Saturday, February 15, 2014

Improve your School Counseling Delivery System with Prezi (and Vocaroo)

Have you ever ever wanted to maximize your time as a School Counselor by delivering a message to all of your students (and staff) at once? 

If you answered yes to that question, this post will be a lifesaver for you.

For as long as I can remember I've been using PowerPoint to deliver School Counseling Core Curriculum lessons and other presentations. But last year, as a result of my PLN on Twitter, I learned about Prezi and my life is forever changed.

Prezi is a web-based presentation creator that really helps your presentations come to life. You can make your presentations walk, run, dance, glide, and zoom in and out, all while educating and inspiring your audience. I can't tell you how much I love this tool!

Check out this Prezi (also embedded below) I created to use during my Results Interpretation session for our State Assessment. Using Prezi to explain the results to my seniors took a boring topic and made it dynamic; not one of our students tried to sleep during this presentation!

Since I am a school counselor with a ratio of about 1:350, I not only need engaging presentations that are easy to follow so I can deliver my lessons effectively and efficiently, but I also need a presentation tool that makes it easy for teachers to sometimes deliver lessons for my program. This is what really puts Prezi at the top of my list when it comes to presentation tools for School Counselors.

Imagine delivering a school counseling core curriculum lesson when you are not even in the building, or even the same state!

We recently began Pre-Registration for next year, a process that is usually a little chaotic for our small high school. In the past I would send out a prompt for teachers to read to the students and enough course registration forms for each student. This year, I used Prezi and a voice over tech tool called Vocaroo to make this process more effective and efficient than I ever imagined it could be. Check out the presentation here (also embedded below).

When you combine Prezi with Vocaroo to complete tasks like introducing course pre-registration, you ensure that every student is getting the same consistent message about the process, and you're doing it very efficiently. The teachers at my school appreciated the new format tremendously, and I was actually able to be out of the building at the National Evidence Based School Counseling Conference during the presentation; a super effective use of my time!

I also placed the presentation on our high school webpage so parents & students who were absent the day it was viewed school-wide could view it; all of our course pre-registration forms can also be downloaded from our webpage.

We usually don't have all of our student course requests entered until March 1, this year we beat this date by two weeks; almost all of our requests were entered into our student management system by February 14. I attribute this progress to not only this integration of technology, but also our electronic student portfolios, which include 4-year plans. Last year the administration agreed to make our student portfolios a requirement for all students-a huge win for our school counseling program!

So how do you put these tools together? 
Save your Voice-over MP3 to your computer

  1. Create your Prezi
  2. Type out a script for what you would like to say for each slide
  3. visit the Vocaroo website (no software to download)
  4. record your voice clips (one at a time)
  5. Save them to your computer (Save clips to your computer Desktop as MP3 files; if you right click MP3 you can actually rename each clip so importing them into Prezi is easier later-see image to the right.)
  6. Go back to your Prezi
  7. click on the slide you want to add a voice over to
  8. look at the top of the page and click "Insert"
  9. find the "add voice-over to path" (see image to the right)
  10. find the file for that slide and attach it
  11. Done!
  12. Adding a voice-over to your Prezi slide
  13. Repeat for each slide you will add a voice-over to
Note: when you insert a  voice-over to your slides and click Play, your presentation will play automatically and move to the next step once your recording ends.

Learn more about what Vocaroo is here.

Check out this video clip about how to add a voice-over to a Prezi (this is how I learned how to use these tools together)

You can also collaborate in Prezi and present your Prezi remotely to up to 30 sites at once. Learn more about these features here.

Check out my other Blog Posts about using technology:

YouTube meets PowerPoint 2010: Techie Mediation

The End is the Beginning for School Counselors

Want to learn more about how to use Tech tools to enhance your school counseling program? Check out SCOPE!

Have you used Prezi in your school counseling practice? 
Please share your tips below.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

#NSCW14 Take 2

Well this has been an interesting Week to say the least!

We are on our second snow day so I am really glad I didn't plan too much that could not be sent through our web message board for students, parents & faculty to see.

I had to scrap much of my Tuesday & Wednesday plan, but I am going to do the M&Ms contest on Friday because I don't plan on eating all of these magical treats myself.

I will also be sending my annual crossword puzzle out to all of the students around 9:00 am (don't want to wake them from their magical slumbers) and posting it to our Family & Student Access portal as well.

I am super excited about my newest adventure to highlight our senior class' future plans in an "Oh, the Places You'll Go: Senior Stories" display. This will become a permanent part of my program each year.

The staff will be greeted with magic bars & certificates of thanks tomorrow, as well as this year's gift & focus of inspiration for instructional practice growth.

Have any of you had snow days this week? 

How did you modify your #NSCW14 plans? Share your comments below.

Looking for more inspiration for National School Counseling Week activities? 

Check out these previous posts:

#NSCW 2014

#NSCW 2013

Sunday, February 2, 2014

National School Counseling Week 2014 (#NSCW14)

School Counseling: Building Magical Futures

I can't believe it's NSCW already! I feel like the beginning of second semester has flown by, leaving little time to fully develop my ideas-but here we go...

[Thanks Danielle for starting the party!]

I had planned to launch a really exciting new door decorating contest for NSCW 2014, but I am going to save it for later, for a number of reasons. Sad, but this is my reality this year.

Here's a synopsis of what I did pull together for this year...

  • Daily Announcements, modified from those that ASCA provides
  • Daily Contests/Activities 
    • Stinger Aspirations-yeah, somebody is going to win a Kindle Fire HD!
    • “Oh the Places You’ll Go” “Senior Stories” bulletin board for senior class college acceptances & military commitments
    • “What will you try?” Lunch Activity (students & teachers can write one thing they plan to take a healthy risk & try on a sticky note)
    • NSCW Crossword Puzzle (I'll post this year's as soon as I finish it)
  • Howmany M&M’s are in the jar contest? Students guess at lunch

I will also have staff incentives this week:
I always try to feed the staff and send something their way that they can use to inspire their instructional practice every year, Stop Stealing Dreams is one of my favorites and so fitting for this years theme-double bonus!

I also created a Pinterest Board for the week with quotes and other ideas-check it out here.

Click here for the GoogleDoc I created with announcements etc. for the week.

How are you celebrating NSCW 2014? 

Want to check out my ideas from last year? Click here

Please share your comments below.

For more ideas on how to celebrate NSCW, follow 
Danielle Schultz at
Follow the National School Counseling Week 2014 posts on Twitter with hashtag #NSCW14. Follow me on Twitter @FSabens