SLP Conferences/Worshops Review
As speech language pathologists we have to consistently earn a huge amount of professional development in the form of continuing education Units (CEUs) or professional development points (PDPs) to maintain our certification and to keep current in our field.
Most speech language pathologists are limited to conferences that we can attend in our area. If you’re not near a metropolitan area this can be difficult. Most Speech Language pathologists also have to pay for their own professional development opportunities. Schools often offer their teachers PDPs through school activities but topics focus are rarely to never applicable to our area of expertise.
There are all kinds of professional development opportunities out there though.
Books for self study
However, not all are professional development opportunities are created equal. We need to spend our professional development dollars wisely.
Have you been to a conference lately that has really wowed you or at least gave you a good review or new perspective? Have you participated in other professional development opportunities that were informative and easy? Do you feel your professional development activity was a good value either financially or professionally?
Share your experience by writing a brief conference review, recommendation and don’t forget the link.
A few days ago I listened to a webinar. It was called Pairing Picture Books and Apps to Contextually Address Language Objectives. My isn’t that a mouthful. It was a short one hour freebie put on by Sean Sweeney ccc/slp who is also know as Speechtechie. The purpose of the presentation was to show different ways to encourage language expansion in children combining traditional materials and newer applications.
What was good about this presentation is that he started out by sharing resources. What usually bothers me about conferences in general is that they always start out sharing theory (usually their own since slp’s, especially those who are PhD candidates, love to share their opinions). They share their theory for 4 hours and only spend one on remediation/ therapy suggestions that don’t amount to much. Sean first shared some hard copy resources then got more into books, apps and sites.
Sean has created a method for choosing appropriate apps for speech and language therapy. Since I am a new I pad user I found this extremely helpful. I am finding that not all apps are created equal….in fact some are really poor even the ones designed specifically for therapy. At this point I do not trust many app reviews. Anyway he uses a rubric type system he calls FIVES when evaluating apps to use in therapy.
F- fairly priced
E- educationally relevant
Sean explains his FIVES criteria more in-depth on his website, FIVES Criteria. I have tried to look at apps in a similar way before purchasing them but it is nice to have an organized method to follow.
With limited time he did go over some of his favorite apps, pointing out how you can combine the two different types of materials. If you find a book you like, look for an app that is on a similar topic might be a good pairing. Pairing materials isn’t anything new to a seasoned therapist but given the added tech piece, it wasn’t something on my radar.
One key suggestion he gave…when searching for apps to use in therapy, use the word interactive in your search. I also liked the fact that throughout the webinar he kept reinforcing that apps are a tool and should not replace traditional therapy methods. I thought that was extremely smart and responsible because I frequently see technology overused in the classroom setting or programs not being educationally relevant. Just because content is presented on the computer doesn’t mean it’s good content. You really have to be careful what you buy. Is it relevant or a time filler.
I enjoyed this short webinar and will use many of Sean’s suggestions when choosing apps. I think Sean has plenty to offer and would like to hear more of what he has to say about using apps in therapy. I’ll be keeping a closer eye on his blog. Visit his site at http://www.speechtechie.com
Today I earned .1 CEU listening to a presentation by Clint Johnson, M.A., CCC-SLP at Super Duper Publications. The title of the presentation was An Individual Approach to Teaching Sequencing Skills. Yes, I realize that these companies put together these presentations to introduce or promote a product. In this case it was Hear Builder Sequencing Interactive Software.
Promotion of their product aside I was impressed with the information presented. He presented a nice background on sequencing skills, their overall importance and how sequencing issues look with different disabilities. When I get that kind of information (much of which is review for me) my head spins with new ideas on how to address sequencing skills with my specific students.
The software looks great. I would love to try it. However, I’ve never been set up where I can work with younger students on something like this. I usually have one computer in my room and it’s mine. I usually have groups of 2 or more little ones. I find it quicker and easier to do the same thing with picture cards in my limited amount of time which is often only 20 minutes. However, in this age of leveling and data collection, this program does it all and that in itself I guess looks good on paper.
This software is available as a cd rom and as an online service. They are obviously trying to get whole schools to buy in. I think it might be a nice addition to other similar style software used in the classroom. I’d have to play with it a little more before I could recommend it for a school to buy. You can buy the home edition on amazon. I assume that might not have the data collection piece.
They’ve done studies and developed their own sequencing inventory. I asked the question about formal test measure to assess sequencing and they were only able to refer to their own sequencing inventory. They have some nice pre and post testing data but I would like to see similar pre and post scores with other standardized testing.
This presentation was quick, easy, free and most importantly informative. I will listen to more Super Duper courses. Check out other courses by Super Duper at Super Duper Courses.