Top Ten Technology Tools Every Educator and School Counsellor Should Use


  1. Haiku Deck  A personal favorite of mine. This app helps students, teachers and school counsellors share stories that can make a difference.
  2. Twitter A fantastic tool for teachers and school counsellors to utilize for professional development.
  3. Livebinders A wonderful virtual 3 ring binder that helps educators and school counsellors not have to reinvent the wheel as there are so mant fantastic school counselling and educational binders already made. You can copy and use the binders available or create your own.
  4. Jux  A beautiful, visual  space that teachers and school counsellors can use to share ideas or important information. I use it for a school counselling website
  5. Pinterest  A wonderful place for teachers and school counsellors to find great resources and share them with othes.
  6. Google plus. Here are a few  tutorials on you tube to get you started.  
    A must site to be able to share with colleagues and those from across the world. Google hangouts are a must. 
  7. Animoto This is a nice app to use for easy videos. Teachers can sign up for a free account . Make sure you check that feature out. Check here: Animoto for Education
  8. Flipboard  A great educational and personal app that can curate information you can access easily.
  9. Tellagami   A fun easy tool that you can use to send messages to parents and students.
  10. Ted Ed An inspirational place to find videos for PD or to use with students.

For more tools go to  SCOPE School Counsellor Online Professional Exchange and  Go to:

My live binder on Resources for the School Counsellor

Have fun and if you know of any great apps or resources , please share !

So how do you thank someone who has taken you from Twitter to ETMOOC?

It isn’t easy, but I’ll try…

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to it’s old dimensions.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes

The ETMOOC ( Educational Technology Massive Open Online Course) experience has been elevating and I am so grateful for all I have learned. I decided on the very last day to jump into ETMOOC and to bring a few of my colleagues with me as I’d rather take a course with someone than alone. However, little did I know I would definitely not be alone. I would meet people who have changed and inspired me through ETMOOC. I definitely have no regrets. For my first MOOC I could not have chosen a better course.

I have looked forward to every

  • Blackboard Collaborate session
  • Twitter chat
  • Google hangout
  • Article or blog I read or wrote
  • All the skills I have learned

Educational Technology is not my expertise by any means. I am a School Counsellor who loves using technology. This course was not only educational, but helped me make connections and get help like I never imagined.

ThIs course was:

  • Educational
  • Exciting
  • Fun
  • Helpful
  • Inspirational
  • Interesting
  • Phenomenal
  • Practical
  • Useful and so much more.

The word that accurately describes how I felt going into the course was FEAR. I did not even know the difference between http and https. We’ll I certainly do now and I know so much more.

How do I feel now?  I am happy, grateful and inspired to continue my learning journey through technology so that I may be able to help students and especially school counsellors. I am more confident than ever in my technological abilities. I am definitely more willing to take risks.

I am more OPEN. I am less afraid ( notice I did not say completely ) to make mistakes in an open form like a BLOG. I am more reflective. Wish I had done this as a young teacher/counsellor. It is never too late to become what you might have been. Who said that? I don’t remember, but it is true. I so want to continue learning.

Every time and I mean every time I asked for help someone answered my call. ETMOOCERS to the rescue. That was so wonderful. I want YOU ALL TO KNOW I am so grateful (too many to mention individually), but YOU know who you are. Cheers to you all and if we meet someday not in the virtual world, but personally I’d be happy to celebrate YOU! Thank you just not seem enough.

I am so sad that ETMOOC is ending as it has definitely been the best PD ever. I thought twitter was, but NO ETMOOC topped that as it encompassed twitter and so much more. My bucket is full. The friends I have made, the lessons I have learned are worth so much more than I can really express here. It feels similar to my Master’s program in Counselling. I made connections there that have lasted to this day and will last my lifetime. I feel the same way about ETMOOC.

They are Connections that INSPIRE me to DO BETTER … BE BETTER.

Connections that do not care if I am perfect or if I make mistakes or if I ask questions that may seem silly to others. I met people that accepted my inadequacies when it came to technology and guided me through processes to help me.

As a result I have learned so much in a short period of time that I don’t think , no I know I would not have otherwise.

