Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Birthday!

Here at post 731, and next week is the 9 year Blogobirthday of SpeechTechie. Thanks for continuing to read!

At a recent conference, I presented how play-based apps can be contexts for all kinds of language targets within an engaging context (e.g. vocabulary, microstructure aspects of verbs, noun phrases, pronouns, causals, social langauge).

Additionally, we consider how a particular app or apps from a developer hits upon a particular play stage, moving from dramatic to removed-event sociodramatic play, thus targeting expanded semantic knowledge and cognition particularly for early learners.

Check out Bamba Birthday Cake and other apps from Bamba- at times simulating events a child would have experienced and in others moving into sociodramatic play (e.g. Bamba Post Office). This app is fre,e but you are better off paying (remember the F- Fair Pricing) a dollar or so in tokens on the home screen to offer students unlimited choices. I generally eschew in-app purchases and would prefer a full version were offered, as is the case with many other apps by this developer. However, this app fits the theme (we miss you, Toca Birthday Party) and this does a nice job with the context of making a cake, picking the birthday character and friend, and allowing for a "party," then taking a "photo!" At each step, descriptors can be used along with silly/absurd choices.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Great Visual Resources from North Star Paths

Via Instagram recently I discovered the social-media-friendly resources from North Star Paths. Kristin Wiens and Paul Totzke have been creating and sharing great visuals and stop-motion animations about helpful topics in learning and self-regulation. I recently used this awesome visual support about visual supports in a presentation:

Note that visually cued instruction is an evidence based practice highlighted in this review by UNC Chapel Hill.

Their Free Downloads page contains many more- some of them would be helpful for professional development and consultation and others for direct use with students.

Also check out their Long Story Shortz page, particularly this stop-motion social narrative (also an EBP technique highlighted in the above document) about fidgets.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

ASHA Webinar Next Week (Also On-Demand)

I would like to invite anyone interested to tune in to an ASHA live webinar that I will be presenting on February 7, 2019. A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: What SLPs Can Do With Images

. During this webinar, I will discuss apps and websites you can utilize for visual support during your practice, how to construct a lesson plan incorporating a tech source, and much more. By attending this webinar, you can earn 0.15 ASHA continuing education units (CEUs). Registration is now open for the live webinar. Register at the link above! If you can’t attend the live webinar, be sure to check out the on-demand version, which will be available for viewing from February 11, 2019 through February 7, 2020. Thanks!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Playing with Geography

Geoguessr is a web-based game that plops you into an unknown place so that you can attempt to guess where you are. The game incorporates Google Street View and allows you to "drive" around by clicking the arrows; you can also click and drag on the screen to take a "look" at the surroundings.

Students then use a map interface to zoom in on a continent and country and make a guess. The game then reveals the location and how far off you were in terms of miles.

This game can be used to work on academic language and a number of other skills:
-recognizing geographic features, continents and countries
-distance concepts and measurement
-"thinking with the eyes" (looking for clues ala Social Thinking®)
-pretending together via taking roles in "driving"
-persistence and self-talk

Many locations don't feature a ton of context so it is helpful to find a sign and perhaps use a web search to get some information about where one might be.

A participant at a workshop asked today if you can restrict yourself to say, the USA or important landmarks. No, but that gave me an idea. This game uses Google Street View which is accessible via Google Earth (via Chrome browser or the iPad app, just click on the little person icon and drag onto the map). You can certainly structure your own version of the game by placing students in Street View into a location that is more contextual or near a landmark, and instructing them that they can only use the arrows to figure out where they are!

Friday, January 11, 2019

A Story of Shapes

Last year, I started using the new Navigating the Zones kit with some of my groups, an extension of the Zones of Regulation curriculum. This interactive tool focuses on matching situations to feelings/Zone changes and- what I have always felt was the whole point of the curriculum- tools to regulate oneself given a challenge during the day. This is framed as a "Zones Pathway." Around the same time I started working with a HSer I had previously had in a group, this time with more of an academic language focus. I like to think I am not extremely boring, so was somewhat flummoxed when he nodded off 3 sessions in a row. It turned out this was happening across the day, due to an exhausting transition to a new school and involvement in sports. Google Slides came to the rescue as a venue to work this out by interactively creating a visual support and transfer the Zones Pathway concept to a venue engaging to him. Particularly the Slides feature of shapes was useful. Use the toolbar at the top to choose a rectangle, drag it out, and color code it using the paint can. The cool thing about shapes in Slides and Drawings is that you can double-click in them and they become a text tool:

My student enjoyed taking the reins in this activity and quickly creating the shapes himself and added text as we discussed. The tools came from an article we quickly searched for: "strategies to stay awake in class." He evaluated each and decided which ones might work for him to try.

