OCLMOOC Week 1: School Counsellors joining in and you can too

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Check out attribution in Haiku Deck here

If you have been thinking about joining in #oclmooc, but have been a little hesitant then you need to read Paul Signorelli ‘s post on our first session with Dave Cormier, I am positive it will peak your interest. It is fabulous . You can find it here. I love that Massive does not neccessarily mean big. It means “Massive Potential”. I would add that Mooc’s have the massive potential to make a massive difference for you. Here is the archive to last nights session.

The Possibilities Are Endless.

I am so happy to see School Counsellors joining us in this Mooc. @bridgethelms , @c_morton,  @tmscounselor@BriseboisJoanne and @HelenMacKinnon2

The wonderful learning from Moocs transfers into what we do with students. We learn and they get the benefits of what we learn through connecting in this positive way. Even if you are not an educator Moocs can make a difference.

I am so pleased at how quickly @gailmwhite8 ( a lifelong learner extraordinaire) who is joining a cMooc for the first time has jumped into the learning. I look forward to seeing her growth in the month ahead and learning along with her and you.

If you or anyone you know is interested in the Open Connected Learning Mooc you can still join in. Check out this smore here for how to connect and for more information on why I love Moocs click here by Verena Roberts.

I look forward to connecting with you in one of our communities . Check out our calendar and our google plus community here and share your learning. We look forward to it.

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If you want to know ” Who Matters?”  click below:

Who Matters ? 

New To Blogging and Twitter for OCLMOOC

When I thought about starting a blog I must say I was very scared. I was scared of making mistakes. I was scared no one would want to read what I had to say. I was just plain scared. Fortunately all the encouragement and support I got in ETMOOC made a huge difference.

I must admit I did not watch tutorials on youtube when I first started blogging, but I believe they would have been very helpful. Here are a few: Video Tutorials on blogs and twitter .

Here are some basic instructions that might be helpful:

1. Go: Yes go … do it … go to wordpress.com or any other platform you want to use. I went to wordpress and stayed there because it is easy at least for me to navigate.

2. For those of you new to blogging click on the coloured words and that will bring you to a link that usually goes where you can find more info. on that word. I did not know that when I first started blogging.

3. Click on sign up. Yes , I knew you could do it!

4. Enter all the information they require.

5. Go to your email and activate your account. 

This is a great start . Remember your blog address (url) cannot be changed, but the blog’s title can be changed anytime.

  • Start writing , even if it is only a little at first. 
  • Press the publish button. I know it can be scary, but you can edit even after you publish. I still do all the time.
  • Your #OCLMOOC participants will encourage, support and comment on your blog.
  • Encourage others to help you and comment on their blogs.

Enough for today HAPPY blogging !

 

Digital Citizenship … It Matters … OCLMooc

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made with  @HaikuDeck  by Susan Spellman Cann

Why does digital citizenship matter so much? For me it matters because students matter and really when it comes down to it my family matters. I want to be a good role model for them. I want to leave a positive legacy one they can be proud of. Do I make mistakes? Of course I do, but I want to make a difference for my students and my own children and the only way to really understand what being a good digital citizen meant was to dive in and learn online and so it began in #ETMOOC .

A little over two years ago I did not blog, vlog, tweet or know what a google hangout was and now I get the privilege to be a co-conspirator in an Open Connected Learning Mooc #OCLMOOC. It will be an amazing experience for Alberta even though it is open to the world.

In week 2 of #oclmooc you will be exploring digital citizenship we hope you step out of your comfort zone and step into “Awe”

As an educator I want to understand everything I can about digital citizenship. Here are a few places to start thanks to @courosa Click here: Digital Citizenship resources by Alec Couros .

If you’d like to see what others are saying about digital citizenship check out #DCMOOC ‘s blog hub by clicking here: Digital Citizenship Massive Open Online Course blog hub.

To hear a students perspective click here: Paige Woodards blog .

Here are a few curated resources on Digital Citizenship:

I love this video by Shots of Awe, hopefully you got to see one of his videos in Week 1 of #oclmooc

Feel free to post any resources you have on digital citizenship in the comments below.

I look forward to our discussions in #OCLMOOC .

School Counselling Apps you can use

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1. Anxiety: Have your students been struggling with anxiety?  MindShift by AnxietyBC, is a mobile app designed to help teens and adults cope with this problem.

