actually worked from the back of the room. Students followed the instructions, saw my “welcome” story” and added to it. I saved the video for future reference of my first snapchat class experience. Teaser: We will share this at the NCDA conference if accepted!  Here’s 2 screen grabs that show my invite (add to “my career”) and a couple of snapbacks:

Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 12.15.01 PM.png         Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 12.15.15 PM.png        Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 12.15.46 PM.png

I gave them options on some assignments, and the challenge that if they could figure out a way to meet the assignment requirements on snapchat, that they could do it. I had my TA sign up as well, and may let him takeover Snapchat one week. My thoughts right now for how I might use it include:

  • daily to 3x a week (we’ll see my energy level) posting something related to the course
    • cartoon, news story related to career development, pet picture with some type of annotation on it, my favorite Parsons’ quote, behind the scenes converting to Canvas, or my TA converting to Canvas, etc.
  • in the days before an assignment is due, start posting a story that they can, in turn, respond to. Since it only lasts for 24 hours, I may have to do this a few times. Or, invite them to send me stuff.
  • Morning of class, post a question for them to ponder or remind them to bring tools (like markers or assessments)
  • After class, post a summary slide, and ask them to add to it.
  • Add a snap portion to the career information safari
  • Snap a picture of the cottingham colloquium

Nervous about this since I really don’t know what I’m doing, but also excited to work with the students to see how this could work. I now have 2 snapchat accounts. If you’d like to follow my personal account, here’s my snap code. 🙂 Let us hear how you are using Snapchat! Will update on the highs and lows as we go through this adventure.deb.JPG

Teaching Cultural Competency in Career Counseling

The topic of cultural competency has been on my mind the past few days. I was talking with a student the other day who happens to be African American. We were discussing, in general, how to create a more inclusive environment for students of color in our program, our career center (for those who work there specifically as grad assistants, but also diverse staff), and how that also might extend to career service delivery. We talked about how the core value of being both culturally aware and inclusive is evident in our values, but not always in our actions. We decided that through talking with current students, that we could identifying what we are doing well, along with some practical ideas of how we could do better. That’s our plan for this semester – will report back later on what we discover.

Fast forward two days, when I am leading supervision for our master’s interns. We were discussing a client from a diverse background, and the topic of whether a career counselor should bring up the topic of culture or wait for the client to do it. We acknowledged the recent events in NC as a potential entry point into that discussion, and discussed our comfort/discomfort with the topic of racial tension and cultural differences in session. I shared how the student I had spoken to earlier had told me how odd it was that not one person (instructor, supervisor, classmate) had brought up recent riots or their potential impact, and how the lack of discussion sent a confusing message: Was it due to insensitivity? lack of awareness? discomfort? This led us, as a group, to decide that a) we needed to examine ourselves and determine which of these were true for us individually;  b) determine to take appropriate actions relative to our answer(s) to those questions – for example, perhaps purposely learning more about all sides of an issue; and c) acknowledge that we, as counselors are trained to introduce and facilitate difficult discussions – and to put this into practice by asking ourselves, our classmates, our instructors, our supervisors, and our clients, about how culture and current events are impacting them personally and professionally. Finally, we discussed some practical questions and ideas for infusing sensitivity (cultural, ability/disability, orientation, etc.) into our career counseling sessions. Some of these include:

  • What identities are important to you? (Give a personal example: For example, my family is very important to me, so the “daughter identity” would be one identity that is important to me.).
  • Help me learn more about you. How has your background, your family, your culture, contributed to where you are now?
  • Where do you think these negative thoughts are coming from (after completing the Career Thoughts Inventory – to see if there is an identifiable core from which messages are coming).
  • What obstacles do you foresee in achieving your goal? What obstacles have you experienced before? What obstacles have you overcome (and how)? What obstacles do you still struggle with?
  • Tell me about the important people in your life, and how they have helped shape your  vision for yourself.
  • Who else have you spoken with about your career concern? Who have you talked with in the past?
  • How do you think your immediate and extended family will feel about your career goals?
  • What haven’t I asked you about that’s important to you as you think about this decision?

In addition, some tools such as the Decision Space Worksheet that ask clients to identify all the factors impacting a career decision are likely to encourage discussion of topics of special interest and impact to a client. What specific questions have you found useful for discussing cultural differences?

New Book: Technology in Mental Health (2016)

First, a disclaimer. One of the tech twins has a chapter in this fantastic new book, so may be a little biased. We’ll let you be the judge.

tech_book

First, this book is the only one that focuses specifically on the topic of technology in mental health. This second edition has 39 chapters written by 52 different authors who represent practitioners, professors, consultants, directors, from various mental health fields. The technologies covered spread the gamut and include telephone counseling, chat, virtual reality, texting and more. The book is divided into two sections: Part 1 focuses on the use of technologies in mental health, while Part 2 focuses on integrating technology into training and supervision of counseling providers. The book is full of practical examples, scenarios, ethical considerations, and plenty of up-to-date references for further reading. In addition, the list of 52 authors represents a host of potential fellow technophiles to connect with and learn from.

The book is available online here and you can receive a 15% discount if you add the code GOSS0716. As an instructor of a technology in counseling course, I’m thrilled to have such a high quality book for my students.

 

What Could’ve Been Done Instead?

Soon fall classes will be starting up again, which leads me to consider how to help students be more creative (within the boundaries of ethical and legal standards) in their approaches to working with clients. After reading an article this morning on divergent thinking, I thought that perhaps I could stimulate their creative thinking as well as their appreciation of and engagement in career counseling by asking the “what could’ve been done instead” question.

  • Identifying career possibilities has often been a function of taking career assessments. What other ways might a career counselor use to help a person identify career options?
  • Decision making approaches and models (CASVE Cycle, Parsons’ emphasis on “true reasoning,” etc.). What are other approaches to decision making? What could have been offered instead?
  • Learning about self. Aside from career assessments and constructivist narrative approaches, how else could individuals learn about themselves?
  • Learning about options. What other options, aside from O*NET and the OOH and search engines, exist to help individuals learn about career options?
  • Developing interviewing skills. We have books, videos on interviewing, and in some cases, provide mock interview opportunities for clients. What else could be done?
  • Teaching career development skills. What other ways besides undergraduate career classes, posted videos, books, and static information on websites, might we teach others about career development skills?
  • Treatment planning. It doesn’t take long for career treatment plans to look the same, relying on the same approaches, assessments, steps, etc. – and there is a great deal of overlap of these tools when working with client after client who needs to make a career decision. Challenging oneself (or students) to think about what other tools or approaches might answer the question keeps the counselor fresh, and also encourages us to see clients as unique and thus deserving of tailored interventions.
  • Pedagogical approaches. (This one is more for me!). When teaching, I often rely on the tried and true – case studies, mini-lectures, quizzes, etc. What could I do instead  of (or in addition to) these approaches?