Computer technology and the secondary school counselor: A national examination
As in most professional occupations, school counselors have no choice but to become part of the technological revolution. The purpose of this study was to examine (1) secondary school counselor use of computer technology, (2) the influences on their computer technology use, and (3) how they use computer technology in their guidance practice.
The methodology is survey research with an instrument comprised of 35 Likert Scale items and 20 demographic and computer use data items with comment areas. The survey was developed and sent to a national sample of school counselors. The respondents represent a 29.9% return rate. A factor analysis of the survey items produced 7 factors; Internet Use, Communications, Career Information, College Planning, Administrative Tasks, Effectiveness, and Sufficient Resources. The National Standards for School Counseling provides the operational definition of the work of secondary school counselor.
The results indicate more than three quarters (77.3%) of counselors report access to computers; 97.5% access to Internet; 79.3% had a department/district website. Ease of access to current computer equipment, and technology resources are highly correlated with use of computers. The difference in means in use of Internet in high school and middle school counseling is significant for Internet use accounting for more than 15% of the variance. School counselors' perception of influences of effectiveness and a positive attitude and is related to computer use. Other influences such as student access to computer technology, training opportunities, adequacy of equipment, involvement in decision-making, and size of student caseload affect counselor computer use. The ways in which computer technology is integrated in academic, career, and personal and social counseling is discussed.
The summary provides a discussion of the implications of computer use for secondary school counselors and suggestions for further research.
0710: Educational software