2. Conversation starters : Conversation Starters is an app to get the conversation going and could be used in a a group small or large.

3. Haiku Deck : An i pad app you can use to create stories with and for students. Here are some for School Counsellors:

4. Flipboard : Flipboard is a great way to collate information you want to share in a visual way. Here is one of mine called Lessons for New School Counsellors

5. Stress reliefBreathe2Relax is an app that will help students. It is a portable stress management tool which provides detailed information on the effects of stress on the body and instructions and practice exercises to help users learn the stress management skill called diaphragmatic breathing.

6. Toxic thinking : A great app for students. Toxic Thinking app is an app that explains what toxic thinking is as well as listing triggers and appropriate actions.

7. Who’s Frank? :An anti-bullying app designed by Mount Royal University in collaboration with MRU and Bishop Carroll High School’s movement against anti bullying . Who’s Frank Anti- bullying app . See more here: #whosfrankyyc .

There are so many great apps to use. Please share your favourites in the comments below.

I Am A School Counsellor

 

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I am a School Counsellor

I was a School Counsellor the moment I realized students needed help and I could make a difference

Throughout the day I can be called upon to assist, encourage, intervene, give support, make serious decisions and more

I am privileged to see the potential in each and every student

Honoured that students and their families allow me to help them

Thankful that I have chosen a profession I can be proud of and one that allows me to leave a legacy

You, the parents allow me to enter your world and help the most precious gift you have been given in life your child

Students matter to me and I will counsel your children from my heart, always maintaining a professional response

I am a School Counsellor and I will never take that responsibility lightly 

I will have the courage , strength and hope to do what is necessary

I will provide a place and a space where you can trust what I do 

Knowing that you have allowed me to spend my precious days with the future

I am a School Counsellor and for that I am filled with gratitude each and every day

Susan Spellman Cann

 

 

I Am A School Counsellor

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I am a School Counsellor

I was a School Counsellor the moment I realized students needed help and I could make a difference

Throughout the day I can be called upon to assist, encourage, intervene, give support, make serious decisions and more

I am privileged to see the potential in each and every student

Honoured that students and their families allow me to help them

Thankful that I have chosen a profession I can be proud of and one that allows me to leave a legacy

You, the parents allow me to enter your world and help the most precious gift you have been given in life your child

Students matter to me and I will counsel your children from my heart, always maintaining a professional response

I am a School Counsellor and I will never take that responsibility lightly 

I will have the courage , strength and hope to do what is necessary

I will provide a place and a space where you can trust what I do 

Knowing that you have allowed me to spend my precious days with the future

I am a School Counsellor and for that I am filled with gratitude each and every day

Susan Spellman Cann

Hope : A Message We All Need to Hear

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The following post was written by Vince Fowler a Business Coach, Speaker and Veteran in Calgary . He allowed me to share it with you. I think it is one of the best posts I have read, thus I am sharing it with you. You can follow Vince on twitter @VinceFowler

It would appear that the lives of most people who actively post on Facebook  are somehow living the perfect life – a life filled with laughter, with joy, money, friends, love, appreciation, amazing holidays, best job ever, best opportunities ever, etc … etc.

At times, it just might seem to you that everyone around you is having more fun than you, that their life is somehow better, more fulfilling and more rewarding than yours.

That’s just not reality.

Everyone has challenges. Everyone has fears. Everyone has pain … and I truly believe that we all have our own demons & skeletons kept secretly in our closets … under the proverbial  lock and key.

“Help” is something that way too many people have a hard time asking for … and when issues go un-addressed, people begin to lose hope. And when all hope appears lost, the only available decision left in the room seems to be the exit-life door … and then they’re gone… just as Robin Williams is gone.

Sad. So very sad.

Please – do not feel that my life or anyone else’s – celebrities included – are better than yours. Everyone is a little messed up in their own way … I know I am.

Just because I post my joys, doesn’t mean I don’t experience sadness. Just because I post my excitement, doesn’t mean I don’t experience boredom. Just because I post my successes and aspirations, doesn’t mean I don’t experience pain and failure.

I wish Robin Williams were still alive. He was funny beyond belief. He shared his talents with so many for no other purpose than to make them laugh. Sure, he was rich and famous … not because he discovered a way to monetize his talents, but because people actually valued his art and his craft.