An additional tip: if you locate a graphic organizer you like to use, if there is an image of it, you can insert it in a Slide, place shapes over it and the image/graphic organizer becomes typable. Of course working in Google Suite offers all kinds of opportunities to create and share templates with students and groups.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Happy 2019!

Hi Folks- hope all had a wonderful holiday and I wish you Happy New Year. Just wanted to recap here some of the most popular (viewed/shared) posts of 2018. I look forward to sharing new ideas in the new year!

Book Creator in Chrome

Teaching in Social Media Contexts

Book Creator as a Consult and Individual Therapy Tool

Using Google Slides as a Visual Support and "Workbook"

3 Ways to Motivate and Add Narrative Complexity through Emoji 

Building Context Through Technology

I've also been recapping my ASHA Presentations on the Mindwing Concepts Blog- part 1 here and part 2 (slightly delayed!) coming soon.

Image Credit Leland Francisco via Flickr (CC license)

Friday, December 7, 2018


Downloading videos from YouTube can have a number of uses for intervention.
-Downloaded vids don't have the sidebar of distraction from which students will ask to see other things.
-Or ads (another way to avoid these is to insert a video in a Google Slides presentation, sometimes also helpful because you can put a story grammar visual or other support on a following slide, or otherwise put the video in context)
-If you download, you can keep an archive as you wish
-Downloading helps you skirt blocking within a district, or poor wifi
-Occasionally I have found a video that is perfect to illustrate a concept except for one sweary or inappropriate-to-show part- in those cases I have downloaded and used iMovie to edit out that part.

Previously I have recommended a website to do this downloading, but it appears to have become no longer useful for the purpose. You can now download the free application ClipGrab from here for your Mac or PC. It's very easy to use, just copy the YouTube URL (the address at the top bar when the video is playing) and paste into the bar, or ClipGrab also lets you search YouTube from the application. Click Grab This Clip! and you can save to your Downloads folder.

To get started with YouTube clips with some great models of clinical uses, be sure to see Anna Vagin's website and books.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Tech-based sources of clinical information and research

As I just finished writing a presentation for PaTTAN that has a ton of EBP references, I wanted to give a round-up of some of my favorite sources of information. We live in a time of great access to research digitally, and it's important for us to keep in the loop!

First I want to give a shout out to The Informed SLP. I subscribed earlier this year and find it a terrific resource. Each month, Informed SLP produces a friendly and accessibly written digest of clinically relevant research, with a variety of reasonably priced membership options. They also have a free area with great information. Follow them on Facebook or other socmed channels for informative blurbs too. I appreciate Informed SLPs recent messaging about the importance of the other two sides of evidence-based practice: clinical expertise and client values.

I'm not ashamed to admit how much I nerdily visit ASHAwire. This is the launch page for all the ASHA publications. Its search algorithms can be a little hinky but it is always a good place to start, or just to skim recent issues of journals such as Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools. I also find a lot of value from the ASHA's Perspectives journal, which has practical clinical information throughout the year. Join one Special Interest Group ($40) and you have access to all the publications from all the interest groups. Click PDF on any article now and the website loads up ReadCube (you'll need to click add to library and open a free account), which allows you to save articles to your library and annotate them as well!

By the way, the above newly-published article, as a complete Teresa Ukrainetz fan (Ukrainiac?), made me more gleeful than attending Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour this summer. Which I did. I'm 45. It was my birthday present.

I have found ASHA's Evidence Maps website very useful. This is organized by disorder/intervention area and emphasizes higher levels of evidence such as meta-analyses and systematic reviews.

