Laura's cover image
Laura

Laura Jellins

Year of Award: 2012 Award State: Australian Capital Territory Education > General
Health And Medicine > Mental Health
The Peter Mitchell Churchill Fellowship to investigate the emerging use of technology to enhance the delivery of psychological services in schools - USA

Since the beginning of my secondary education, I was using internet connected desktop computers. By the time I reached my tertiary studies, laptops offered more portability and with permission from professors, I was the first in my educational psychology classes to tape audio recordings of lectures and directly type notes onto word processing software. 

When I reached employment, tablet technology began to emerge, and once again, I started experimenting with how this technology could enhance my lifelong learning and be incorporated into my professional practice. As an early career School Psychologist, I asked “How could technology support School Psychologists?”

The focus of my Churchill project was to explore current innovations that enhance our effectiveness in delivering services to students.

The USA is at the forefront of practical applications of technology for School Psychologists. Each year, the National Association of School Psychologists holds an annual convention that is attended by 5,000 practitioners and researchers. With over 1,200 educational sessions, the conference offers a wealth of research based presentations, interactive workshops, cutting edge seminars, posters of innovative practice and more than 100 exhibitors showcasing new psychological tests and products.

Technology has increasingly featured as a significant part of the program, and with rapid developments over the last 12 months, this was an opportune time to explore current innovations.

A crucial component of this project was to observe firsthand the way the technologies could be incorporated into psychological practice in the school setting. For this reason, I visited a number of school districts across the USA to shadow and interact with pioneering School Psychologists who were recommended for their reputation in the implementation of technology.

I also visited university departments providing school psychology training programs and I consulted with academics leading research and its integration with practice. This gave me the opportunity to exchange ideas and gain insight into technological advances that could be implemented in. 

Sir Winston Churchill once said, “With opportunity comes responsibility” and the findings contained in this report will be disseminated in a number of ways. First, I will present to colleagues and the leadership team in the ACT Education and Training Directorate School Counselling service.

Second, through the Australian Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools national conference in Sydney in June 2013, and the Psychologists in Schools Reference Group Forum at the Australian Psychological Society’s conference in Cairns in October 2013, I will deliver presentations to colleagues working in schools across Australia.

I will also share my knowledge with the broader education community through newsletter publications and the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. I trust that this report serves as a practical reference for School Psychologists and contributes to the development of our field.

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