Jenny Vowell
 
In July 2013, I had the opportunity to attend the Georgia Career Technical and Agricultural Education (GA CTAE) Leadership Conference in Atlanta. I was attending this conference in my role as a school counselor. Recently the Georgia Department of Education made a decision to place school counseling under the umbrella of the CTAE Department. This move has been wonderful.  In my opinion, connecting school counselors with CTAE has reinvigorated school counseling. At the GA CTAE Leadership Conference I was able to take part in training sessions that taught participants how to integrate Web 2.0 tools in their classroom instruction. I was very glad I attended these sessions.  As the speaker was presenting these tools to help technology teachers, I kept finding ways to make connections to school counseling. I believe that is the beauty of Web 2.0 tools. The tools can be applied to various settings. They can be used in business courses, math instruction, social studies lessons and they can just as easily be used in school counseling. The applications of Web 2.0 tools and uses are virtually endless. 

This week I had some focused play time. I was able to use Time Glider to build a few timelines. I took the story line of Hamlet and placed the major events of the story in a timeline. I believe this will help students to understand the sequence of events that take place in complicated works of literature. I also used the Newspaper Clip Generator. This was so much fun. It is more that just a newspaper. A person can use the other animations such as the owl and squirrel. I created an animation of an owl that can be used when the teacher is away from her class and needs reminding of the expected behavior. Students can embed the animations into their presentations or blogs and brings fun and whimsy into what would be a typical and ordinary presentation. I also like Poll Everywhere. You poll the audience at any point during a lesson and receive instant feedback.  I am planning on using these tools in some upcoming professional learning presentations that I will be doing with the high school faculty. 


From the seminars that I have attended and my own use of these wonderful Web 2.0 tools, I found two things that are challenges. Number one, most of the tools are free; however, the Web 2.0 tool that is free today might have a cost associated with it tomorrow. Students are allowed to bring their own technology; yet they may not have the funds to buy the Web 2.0 tool for their project. I believe that I can overcome this challenge by asking the Media Center Specialist to download the Web 2.0 tools on the school owned computers, let the students create the animations or timelines using the school owned computers. After they have completed the project, the students can embed the project into their documents or presentations.

The second challenge I see is how keep up with the numerous Web 2.0 tools available. It seems that there is a new tool everyday. I want to encourage the use of Web 2.0 tools so I want to create a Padlet page that the students will use to post information and links to new Web 2.0 tools they discover. This will help the students and myself. Sharing information about new Web 2.0 tool availability is pivotal in keeping students engaged in the learning process. As a side benefit, I hope the Padlet page will spark some interest in students developing and creating their own Web 2.0 tools. I have no doubt that students are able to create these tools and I would like to provide a venue for the students to explore and create. The Padlet page seems like a good starting point for some creative inspiration.


The use of technology in education and school counseling is the energizer that has been missing. I am very excited to share these tools with faculty and staff members. Sometimes I think I might be too excited, but then I think, no, that’s just not possible. These Web 2.0 tools are a thing of beauty! 


a href="http://www.fodey.com/generators/animated/talking_owl.asp">Create your own Animation
 


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