Finally, I'd encourage all of you who supervise graduate students to use or advocate for access to their university libraries online. Boston University provides this benefit to supervisors, among other schools. It is cost-prohibitive for any clinician to subscribe to other journals besides ASHA's, and it behooves any university to help keep its supervisors informed so that their students receive the best experience possible in their clinical placements.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

ASHA Recap

I was happy to attend and present at ASHA in my hometown of Boston this past week! I am still suffering from what we call the #ashahangover, despite being able to drive to the convention center. It is still as always an exhausting and overwhelming three days with a lot to absorb!

In one of my sessions I again presented on the strategic pairing of picture books and apps/web resources to establish context, this time emphasizing how SLPs can integrate science and social studies contexts. This could be with the goal of improving comprehension and expression of macrostructure (story grammar and expository text structures) or micro elements. See my slide below re: social studies summarizing the work of Fang (2012):

Additionally, when we look at our state standards, we can see the connections between content objectives and what we could call language underpinnings (see the work of Wallach and Ehren via ASHAWire)

To take a specific pairing, I presented Scot Ritchie's great Look Where We Live: A First Book of Community Building. This book literally explores community buildings, but more deeply ideas of civics and how people in a community help one another, providing good social studies connections but also social cognition concepts.

As a pairing idea, take Google Earth (via the app on your iPad or Google Chrome, free). Construct a lesson where you "travel" to an example of each of the buildings listed in the book, but within your community. Students can be prompted to describe what they see, and you can produce model narratives about your experiences with these places, in order to elicit the same from your students. A good post-post activity would be to create a map of these places on paper, thus targeting spatial concepts and visual organization (executive function experts such as Sarah Ward stress that map making of different spaces can develop situational awareness and planning).

Monday, November 12, 2018

See you at ASHA!

Hope to see some of you this week, as I have two presentations scheduled for ASHA Convention 2018 in Boston! My first one I am going to try to deliver start to finish in my best Boston accent!

Here are some details on them below. Also see my convention tech preview published on the ASHA Blog.

Topic Area: Language and Learning in School-Age Individuals
Session Number: 1327
Title: Pairing Picture Books & Apps for Contextualized Intervention: Hub of History & Innovation Edition
Session Format: Seminar 2-hours
Day:  Friday, November 16, 2018
Time:  8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Author(s): Sean Sweeney 

Another edition of this popular presentation from ASHA 2012-2017 describes pairings of picture books and apps setting intervention contexts related to science and social studies curriculum areas. Boston, a center of history and scientific innovation, is the perfect location for exploring connections between language intervention and these content area contexts, with picture books and apps providing tools for linguistic interactions.

-Identify 2 apps and picture books containing language structures and contexts within text, visuals and interactions
-State 4 features of disciplinary language within science and social studies providing contexts for language intervention
-Describe 2 session plans pairing books and apps based on contextual overlappings

Topic Area: Telepractice and Technology
Session Number: 1752
Title: Evolutionary Telepractice Approaches: Bridging the Gap Between Integrating Evidence-Based Methodologies & Methods of Delivery
Session Format: Seminar 2-hours
Day:  Saturday, November 17, 2018
Time:  8:00 AM - 10:00 AM 

Author(s): Amy Reid (PRESENTING AUTHOR: Author who will be presenting), Sean Sweeney (PRESENTING AUTHOR: Author who will be presenting), Nathan Curtis (PRESENTING AUTHOR: Author who will be presenting)

Speech-Language Pathologists aim to meet the goal of evidence-based practice by integrating clinical expertise, scientific evidence, and client/patient/caregiver perspectives. This presentation discusses how to utilize evidence-based methodologies in telepractice. We will present the underlying research and methodologies as the framework upon which to make clinical decisions about context. We will share video demonstrations of materials and approaches.

(Note: Amy and Nathan are the tele-experts in this one, as I'll be talking tech and context. You might be interested in the material regardless of whether you are involved in telepractice)


List three ways to include evidence-based methodologies in telepractice sessions
Describe two clinical techniques applying technology with curriculum-based materials to complete evidence-based approaches in telepractice
State three ways to engage clients on curriculum-based content using digital and “hands-on” resources  

Hope to see you there!