Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Top 5

I hope you all have a Happy New Year! Here are the top-five read posts from 2016:

Target Conversational Behaviors and Scripts with Plotagon

Valentine to Doodle Buddy series Part 1, 2, 3, 4

Readworks Provides Access to Handy Text Passages (note that there is now also a Readworks Digital which is more accessible/engaging on devices)

Google Apps: Collaboration, Consultation, and Supervision

Enter Vacation Mode with Toca Life: Vacation

See you all in 2017!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tech-ing up Communication Books

I read a helpful post this week on Edutopia- 15 Questions to Replace "How was School Today?", which I think is a good resource to share with parents. It is often a concern of parents of children receiving speech and language services that their kids seem not to be able to answer this question, and the post provides a) the important perspective that many typical kids struggle (or refuse) to respond to the question and b) good ways to scaffold and break it down to focus on more specific topics.

The post got me thinking, however, about the practice of using a home-school communication notebook to facilitate these kinds of discussions (and monitoring other issues) for some students. Although I'm not in the day to day of being involved in this communication in the school setting currently, I remember being so, and I wondered, why does that have to be a notebook, which:
-is a physical object that needs to be found by multiple people on both sides and
-cannot easily contain photos, which are a terrific scaffold to get kids to talk about their day (color printing is very expensive and involves a number of steps).

In my consultation work with groups and at a few schools, I have been working with teachers to explore more and varied uses of simple tools like Google Docs, which it seems would address the above problems. Google Docs is available so many ways I am not going to provide a link (via the web or apps for any device) and most districts provide accounts to educators. Via an in-person discussion, this idea could easily be floated to parents and a document created and shared on the spot for training (maybe make a new doc every month so they don't get too long). A format can be agreed upon (e.g. for separating dates, class, or service delivery entries) the use of comments encouraged, and conventions to preserve confidentiality according to district standards can be ironed out.

In addressing the two issues above, all service providers can have access to the docs-based "notebook" from any device, so they don't have to go hunting for it during a busy day. And the best part, just tap the + button within a document from the mobile device app, then Image, and you can photograph any context throughout the day. If appropriate, you can have the student work on writing the captions!

Google Docs app on iPhone, identical features available on iPad

So, are you using Google Apps for parent communication? What successes or difficulties have you encountered?

Monday, December 12, 2016

ICYMI

In case you missed it, some recent posts for Mindwing Concepts about narrative, expository language and social cognition, and app integration columns for ASHA Leader:

Tech Tuesday: Recommending “YouCue Feelings” by Dr. Anna Vagin

Tech Tuesday: Spooky Stories!

Tech Tuesday: Build a Story with LEGO, Part 2

Tech Tuesday: Build a Story with LEGO, Part 1

Tech Tuesday: Play with Stories!

App-Titude: Apps to Get them Chatting

App-Titude: Welcome to Social Studies

App-Titude: Convention Edition

App-Titude: A Counselor in Clients' Pockets

Monday, December 5, 2016

Using Google Slides in Language Intervention

ASHA 2016 in Philly was a whirlwind, and given a few other busy weeks following it, I am still sort of flummoxed that it has come and gone! I enjoyed presenting with Nathan Curtis and Amy Reid of Waldo County General Hospital in Maine on resources that can be used for co-engagement and co-creation in interventions both in-person and via telepractice. One of the resources we discussed was Google Slides, which is part of your Google Apps available through personal or school accounts, and I wanted to share a video I made demonstrating some possibilities:

(email subscribers please click through to the post in order to see the video)



Some main points here:
-Google Slides is a free tool you can access from your Drive page, just click New to start a new slide series.
-The tool can be used like a Book Creator (in fact, like the Book Creator app itself) to combine pictures and text to make a "book"- think a repeated line book or any book used to convey a narratiev or expository topic.
-The Explore tool under Tools>Explore allows you to search for images and simply drag them into the presentation (these are copyright-friendly)
-One advantage of Slides particularly for telepractice is that you can share the file with anyone with a google account and they can continue working on it.
-You can create and edit Slides presentations from the iPad as well, but the Explore feature to search images is not available (you'd have to leave the app, go to Safari, search and save images to add).
-Check out this post for good ideas on how to use Google Slides in "unusual" ways!
 
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