Although ETMOOC is ending I know some of the connections are not

You have helped me to not just make a living , but with all the tools, ideas and connections to make a difference.


My second MOOC is a Harvard MOOC on Justice by Michael Sandel

…the learning continues…

“Change is the end result of all true learning.”

 Leo Buscaglia (my favorite educator)


Thanks to all of you for helping me to truly learn …


Haiku Deck A Fantastic App for School Counsellors

HAIKU DECK is a fantastic app to use for School Counsellors. It is no secret that I love this app. I love this app because it is easy to use and creates professional looking beautiful presentations that I can easily use in my counselling office or as a professional development tool that I can use in presentations with other school counsellors. Stunning visuals have the ability to evoke emotion, a powerful tool for school counsellors to utilize. By being an active champion of both learning and technology school counsellors can use Haiku Deck to create amazing visuals that not only assist students in learning , but they can actually help students.

If you would like to try the web app please click  here: You are invited to try the Haiku Deck web app.


Click here to see this deck:

The newest version of Haiku Deck is even better than before. Check out the Haiku Deck blog for some hot tips on how to make new and exciting presentations.

The truth about stories is, that ‘s all we are”.

Thomas King


School Counsellors can use this app to:

  • Share stories (while still keeping confidentiality)
  • Engage students brain to help them remember what is important
  • Share small and/or  big ideas
  • Present topics to other counsellors
  • Share ideas or topics with students ( easy to share in your office as topic starters)
  • Have students create decks on coping skills or to tell their story
  • Co create a deck with students
  • Create positive quotes and have them rotating in your office
  • Post Haiku Deck’s on your schools facebook site.
  • Tweet decks to students in your school with messages that promote school counselling
  • Tweet decks to other school counsellors.

Please feel free to share ideas you come up with so we can remix and share the best Haiku Deck’s for School Counsellors ever.

Parents might also like getting Haiku Deck’s. It is a great way to promote your School Counselling Program.

Because HAIKU DECK has a Creative Commons license, finding a picture that fits your ideas is fast and easy and as school counsellors this is extremely helpful. It’s as easy as 1-2-3 to set yourself up and share.

How to use Haiku Deck for school counsellors:

STEP 1 Go to:

STEP 2: Sign up for Haiku Deck and create a password

STEP 3: Download the app on your IPAD and start creating


Need ideas and visuals go to the gallery where you will find all kinds of great HAIKU DECKS.

Start using Haiku Deck now and your life as a school counsellor will become be enhanced because you’ll get to share great presentations with others that look like it took you forever to create!

You can view more presentations in Haiku Deck’s Gallery, Haiku Deck’s Pinterest boards, and make sure you follow and share your experiences with Haiku Deck on Twitter (you can even tweet your fantastic presentations to them with #setyourstoryfree ) .

Check out  Susan’s Pinterest HaikuDecks for school counsellors to get you started with some ideas. 

Follow Haiku Deck on twitter @haikudeck

School Counsellors please share your counselling haikudeck’s with me on twitter @sspellmancann. I would like to pin and share with others. let’s work together to make some of the best deck’s ever for students. 

Click below to see Erin Luong’s Haiku Deck ( high school counsellor)  that she co- created with a student.

 HD Tips and tricks


Screen Shot 2013-01-20 at 4.10.42 PM

photo by zenobia_joy cc attribution

It is our choices … that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
– J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets)

If I search the internet …what will I find about you?

Your reputation is very important to you on and off line so how do you keep or get a positive reputation?

  • Act As If The World Is Watching. (because they probably are) Make sure you become the person you want to be on the internet. Everything we do nowadays is recorded. It seems every move we make someone is either taking a picture or videoing us. So it is up to you to be the kind of person you want the world to see, because they just might.


Your Digital Dossier . Think about it!


