In the year 2020, whether you are a teacher or a clinician- digital resources are the key to our hearts with the amount of virtual learners that we now have. If your school or clinic is fluctuating between remote and in-person therapy, using digital resources gives you a lot of flexibility. I put together a list of some different types of digital resources that you can use, especially during speech therapy sessions. I think it’s important to understand the different types of resources so you can decide which is the best fit for you. I’ll just highlight four here today.
By now, most SLPs have an ipad in their speech room or the classroom that they are working in as well so you may want to check out this blog post from ages ago when I put together a list of my favorite apps for the ipad as well as when it is appropriate to use an ipad during group therapy.
Interactive PDFs are one of my favorite resources because they are flexible for different resources and also don’t require internet access in case your school doesn’t give you access or you’re doing home health. Distance learning in the spring made us all realize that we needed to be creative in what we were presenting to our students virtually. A PDF is a ‘Portable Document Format.’ Although to some, the old familiar PDF may seem a bit boring and old school on the outside, the possibilities of PDF design are now almost limitless in enabling e-Learning developers and educators to create highly engaging, interactive learning experiences for students.PDFs have content with clickable buttons so students can get immediate visual feedback about if they answered a question correctly with the chance to try again if not. Interactive PDFs have interactive button throughout allowing students to return to the “home” table of contents or move to the next slide. Check out this Interactive PDF for There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Book to see an example of an Interactive PDF book companion.
Boom cards are one of the most popular digital resources for speech therapy. Students love them and they are easy to use and plan for. You can access Boom Cards on any type of device-desktop, laptop or ipad. In a nutshell, they are digital, self-checking interactive activities. You’ll need an account on Boom Learning to get started. There are different levels of accounts. You can use Boom Cards for FREE by using the “fast play” option with any of the decks. The fast play option does not record their answers, but you can upgrade your account for a reasonable fee if you want to track student progress! Even if you are not 1:1 with a student, you could use them on a Smartboard or projector. The best part is that they are SUPER EASY to assign to Google Classroom, which is really great for all of the virtual learners right now. You can check out these Back to School Boom Cards that focus on the F sound if you are new to Boom Learning. This set pairs very well with The Old Lady Companion Bundle that is listed above.
Google has amazing tools to offer and Google Slides is one of Google’s best resources, in my opinion. (Think of it as Microsoft Powerpoint for Google). I have been using Google Slides for a few years now and every year, new features are added. Google Slides is great for creating presentations for colleagues or lessons for students. Beyond just presentations, Google Slides makes a great format for teletherapy. Instead of viewing the document in “presentation mode” keep the document open in “edit mode” and you can move pieces around interactively. In my Digital Get to Know You Worksheets when you open the Google Slides presentation in your teletherapy platform or on a computer during face-to-face therapy, you get to use a variety of interactive actions. Students can type their answers into shaded text boxes and drag and drop the parts of a face to create a digital version of themselves! Google Slides let us use different types of interactive features (drag and drop, text boxes, etc.) all in one document.
If you have the Google apps on your computer, then you are able to access Google Slides for free. Google Slides does work best on a laptop or desktop when creating a document, but you are able to access it on an ipad or iphone by downloading the Google Slides app as well. One of my favorite Google Slides resources that you can either print or use digitally is the Digital Get To Know You Worksheets that I use with students when heading back to school.
TpT Digital Activity Tool
Most of us are probably familiar with the website, Teachers Pay Teachers by now. At the end of the 2019-2020 school year, Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) saw a 250% increase in purchases of digital resources. Because of this increase in digital resources sales, TPT decided to create something new to help educators called TPT Digital Activities. A TpT Digital Activity takes a PDF and allows the user or creator to customize it digitally with additional instructions, answer boxes, and more. Then, assign it to students to complete online via Google Classroom. This means that TPT has given us a tool to start transforming our favorite resources to become digital even if a resource you previously purchased wasn’t digital. You can filter on TPT for “TPT Digital Activities.” Check out this resource that I added answer boxes to in order to open in Google Classroom.
Those 4 types of digital resources will help you through this difficulty hybrid therapy time!
What’s your favorite interactive tool for Speech Therapy?
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