School counselors often ask me how to best utilize digital check-ins or digital activities with their students. (Digital check-ins are just one example of a way to lean into students’ needs right now. Check out “3 Ways to Check In With Students Even When It’s Tough” for some other examples of ways to pursue students when checking in is just plain tough.)
Some schools use Google Drive; others use Schoology, Seesaw, and more. I, personally, am most familiar with Google Drive, and I allow my Counselor Clique resources to be shared on password-protected platforms (like Google Classroom or even email… just not a public website.)
Digital check-ins or digital activities are such a valuable way to stay connected to students when they’re not in school full-time. I definitely see digital check-ins being a resource that will only continue to add value to our school counseling programs even if/when we are to return to full-time learning in the school building.
Here are FOUR ways to use digital check-ins/digital activities in your school counseling setting:
1- Email your digital check-ins to students and have them send them back to you or share back with you once they are filled out. My digital check-ins, for example, are in Google Slides. These slides can be downloaded as a PowerPoint or used as they come on Google Slides. These can be shared via email (you could use your original in Google Slides or make a copy) or you can download as PowerPoint and send those slides to a student via email.
2- You can use the digital check-in slides as a classroom presentation to creatively check in with the class as a whole or add in ways for them to vote or show their responses to poll-like questions. (Think Kahoot, Mentimeter, expo boards, hand raising, rating polls with their fingers.) The check-in slides could be a great springboard for a larger classroom discussion. This could be done digitally by popping into a teacher’s live digital discussion, pre-recording a classroom lesson and playing it through a teacher’s class, or delivering live and in-person material with a class.
Katie V. gave some great feedback about the Senior Planning Bundle as a digital resource to use with larger groups of students both in person and virtually: “… [This] was a life saver with the hybrid schedule this year and not being able to plan an [actual] student and family night to cover all the topics. I’m doing both virtual and classroom guidance pieces with this resource, and it was a great choice for meeting my seniors’ needs!”
3- Thirdly, you could assign a digital check-in to students in Google Classroom. I include instructions in each of my digital resource downloads on how to do this. It’s super easy to do and allows students to write, type, drag, and interact with slides without touching the original or seeing others’ responses. This is my favorite way to use my digital resources. As the owner who assigns this in Classroom, you can see students’ responses.
4- You could have an individual counseling session via video chat or in person. On video, share your screen or have the student share their screen with you. In person, bring up the slides on a computer screen or monitor. Walk through each slide with the student to use it as a valuable conversation starter.
Sallie M. used my Stress Management Digital Reflection Activity and said, “Distance learning has created lots of anxiety in my students so having a great digital resource to share [with] them to work through at home is so helpful!” Digital activities bring so much to a school counseling program that we may not have predicted a few years ago!
How else are you checking in with students right now? Here’s a free Stress Management Coping Spinner that I made! (It’s crafty and not digital, but it’s a great way to connect with students nonetheless!)