For my 6th and final post, I wanted to try something a little different. I was curious about how difficult it would be for a parent to seek out the therapy technologies I’ve been learning about themselves and wanted to see how they would go about their search. I also wanted to find ways that I could help parents in the future with finding these resources. I ended up going to Pinterest and Twitter and doing specific searches to see what was out there as far as speech therapy technology for home use goes. What I found was this:
My search began on Pinterest, and I ended up finding a great account with helpful resources for doing speech therapy with technology in the home. The board is found here: http://www.pinterest.com/pammyz/slp-tech-apps/ . This board mostly consists of a lot of helpful apps, and most of them have some sort of tutorial. Finding this resource made me think about how I could use Pinterest as an SLP in the future. Making a board with resources for parents would be really helpful for them to see what they can use to work with their children. I could pin a few different websites, games, or app ideas for parents to look through and determine what they feel they can use at home.
The next site I ventured to is Twitter. For me, Twitter was a little bit more difficult to navigate just because there is so much being said and so much information being tweeted. That being said, because of the abundance of information Twitter can be a good resource for finding out things you’re wanting to know more about. By searching #SLP technology I found many tweets featuring types of technology available. One helpful account that I found was @SpeechTechie. This account is pretty popular and regularly tweets innovative ways that technology can be used in speech therapy. For example, one of his latest tweets was about an American Girl speech therapy app. Keeping up with accounts like this one would definitely keep any SLP and parent up to date with what technologies are being used. As an SLP in the future, I could use twitter to tweet and retweet different technologies that I find useful. If parents were to follow me, I could help them narrow down their choices for home therapy and make twitter a little less overwhelming and a more beneficial resource for them.
For my fifth post, I decided to give Youtube a try and see if any speech therapists have videos that take a position on using technology for speech therapy in the home. What I found was this really informative video about apps that can be used to help younger children with speech therapy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqyRAFRfwik . The apps that these SLPs suggest can be used both by the speech therapist as well as by parents at home. The therapists explained toward the end of the video that technology these days is seen as an incentive for kids. By moving toward therapy that can be done on an iPad with a parent, kids might be more excited about practicing their speech without even realizing it.
While I personally like all five of the apps that they mention, my favorites are the “Kids at Home” and the “Articulation Station” apps. “Kids at Home” is great because like the SLPs mentioned in the video, kids can practice labeling objects in the home and start expressing themselves. In addition, if a parent can’t understand a child’s needs the child can point to the object they want. “Articulation Station” is really interesting to me because it breaks down the therapy into three levels: word level, sentence level, and story level. Parents can work with their kids at whichever level they’re at and provide supplemental help in the home.
One of the speech therapists in the video mentioned that these apps are really great because they give kids extra help at home, which is important because speech therapy is generally only administered to kids for an hour a week. I feel like this video is a really good resource for me to see more of the technology available and what other SLPs think of its use.
After researching the different types of technology available for speech patients and the media’s opinion of technology used for speech therapy I thought it would be helpful to learn first hand how a Speech Language Pathologist feels about this new mode of therapy, and whether or not it’s actually helpful. I have been shadowing a really great SLP at High Shoals Elementary, Mrs. Diana Hendry, and when I asked her for help with my question she was more than happy to give me information.
Mrs. Hendry is very positive about the rise of technology as an aid for practicing speech therapy. She herself has a Smart Board in her classroom and uses it fairly often for younger students who learn better by playing speech oriented games. She noted that while the technology is very helpful, it is important to have an adult with the child while they are playing the games to make sure they’re actually saying the sound or phrases they’re working on. She was very happy about the new helpful role of technology. While she doesn’t fully depend on technology to conduct therapy in the classroom, she is definitely happy about it as an aid when she needs it.
When I asked Ms. Hendry about technology that students can use at home for their own speech therapy practice, she showed me a website that I thought was really cool. The website, Qia.com, has a speech therapy tab where activities can be found for the specific speech or language goals the child is working on at the time. I thought this was a really great resource, and it was easy enough to navigate that I feel a child could use it. She did say that, again, a parent might want to be close by so that the child is actually saying the words the correct way and practicing the right way.
