There is an emerging evidence base in career guidance that attests to the efficacy of digital approaches and the potential to combine them with professional expertise to.
- help your students understand their strengths
- enable your students to become more experimental in their career thinking
- encourage your students to identify and explore a wide range of options
- allow your students to independently research each of these options
- prepare your students for a discussion with an adviser
- help your students apply for opportunities in learning and work
The internet offers us, as career development professionals, a huge variety of resources to use as we work with our students. There are profiling tools, games, articles, video profiles, films, tests, quizzes, calculators, flowcharts, planning tools, research and exploration tools, pathway/progression diagrams, search tools and maps. So, how can you make more effective use of your digital careers resources?
Programme of Delivery
Our research suggests that it is important to develop a coherent approach to the use of digital career resources, embed them into curriculum delivery and make it easy for students to learn from them. Students need carefully planned opportunities to develop their competence in using online career resources. Providing your students with lots of cross-curricular opportunities to use digital career resources is key to the development of those all- important processes of innovation, experimentation, reflection and peer sharing. There are a number of practical ways you can do this:
- Induction days for year 6 - sending out an early message about the importance of careers e.g. using an interactive self-evaluation and profiling tool
- Assemblies – presenting visual information to introduce careers ideas and priorities
- Interviews with Careers Advisers using your digital careers library as a reference tool to support students or using the outcomes of digital questionnaires to inform discussions with students
- Tutorial programme - completing digital careers questionnaires, ,creating action plans and personal statements
- Subject delivery – using resources linked to specific subjects to support the options process at 13/14, 16 and 18 or coursework
- PSHE programme – using digital lesson plans to deliver key topics linked to learning options and career pathways
- Enrichment programme - completing digital careers questionnaires and preparation/follow up for speakers/visitors
- Activity half/full days – linked to preparation/follow-up for visiting speakers, workplace visits, careers fairs and higher education events
- Induction programme for new Year 12 - – using resources linked to specific subjects to research and check career pathways related to their choice of post-16 courses
- Work experience –research and preparation in advance of a placement
- Monitoring and tracking your students – producing personal career profiles, individual action plans and group reports
Structured Support for Students
Online digital career resources are valued by students. They provide a media rich experience and access to more personalised information. However, a key issue raised by students is the difficulty they have handling and interpreting the volume of information available from career websites. As one student put it ‘you get so much information, you don’t know which bits are right for you, would apply to you. It needs someone to make sense of it for you’. Most students using digital resources will need or seek support and, the nature of that support, will be dependent on their levels of motivation and persistence, their confidence and the stage of their career thinking. A number of schools have recognised this and developed mediated approaches with support from careers advisers, teachers and parents.
Developing Digital Career Literacy
It is also important to recognise the skills and literacies that underpin the effective use of digital careers information . An increasing number of schools are creating or purchasing a digital careers resource library… but do their students have the appropriate skills to use these digital tools and sources of information, to find, source and manage information, to understand and verify that information? If your students are going to be using your digital careers resource library as a marketplace, this raises further the question of digital career literacy, particularly student’s abilities to collect and critique information.