  • What You Give Out Is Probably What You Will Get Back. So give out the positive vibes that you want to get back. Treat everyone as you would like to be treated on and off the internet. Put out positive messages on and off line. Flood the internet with positive posts by you. You decide what you want your reputation to be. Don’t wait for others to create it for you.
  • Self- reflect. Check out who you are on and off line.  It is always a good thing to do. Do a search on line to see what is being said about you. Google yourself on a regular basis. Build up positive stories on line if nothing is out there. Decide who you want to be and become that person. Who do you admire the most? What qualities do they have? Work on those qualities in yourself and be honest about who you are online.
  •  Be Real Be Yourself. All of us are not perfect and all we can really be is who we are, so discover the real you and make sure your reputation is really what you want it to be. If you were writing a news story about yourself what would it say? Be authentic.
  •  Live and Learn. If someone makes a bad remark about you on or off line. Don’t give it any energy. Don’t react, don’t retaliate. You know who you are and if you respond you will only fuel the fire and often that is what people want is to see your reaction. So believe in yourself and make sure you are surrounded by positive people who know who you really are. Build your allies. Block people who are inappropriate.
  •  Use Common Sense. I know this sounds easy, but some people really don’t understand this concept. Ask yourself would I make that comment to someone I respect on or off line? THINK before you post. THINK before you say something you will regret.
  • Recognize That You Are Someone Who Can Make a Difference Having a positive influence on line and off is really up to you. You can create what it is that you want. Be your own PR person. Start with making a decision to have a positive reputation.
  • Just for Today recognize that you can build a positive reputation. Even if you have said or done negative things in the past, start today to be honest, reliable and reputable.
  • Get supports Helpful and healthy relationships are important. Ask for guidance from people who know how to be ethical. Read more about being an ethical person on and off line. Learn how to have healthy relationships. Go online to research how to be the best person you can be. Take leadership courses. Volunteer. Help others less fortunate. Learn from great leaders. Who do you know that has a great reputation on and off line? Ask them how they did it. Tweet them … they just might respond.
  • Your reputation is created by you SMILE your on YOU TUBE. . How you act, what you say, what you do. It is all up to you! Build the kind of reputation you want. The world is watching now more than ever before.  
  • Safety Are you sure you are being safe on line? Ask for help if you need it.

Inspired by Janine Wariner’s talk at the Telus Convention Centre March 2010

Check out her video here:

I value digitally responsibility. I am a learner won’t you join me?

Digital Citizenship is a concept which helps teachers and technology leaders understand what students should know to use technology appropriately. But Digital Citizenship is more that just a teaching tool, it is a way to prepare students for a society full of technology. Too often we are seeing students as well as adults misusing and abusing technology. The issue is more than what the users do not know but instead what is considered appropriate technology usage.

Alec Couros


For School Counsellors Resources:

Check out the University of British Columbia’s Information on your  Digital Tattoo .

My livebinder on DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP which will be updated as we move along in the next two weeks

Videos on cyberbullying:

A very helpful resource for Creative Commons that can assist in students being digitally responsible:

For parents:

Digital Citizenship is so important . Our digital identity begins at birth. We need to be more vigilant than ever before about becoming the person we want to be. It doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes. It means we need to learn and grow and be responsible for who we are and will become.

Maybe because the world may be watching ,we will all become better citizens.

A great blog about OPEN EDUCATION…also a great resource

Margaret A. Powers

This past week, I had the chance to delve deeper into the idea of open education and open education resources (OER) thanks to both #ETMOOC and the #MediaLabCourse.

Before this week, I hadn’t spent much time considering the differences between “open” and “free” and the power they can bring to people around the world when they are combined together. Free is valuable for the accessibility it provides but open, I discovered, means much more than just making something accessible or available to the public. It also means providing transparency and the blueprint for how and even why something was created. This unique insight into how something was made (e.g., a website, a software program), allows users to make the transition from consumers to creators much more easily. Suddenly, the plans behind a product are not only visible but they’re also “unlocked” and available for re-mixing, mashing, and updating so…

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Teacher Advisor Second Collaborative Post


At Bishop Carroll High School, the Teacher Advisor program is central to the working of a self-directed model. Teachers are committed to ensuring that each individual is known personally by at least one adult. There are many components to the teacher advisor program including continuous dialogue. Advisors meet at least once a week for fifteen minutes or more with each student in their TA. They also meet daily for 15 minutes. The Teacher Advisor stays with this student throughout their three years of high school.

