Traveling SLP-A Diaries: How technology has enhanced my practice
Wed, Mar 9, 2022
Traveling SLP-A Diaries: How technology has enhanced my practice.
Whether you have just started a travel assignment or been on the road for a while –like I have-, we are always looking to improve our craft, make therapy more engaging and simplify our lives. As practitioners, we are always trying to stay up to date with gadgets, toys, software, and tools to make therapy engaging, yet not everything we use is helpful to our practice.
Going back a few years, I was adamant about technology as a therapeutic tool, as there is extensive research that warns us against the misuse of technology. Though I am still cautious about how I use technology in therapy, it is now one of my favorite tools –especially because of the limited space my tablet occupies when traveling, as well as its accessibility. Below are some of my favorite resources I use on my tablet and PC for therapy:
If your students like to engage in play/game-based activities, like mine, Pink Cat Games is the site for you. This versatile educational game platform, allows you to search for pre-made activities, create your own and assign activities to your student, while the various “games” allow therapy to be fun and engaging to all ages. This platform is user-friendly, as it allows you to narrow down activities by grade, subject, and language. I maximize its use when using it for teletherapy by sharing my screen and simultaneously allowing my students to participate and take turns with a group. As well as assigning activities for extra practice at home and being able to track student data on individual student accounts.
For the therapist that has beginning communicators, children who need augmentative alternative communication or are visual learners, LessonPix is an excellent tool. It allows you to create electronic and printed materials that can be laminated and used for PECS, visual schedules, language, and articulation actives (such as bingo, board games, tic-tac-toe, and more). The layouts help you create an immense number of activities just by choosing the vocabulary you want to include. I particularly use it to make “beginning, middle, and end” charts for stories, “If/then” activities and behavior charts, as well as CORE vocabulary boards for teachers to increase the use of vocabulary in class.
If you enjoy materials from Super Duper, now they offer an online library with almost all their resources. You can find cards, reading material, workbooks, and games all in one place. The benefit is that you have all these resources on your screen, no packing, no sanitizing, and saying goodbye to travelling with boxes full of materials and games. I enjoy using the minimal pair cards with my articulation students, by setting up a “matching game” and have them look for its corresponding pair.
One of the challenges of being a travel therapist has been to manage my time in different time zones, which can be especially tricky when taking CEUs or seminars online. Bridge Academy has been one of the most valuable tools to enhance my knowledge, which I can do at my own pace and in my own time zone. They offer a variety of CEU’s that are up to date, straightforward, and culturally competent. It has also been beneficial to take courses to learn about skills in other disciplines such as occupational and behavioral therapy. The instructors are of various backgrounds, knowledgeable and are open to questions and feedback. The best part, it is free as an SSG employee.
While the transition from having a physical inventory of materials to using technology as an aide in therapy was challenging, I have seen an increase in engagement and participation from my students in general. And though the materials we use are an important component of our sessions, we -the professionals- have the power to employ it wisely, and maximize its benefit for our students. I hope this article can serve as support and you as well can benefit from technology in your practice.