The specific Qia website is here: http://www.quia.com/shared/speech_therapy/
I thought it was really interesting to hear about Mrs. Hendry’s opinion of technology in speech therapy today, and how she finds it useful. I know there are some who are pretty skeptical about its use and are wary to adopt it as a technique. I was able to see some of her students practice on the smart board, and it was obvious that they were enjoying the way they were learning. It would make sense that this might be the case if the technology was in the home for practice as well.
For my third attempt at trying to find an answer to my question, “How can technology help a child in need of speech therapy in the home?” I thought I’d try to find an article on the topic and see what someone in the media has to say. What I found was an article by The Huffington Post called There’s an App for That: A Speech Language Therapist’s Perspective. This article changed quite a few things for me and this project.
So far the way I have been going about my project is searching for technology that can aid in speech therapy, but what I haven’t asked myself yet is does technology really help? Reading this article made me realize quite a bit about the role of technology as a teacher. The SLP in the article does mention that technology is helpful, but if you keep reading you’ll find that there are a few reasons that technology is not the only way to go to provide extra help. While technology can provide extra practice, the truth is that kids learn most of what they know about language through social interaction and spontaneous conversations. This opinion on technology really got me thinking about what I’m researching. I think as I start to shape my question more, I might think about what experts in the field have to say about using technology. My question is starting to become more about whether or not technology is helpful for practicing speech therapy in the home.
Snow day in Athens!
It is now the third snow day of the week, and I can’t stand the lazy anymore, so no better time to look up info on my 20% project. With a little help from Pinterest, I found an awesome blog that laid out some really cool apps that can be used anywhere on an ipad or iphone. While some of the apps mentioned are a little more for professional use, there are a few that I think parents could use with their kids with the recommendation of an SLP and advice on the areas that the child need improvement. Here is the blog:
So on this list, my favorite app for my purposes is the Magic Voice app. This app seems child friendly, and like one that wouldn’t be grueling to work on at home. I think my main goal is to find something that a child will actually enjoy doing so that they’re practicing without getting burned out. This app is free, but I think to unlock features you do have to pay a bit more (2.99?), but if it’s effective it could be worth it in the long run.
I also liked “The R App” just because so many kids have a difficult time producing this sound during their younger years. This app seems helpful for parents because they can discover tips on how to help their child produce the sound correctly. My only issue with this one is that it’s less of a game and more of a therapy session, which is good, but I want something the kids will enjoy. I guess I’m coming up with more parameters for what I’m looking for. This app is around 5 dollars, but it’s more of a therapy tool and seems a bit more fancy.
I really like the idea of using apps, but I want to know if there’s something that kids without access to an ipad/ iphone can use. In an ideal world, kids who need to use this technology could check it out from a school/ public library and be able to utilize it as needed, but I know that public schools have other monetary priorities. I think my new task will be coming up with a more accessible solution for these kids, but the apps are a start.
Have a Happy, snow filled Valentines day!
When we were told in class that we would be working on a semester-long project on anything of our choosing (relating to technology and education) I was a little bit overwhelmed and had no idea what I would work on. With a little brain power, I soon realized I’ve always been passionate about two things: helping kids with speech problems, and making sure they have help at home as well as in the classroom. This led me to decide that for my 20% project, I’ll be exploring the technology available for patients of speech therapy to use for extra help at home.
For those of you who aren’t sure how speech therapy works in the classroom, a child with a speech disorder will spend about an hour a week with a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), broken up into two thirty minute segments. This of course varies with severity, but from what I’ve observed this is the average for public schools. These two thirty minute segments are really helpful for the student and get them started on how they can produce sounds the right way, but it always helps when a child has help at home too.
The parent of the child is with them in the child’s most natural setting: at home. I really feel like the parent should have a way of helping the child at home, not even vigorously, just in a relaxed way. I’m sure technology can be a mode of helping the student while keeping them interested, and this extra practice could even expedite the speech therapy process in school. This is just how I feel about the subject, and it’s not really proven true as far as I know, but I’m really excited to explore how technology can aid in speech therapy in the home setting.