There is a 69 page document that Bishop Carroll has developed that describes the TA role to new staff members. The advisory role is taken very seriously at this school,so much so that teachers are thought to be teacher advisors first and subject teachers second.. It is a big reason why Bishop Carroll works so well.

According to CCSDL (The Canadian Coalition of Self- Directed Learners) “the single most important relationship between student and teacher is embodied in the teacher advisor program.” Teachers serve as coaches, mentors, facilitators and guides as well as stressing collaboration and high expectations.”

At Bishop Carroll one of the focal points of our ( ePD) embedded professional development, is on the TA role and how we can continue to engage learners and assist them in every way possible.

Heather Enzie and Kevin Warriner, Religion teachers at Bishop Carroll, have some creative ways to engage their students in their 15 minute check-in each morning. “We want kids coming to school each morning engaged and ready to go – we want them to be excited to be here,” explains Warriner. The two educators, who’ve shared a “check-in space” for the past two years, have developed daily themes that are meant to inspire the 55 students that check-in with them explains Enzie. “I like to find good, short videos to show to the students, meeting them on their turf. We’ve developed themes for each day such as:

  • Motivational Mondays
  • Trivia Tuesdays
  • Wacky Wednesdays
  • Thoughtful Thursdays
  • Pop Up Video Vendredi’s (Fridays referring to the music videos from the late 90’s which are both educational and entertaining.

According to Warriner, the different themes are drawing a crowd, “Kids are engaged – they’re excited. There is anticipation for the themes each day.” Enzie argues that perhaps the most important trend that has come about from this initiative is student involvement, saying, “Our students send us videos. They see stuff online and send them to us thinking it would be a good fit for check-in. More and more they are taking ownership of the content that is shared during check-in.”

Both Warriner and Enzie feel that the check-in themes provide students with many different tools to help them succeed in a self-directed learning environment and develop skills and habits to becoming a life-long learner.

Check in varies from TA to TA, but ideas are shared and generated regarding best practices through our ePD. Some TA’s like to celebrate breakfasts, lunches and birthdays with their students. Also, information about post-secondary options is encouraged, supported and provided in TA. Susan Spellman Cann has initiated a daily tellagami where she sends her TA daily quotes.

These are but a few ideas for celebrating our students. Sharing, collaborating, connecting and problem solving are all modeled through the TA relationship. Engaging our students is an ongoing process, but the benefits of a lasting positive relationship are lifelong.

What do you do to engage students in your teacher advisory group? We’d love you to share your ideas.

Collaborative post by :Susan Spellman Cann, Kevin Warriner and Heather Enzie

The nice thing about collaborating on a post is that several ideas come out of the discussion. We thought of all kinds of ideas for each day after we discussed this post. All of which will benefit students.

Check out this haiku deck . It is one of many you can share with students.

Sharing: Unlocking the Key to My Filing Cabinet and Keeping it Open … HOPE


This blog is the beginning of me keeping my filing cabinet open. I have many resources I have wanted to share with school counsellors,but did not realize I could do it. This blog is how and the time is now thanks to the fantastic open sharing in ETMOOC and especially because of Alec Couros. The process stated with me being referred to Alec’s work by Vianne Timmons, so I went to his workshop and got going on twitter. So began the best PD ever. I have been following the fantastic work of Dr. Erin Mason and other school counsellors in the United States and beyond, but I was still not ready to jump into a blog. Fears got in the way. I have been fortunate to have many, many great dialogues with Erin Luong which also helped with my decision making. ETMOOC was the final push and as a result I believe I will share, share, share and in an OPEN EDUCATOR way. I have so much more to learn and as I do this I am very GRATEFUL for all of ETMOOC participants who have inspired me to share openly.

My first THEME HOPE.. I hope school counsellors can use some of the ideas and materials. Take what you like REMIX ( a term I now really understand because of ETMOOC ) and leave the rest.

