Tag Archives: technology

Speech & Language Therapy Just Got More Exciting!

29 Mar


The New iPad2


The brand new iPad2 has arrived at PS20!  It will be a couple of days before I start using it in therapy sessions with students because there are thousands of apps and books to sort through and organize.  I will say, there are so many great educational and clinical apps for the iPad that I can’t believe we spent so many years using flashcards and other paper materials.  Don’t get me wrong, there is still a time and place for paper books and paper materials.  But this is seriously exciting stuff people!

If you are currently reading this in an email update, please click on the link to my actual blog.  I have updated links for Apps for both the iPhone and iPad that are relevant to language development, literacy and communication skills (for parents, educators and Speech Therapists).  These links are continuously updated so check back often.

I have been scouring the internet reading reviews from educators, administrators and Speech Therapists in both school and clinical settings to find the best, most effective, most engaging Apps to use with our students here at PS20.

If you’re interested in a sneak peek of some of the iPad Apps I’ll be introducing here with our students, you can check out this great, user-friendly list, that was organized by another Speech-Language Pathologist, Barbara Fernandez.



In the News: More Schools Embracing IPad as Learning Tool

4 Jan

Since I’m planning on implementing an IPad into Speech and Language therapy sessions here at PS20, I’ve been doing quite a lot of reading about how other Speech Therapists and teachers have been using them in their clinical practices and classrooms.

While more research is needed to fully assess the impact of computers and technology (such as the IPad) on student learning, I feel strongly that a multimedia approach to communication will help our students with Speech and Language impairments.  An article in today’s New York Times claims that more schools are embracing the IPad as a learning tool.

Click here to read the article  in today’s New York Times in the Education section that describes how some schools are using this latest technology.

PS20 Wins Speech & Language Technology Grant!

18 Dec

generationOn LogoHeckscher Foundation Logo

Thank you GenerationON and The Heckscher Foundation for Children!

Three weeks ago I applied for a teacher’s aid grant through Generation ON and I found out yesterday that I have been generously awarded $2,000 to purchase some technology  for the students in my school!

PS20 is really working toward becoming a model for evidenced-based, curriculum-based, collaborative and innovative Speech and Language therapy.

In a previous  entry, I touched upon some of the ways I have already been utilizing technology as a tool in our Speech and Language therapy program. This grant will allow me to take the next step in utilizing and accessing the wealth of resources available for intervention and help me to be a lot more efficient at managing our caseload.

I am compelled to integrate technology into my teaching because of the
changing ways in which we communicate worldwide.  The grant was awarded for the specific purpose of:

  • Purchasing an IPad.
  • Purchase Speech & Language Specific Apps for the IPad.
  • Purchase Computer Software and digital books for student use in therapy sessions.

The IPad, Apps and Software applications for the computer will allow me to implement a more innovative, updated Speech and Language curriculum, keep consistent data, and better collaborate with our entire school community, including parents, teachers and administrators.

Since I started teaching at PS20 last year, I have been gathering many materials on my own to enhance therapy for our students.   Our school as a whole has been working to integrate technology into our classrooms.  As of July of 2010, there are smart boards in all of our 3-5th grade classrooms and each teacher is equipped to facilitate learning through state of the art technology.  I work primarily with the lower grades (Kindergarten through 2nd grade) and am excited about scaffolding classroom curriculum with a more modern approach.

Many of the traditional games and Speech/ Language therapy activities are now offered in online formats.  Kids benefit from the visual and interactive approach to teaching communication skills offered by computers and technology.  As a therapist I can easily differentiate my lessons for different learning styles, and easily manipulate the level of difficulty or activities.  With the IPad, students will be able to touch the screen to interact with books, and make characters in stories come alive.

In addition to student’s use of the IPad, with the help of the IPad technology, moving towards evidenced-based practice is much easier.  We must provide data to support the work we do in therapy – and there is a lot of paperwork involved in keeping solid clinical and academic records.  The IPad will allow me to more efficiently track a student’s progress over time, and see data for student responses in organized tables that help to easily sort out strengths and weaknesses in certain areas.

Also, I will be able to create more and diverse opportunities for students to practice a skill, and build on previous skills in a sequential, organized way that is easy to plan and track.

Much of today’s communication is happening online and through computers.  Using technology helps our students gain access to all avenues of communication.

The other exciting piece of news is that in addition to the technology we will add to our Speech and Language program, I will be implementing 5 GenerationON service learning lesson plans with our students.  You can read more about the kinds of things we’ll be doing through learningtogive.org.  I love the idea of using service-learning and volunteerism as a unit theme, and building language, vocabulary, sequencing, targeted speech sounds and communication skills through these lessons.  I’ll keep you updated as we get started with these projects!

Thank you again to GenerationOn and the Heckscher Foundation for Children for their support, generous contribution and their commitment to service learning, which is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our communities and to ourselves.

Communication & TECHNOLOGY

5 Nov

Image from: https://i0.wp.com/www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/health-and-fitness/HappyComputer.jpg

As we all know, the way we communicate with each other is constantly changing.  Technology is an ever-growing presence in our lives.   There is an awesome blog called GeekSLP blog all about technology for Speech and Language Therapists.  I highly recommend checking it out by clicking here. There are so many apps for iphones and computers now with amazing and enriching language activities for kids.

I use technology in Speech and Language therapy sessions for several reasons:

  • Many of the traditional games and Speech/ Language therapy activities are now offered in online formats.  Kids love the computer and benefit from the visual and interactive approach to teaching communication skills.
  • As a therapist I can easily differentiate my lessons for different learning styles and easily manipulate the level of difficulty.
  • With the help of the computer and technology, moving towards evidenced-based practice is much easier.  We must provide data to support the work we do in therapy and with the computer I can easily track a student’s progress over time, and see data for student responses in organized tables that help to easily sort out strengths and weaknesses in certain areas.
  • There are more opportunities for students to practice a skill, and build on previous skills in a sequential, organized way that is easy to plan and track.
  • Much of today’s communication is happening online and through computers.  Using technology helps our students gain access to all avenues of communication.

Communication is dynamic and interactive.  The activities I have been using are most effective when they are facilitated by the therapist to maximize generalization of Speech & Language goals and to ensure students are making proper connections to classroom curriculum.  If you’d like to take a look at some of the software I’ve been using with students, here are a few of my favorites:

No-Glamour Sequencing:

This is a sequencing program that I use with my first and second graders.  Together we put 3 and 4 step activities in order and use targeted vocabulary to describe each step and tell a story.  In the classroom, first and second grade students are learning how to sequence their own stories, with a focus on First, Next, Then, Finally as prompts to help them organize the events.

Hear Builder Phonological Awareness:

Kids with language and processing disorders often have difficulty with a number of pre-literacy skills such as segmenting, blending, and manipulating sounds,  segmenting sentences and syllables and rhyming.  This is a software program that I can customize for each of my students.  And- it’s fun, so students are motivated to work on these critical, fundamental skills, which can sometimes be difficult and boring for students.  As you move through different listening and sound segmenting activities, you earn players for your rock band.

Imagine Speech WH-Question Quest:

Another customizable program for students who struggle with answer different question types.  In order for students to access the classroom curriculum, one fundamental thing they need to be able to do is understand question types and what exactly is being asked of them.  Many of my students have difficulty distinguishing between questions that begin with Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

I will also be adding more free internet based Speech and Language activities to the link list on the right of my blog.  Keep checking back to find activities to use with your kids at home!  In the meantime, I definitely recommend poking around the GeekSLP blog. By the way, SLP stands for Speech Language Pathologist 🙂

Have a GREAT weekend!


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