It took about 5 minutes to fall in love with my new Apple watch. It was a totally awesome Christmas surprise that wasn’t even on my Santa list! I’ve had it at work for about a month now and thought you might want to know how SLPs can use it in their work life!
- Calendar. Ok you know when you have a random IEP in the middle of the day. I used to write this on my hand. “IEP at 10:20”. I had about a 50% success rate at attended those because I’d always forget the out-of-my-routine meetings. Now, while I’m in the classroom, my calendar reminders gently buzz my arm! No one has to call down to the classroom looking for me!
- Alarms. Do you set an alarm to remind you when to dismiss groups? If you set an alarm on your phone you can quickly turn it off on your arm.
- Reminders: You know when you’re on the 3rd child in your set of straight 10 sessions and you think about how you need to set up new data sheet since you held the IEP last week? I always forget these things. Now I tell Siri, “Hey Siri, set a reminder for 11 to make Jake a new data sheet”. When I get back to my lunch at 11, the 3 things I need to do buzz on my arm. I can snooze them or dismiss!
- Timers. At least 5 times a day I say, “Do you need me to set a timer?” Simply hold your arm up and say, “Hey Siri, set a timer for 10 minutes.” The timer automatically sets and your student will get back to work! This is a life saving behavior management tool for me! We don’t waste time finding the sand timers.
- Take a recording. I use the Evernote app to record student language samples. You can utilize your Apple Watch for this! Just open the app on your watch, select the + icon and label it with something descriptive! Bazinga!
- Google Maps. Ok fellow traveling SLPs. You GPS displays on your Apple Watch making it safer to use while driving.
- AAC: Proloquo4Text is just out and provides some text to speech options. Read more here.
- Class DOJO: If you use Class Dojo for behavior management, utilize your apple watch to add points.
- iTranslate. While hopefully you have access to a translator, there might be times when a parent shows up in your office and you need to give a quick message. Utilize this app to do just that!
- Trigger a workflow or IFTTT. If you’re familiar with IFTTT (If this then that) applets you can set those to trigger from your phone. You might have a student whose parents require notification each time you see that kiddo. You could set up the parent email home to trigger with just one tap from your apple watch.
- Texts without your phone. I get a lot of communication through texts at work. It’s pretty obvious but you can answer calls and texts via your watch. If someone sends you an SOS because a student is ill and they need your help covering, you can get it right away.
- Streaks. This is a simple app designed to help you form new habits. You set a goal and then try to do it every day. The app will remind you. It might be drinking 5 glasses of water, making your bed, cleaning closets for 10 minutes a day, or mayyyyyyybe that pesky Medicaid billing. The app is just meant to be used for a short time to get yourself into the habit of doing something. Hence the name, streak!
The bottom line is convenience and efficiency. My Apple Watch is keeping me in check. Like most of my apple products it is intuitive and saves me so much time. After just a few weeks, I can’t imagine life without it!
How are you using your Apple Watch? Leave me a comment and let me know.
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