“Once you choose hope, anything is possible” Christopher Reeve

HOPE is essential when it comes to school counselling. School Counsellors can take a leadership role when it comes to instilling hope in students. Listen to Derek’s story of not giving up which demonstrates the power of HOPE. We know that if students are resilient they are better able to self- regulate and that means they can cope more effectively. According to Barbara Frederickson a psychological researcher at the University of North Carolina, “a positive mood makes people more resilient physically”.  Resiliency and hope definitely go hand in hand.

Shane Lopez, psychologist and author of Making Hope Happen helps us understand more about hope and the steps needed to help students be more hopeful.

We want students to never give up and if we can access resources to help us do this we will make a difference and possibly save a life.

How can we spread hope throughout the school in a digital way?

  • We can post videos like Derek’s story on our counselling website.
  • We can tweet out to stories of hope on twitter.
  • We can post stories of hope on our school Facebook site as well as our school website.
  • We can embed Hope themes and pictures into our curriculum guides

Hope is an Open Heart a book by Lauren Thompson can be used with younger students to discuss losses and the overcoming of hardship.

Students could be encouraged to:

  • Make videos of HOPE
  • Create Art pieces around the theme of HOPE
  • Make @haikudecks on iPad with a HOPE theme
  • Design hopeful songs or music
  • Find people who inspire HOPE and write about them
  • Brainstorm ways to inspire hope in others
  • Make bulletin boards on themes of HOPE and Suicide Prevention
  • For younger students they could make trading cards the size of hockey cards and design cards of HOPE that they can trade with others
  • Performing Random Acts of Kindness can inspire hope as well.


  1. At you can find smile cards which you can download and hand out.
  2. Who I am Makes a Difference ribbons can be ordered at These ribbons are great to use in a Celebration of HOPE assembly or as a beginning of the year activity.
  3. Some great books for school counsellors are called :The Power To Prevent Suicide  A Guide To Helping teens by Richard E Nelson, A Parent’s Guide for Suicidal and Depressed Teens by Kate Williams Beyond the Blues a workbook to help teens overcome depression by Lisa M Schab
  4.  At you can make your own bulletin boards or make them and post for all kids to see.
  5. At pinterest you can see some ideas for HOPE on this board
  6. Search institute has done extensive research on what adolescents need to be resilient. They have great resources. Go to

As a school counsellor incorporating a suicide prevention theme with the theme of hope just makes sense. Running suicide prevention workshops for your students at the beginning of the school year is also very valueable.

Look Listen and Link is a video which could be very helpful for Suicide Prevention for teens. You can find it on Youtube. Here is another message of hope.

The Centre for Suicide Prevention has fantastic resources for school counsellors.

  1. A great book for students is When Nothing Matters Anymore by Bev Cobain

At the APP store students can access a digital blue ribbon that they can share with others sending positive messages to anyone they feel makes a difference. You can find a link to the blue ribbon in my livebinder.

Finally you can access my livebinder on HOPE for more ideas.

These are but a few ideas. Please share yours so we can help students everywhere.

This blog post will be a work in progress and as I continue to learn. I will share more and more.

Topic #4: The Open Movement – Open Access, Open Educational Resources & Future of Education … So Much to Think About …


What do I think about topic 4? Well I think there are so many things within this topic that I will reflect on for a long time. ETMOOC is just a piece of the process when it comes to challenging what I believe about these topics.

Open Movement: While I had heard about this before ETMOOC, I had not really given it much thought. I certainly love the philosophical discussions I have been having with colleagues and most likely will continue to have discussions around this movement.

RIP Remixer’s Manifesto was interesting to view. It challenges my belief system around fair use, remix, copyright and makes me question where are we going in society around these issues. How does this impact students and where do I stand on these issues? There is so much to think about. I am hoping to learn more about these issues and as a result I will better be able to reflect on my beliefs as topic 4 progresses.

The future of education… I think that could be a whole book. I appreciate the time to reflect on these issues as they impact what I do and how I will reframe my own thinking.

I am slowly realizing why the ETMOOC has been set up the way it has. It is purposeful and process oriented. I look forward to hearing others thoughts and ideas.

Being in ETMOOC has made me think, challenge what I think, reflect, revise what I think and continue to learn and challenge myself and as a result impacts what I say and do.