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.

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:

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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IMG_0751

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.

Conference With A Difference #ASCA14

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I have been to many school counselling conferences over the years, but this one was different why?

1. CONNECTING : As much as I loved Michelle Obama and I did believe me. I’ll share more about that later. I love connecting with people in real life, people that can and do support you, people that make a difference in your life and you get to share that F2F. Twitter allows you to do that. It really does! So many school counsellors have not quite figured that out yet. Twitter helps you do what you do and do it better. Ultimately impacting our students in so many positive ways.

 

As you can see from the video my favorite part of #ASCA14 was connecting with so many school counsellors in one space. I need to thank my wonderful roomie @bridgethelms. I want to thank her nephew and friend for helping make my experience in Orlando so enjoyable. Also a  big thanks to @FSabens for rescuing me when I could not leave Orlando because of the storm. Thank heavens for twitter again. To Danielle Schultz @sch_counselor it was my pleasure to sit down and chat and learn about the many wonderful things that you do. There are so many extraordinary school counsellors that I met F2 F in Orlando and for that I am extremely grateful. Look out world there are many more amazing things to come from these vibrant, intelligent, caring school counsellors.

What difference did twitter make? Well because of the twitter connections I have made I could come to Orlando by myself and NOT feel alone in any way. I had not met any one of my twitter friends F2 F before the conference, so it was fabulous to feel like I was coming to a reunion with so many who had impacted me in my profession in such a positive way and who were so helpful online. I can thank twitter and our twitter chats #scchat and #SCCrowd for making my conference experience so much more enriching.

2. COLLABORATING: I met counsellors from all over the world that I plan on collaborating with in the future It might be in a hangout or maybe just on twitter. However, I most certainly will look forward to the future collaborations that will help me and our students.

3. CARING: I met so many fun and caring school counsellors that it gives me much HOPE for the future of school counselling. Check out these fine people :
• @apoovey
• @bridgethelms
• @carlicounsels
• @ChrisWood
• @CounselingGeek
• @cscaMatthew
• @c_morten
• @cfsml
• @ecmmason
• @erebss
• @FSabens
• @JoryHouser
• @humbleofferings
• @KellyHanscom
• @mertensminute
• @MrJGoldman
• @MrSchoolCounslr
• @nemmers_nat
• @PhilEchols
• @SandraLogan
• @sch_counselor
• @SvySchCounselor
• @tmscounselor
• @tx_sch_cnslr

And of course to @rawolfon and @ConnieMWard who led the #notatasca14 chat . I missed you. @EHordyskiLuong and @charlieosenten amazing Canadian School Counsellors  I know you were following along and may join in next time!

4. CONTINUING EDUCATION: I absolutely loved the session School Counselling: Running Groups on a Duct Tape Budget  Yes, duct tape there are so many ways to impact student in groups using duct tape. If you ever get a chance to go this session in the future , please do it was fantastic and so much fun.

Ed Jacobs and Group Counselling techniques. Go to downloads from here. I never get tired of Ed’s sessions and although we have become lifelong friends ( I met him at a conference fifteen years ago in Florida) , I love hearing him present along with his co presenter Dr. Chris Schimmel. This is a must see at any conference you go to.

Branding and Marketing Your School Counselling Program. Jeff and Jeremy give wonderful tips on how to market the amazing School Counselling Program that you have developed in your school. This session is especially great for those new to the profession.

Resources: For the best notes ever check out @FSabens . It is like you are there with her.

Franciene’s  ( Notes )

So many resources: Check out these posts:

 

Check out the local news with some of my favorite school counsellors @bridget helms @tmscounselor and @MrSchoolCounselr  here.

5. COMPASSION: As for seeing Michelle Obama  @flotus well it was an absolute highlight. She epitomized compassion .  I am not American, but felt she was directly talking to Canadian School Counsellors. Everytime she said a gem I would edit to make it that she was talking to Canadians, talking directly to me and others like me.  The ripple effect of her message will undoubtedly affect students and school counsellors from across the world now and for years to come.

#ASCA14 for me was definitely a conference with a difference because of my connections on twitter, the great people I met and having the privledge to see Michelle Obama who was extraordinary. How often will I have the opportunity to see and listen to an amazing role model with a message like she did that will have the impact to create change for students and school counsellors? This was most likely a once in a lifetime event for me.

To all the School Counsellors worldwide . Keep making a difference and stay connected and even though you were #notatasca you can live virtually through others especially on twitter. I look forward to the next time our paths cross maybe on twitter and hopefully in a chat #SCCrowd or #scchat. Until next time. For now it’s time for self-care on the beaches in Nova Scotia.

“With every life you transform, with every life you save, you all have an impact that is truly beyond measure,” Michelle Obama