That said, Robin Williams clearly had issues – which means Robin was a human being … which means he was just like you and me. Sadly, he wasn’t able to deal with those issues. Because he was loved and appreciated by millions, millions are now mourning his loss.

I once heard many, many, years ago … a man can live 40 days without food. He can live 4 days without water, but he cannot live 4 seconds without hope.

I don’t judge Robin Williams … I will miss Robin Williams.

Thanks Vince for saying what so many of us feel. Teens are particularly vulnerable at this time and we want to make sure they are safe. Your message is a message for all!

If a person believes there is no hope in winning a game,you can visibly see their efforts drop

If a person believes there is no hope in a relationship improving, they sometimes immediately break up

I challenge you to look around and observe on your own

As long as there is HOPE , even a glimmer of HOPE, people keep trying

By Vince Fowler 2014

I want a future where we treat all human beings with dignity, respect with understanding and compassion. I want a world where we have better treatments for mental health disorders and a world where there will be no future losses due to these illnesses. I want a world where all people are not ashamed or afraid to reach out for help. It is more than OK to reach out for help there are many places and people where you can. There is hope and I have hope that we can help .

Susan Spellman Cann

Resource for teens in CalgaryHearing Youth Helping Youth 403-264-8336

Adults can also call the Distress Centre : 403-266-4357 403.266-HELP

Resources to assist with hope: 

Click here: Livebinder on depression

Click here: Mental Health resources for teens

Click here: Suicide prevention resources

Click here: Depression Resources : High School Counselling

Click here: Haiku Deck on hope

Hangouts and School Counsellors

Hangouts are an excellent way for School Counsellors and educators to connect from across the world. You can pick a time to connect to share resources,  ideas or just to get to know each other.

One of the best features of hangouts is that ten people can collaborate to make a difference in the lives of students.

If you have never used hangouts before below is a great explanation by Martin Shervington:

Below is a hangout that Erin Mason facilitated last year on The Future of School Counseling.

Here is a great example of how to use google hangouts for webinars:

Benefits of google hangouts:

  • All you need is a google plus account to start a hangout
  • It’s ok to make mistakes (other educators especially other school counsellors will assist you)
  • You can connect with educators from all over the world
  • There are many creative ways to use google hangouts, you can come up with a few of your own and when you do please share
  • They are fun and easy to do once you catch on

Connecting with school counsellors in a hangout is a great new way to grow professionally . It is an amazing way to work on a google doc or watch a video together that you have made on school counselling. I look forward to you sharing the many ways you have found to use google hangouts.

If you’d like to see how other educators are using google hangouts you can check out these Edcamphome google hangout videos . I participated in my first edcampHOME  last year and it was a fun, interesting educational experience. The best part watching the organizers do such an amazing job of coordinating.

Have fun learning!

 

Summertime Reflection

Sarah summersalt  Sarah beach

One of the many blessings of the career I have chosen is that I get to kick back and relax and reflect over the summer. As I do that in Nova Scotia a place where I was born and love, I watch the children around me and think about how summer should be , but often is not for all too many children.  Summer should be a time to truly be a child, to feel the exhiliration of doing cartwheels on the beach or rolling down your front lawn like I watched a group of young boys do, yes it should be a time to be free. Free from the big concerns of life. Abandoning wordly concerns for periods in time is good for all of us. We as school counsellors need to do this too.

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School counsellors can assist children to get back to being a child, finding the fun in the moments. We can remind students that:

  • It is OK to laugh even when things don’t seem all that funny
  • It is OK to feel free even if they live in chaos, or are dealing with the many stresses that surround them
  • It’s OK to let go
  • It’s OK to play , be curious and enjoy life

Too often children who live in a home where dysfunction occurs become much too adult like. We can remind them and ourselves that is OK to enjoy the childlike sense of wonder.

Students mental health and wellness is our concern. We have a lot to offer students as they proceed through their developmental stages in life and go on to make important choices about their education and careers.

Coming to my childhood home and reconnecting with friends and family reminds me that how we handle these precious moments in time in students lives can have a lifelong impact. We can and do make a difference, but we also need to take time to kick back ourselves and take time for self-care. Summers often allow us to do just that.

Susan

I will #reachigher to increase the graduation rates of students at risk.