Friday, February 17, 2012

Finally....Tool #11

Wow!  I feel I have become so much more aware of how technology can transform our classrooms!  It is a very exciting time to be in education!  My favorite tools would be using i-Pad apps for my individual and small group instruction, Skype Chats to discuss books with another campus' speech students, Wall wisher to post our comments and questions, Wordle to expand vocabulary comprehension, and Google Docs to help gather teacher concerns about any of my speech students.

11 Tools has totally transformed how I view engaging kids with lessons.  It is so true that this generation has grown up with technology so to try and keep them excited about learning with paper and pencil tasks is no longer working.  We need to meet their expectations in the class and along with that comes a huge benefit to teachers....we become excited about finding new ways to teach!

My only dilemma now is to insure that I have technology in the speech class to build on the momentum of using these tools!  I am scheduled to receive an i-Pad next week, but next on my wish list.....the use of an ActivBoard!!   How awesome would that be for my speech groups?

Tool #10

Thinking about how to teach digital citizenship is a new concept for me to consider.  I feel that going through this process of 11 Tools has definitely opened my eyes to what technology has to offer our students and how much more fun and engaging our jobs become as a result of this.  But I do think it important to teach all children how to critically assess many areas of their life and technology is no exception.  The more we develop their problem solving skills, their ability to analyze what they see and hear (and not accepting something at "face value") are all skills we want to cultivate in our students but within the context of a truly global digital world, it becomes even more critical.  As parents and teachers we want to teach our kids to take risks and explore the world, but to also be aware of potential pitfalls.  Also, as it was stated on the website, it is not so much about teaching safety but helping them to see what greatness can await them in a digital world - how much more they can learn and create by communicating with people from around the world. As a speech-language pathologist, I don't currently see that my students would be engaged in researching a variety of websites on the internet, but I do think as a whole teachers need to discuss what this idea means of "digital citizenship" and  how this can be encouraged and nurtured.

Tool #9

Being a Speech-Language Pathologist, all of my teaching is tied into the student's IEP objectives.  All of  my lessons are individualized to meet that specific student's needs.  So, fitting the technology to their objective would definitely occur in the speech classroom.  Since I will most likely only have one i-Pad in my room, I will plan to use that for both individualized instruction as well as small group (2-3 students).  My plan is to have different apps that are designed for different speech/language needs (i.e., language, articulation).  I will pull each student into the activity at the level they need (i.e., one student may be working on correct production of /s/ while another student is working on using pronouns correctly) but it can be the same activity - it just requires the SLP to be able to multi-task with knowing each student's specific needs and how we can scaffold the lesson for each of them. I can very easily begin to have each student reflect on their own performance that day in an effort to make them more accountable for their learning.  The more accountability they have for these skills, the more progress we will see.  Can't wait to start using technology in speech!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tool #8

I am not currently scheduled to receive an I-pad in the speech class, but I am  hoping that my wish to incorporate this technology with my speech students will be granted one day :)

Over the past year, there have been many articles in the speech/language journals discussing the effectiveness of using an I-pad with students experiencing difficulties in communicating.  The research literature in our profession definitely supports this as a viable method of teaching kids how to engage and communicate.

With the explosion of apps on the market, there are several websites devoted to a review of the ones related to speech/language, what specific disorders they address, and their cost. One of the more extensive websites for this purpose that I have found is  Another website that I found particularly interesting is  This website categorizes apps based on Bloom's Taxonomy which is a nice way of insuring that the app you download will fit the purpose of your lesson/activity for a specific group of students.

The 3 things I learned in this tool are first, how to use an app to provide motivation to communicate and how the sheer graphics of the pictures will "hook" the student into communicating about what he/she is seeing.  Second, there are also apps which allow you to keep your data on each student's accuracy of performance so that not only is it a therapeutic tool, but it is also an assessment tool indicating when the student is ready to move to the next level of complexity within his IEP objectives.  And third, how easy it is to open different apps for each student in a group so that each one can work specifically on their IEP objective (different apps for articulation, receptive language, expressive language, pragmatic language, fluency, voice) so there is less "down time" between students with needing to switch workbooks/sheets/books/puppets, etc. that are my current repertoire of therapy materials.

I love the idea of an I-Pad in the speech class!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tool #7

I will plan to use Skype Chats in the speech classroom to provide discussion with an author of a book the students have read.  We can practice asking questions and making appropriate comments.  This would be very motivating to students and help them connect more deeply to the story and therefore increasing their comprehension of the story.  I would like to begin this once I have a video cam in my class (I do not have one currently) so that Skype in the Speech Class can become a reality :)

Tool # 6

I would use Wall Wisher in  my class as a strategy to have students add their comments, questions during speech as a way to increase conversational interaction on our topic.  They can add notes about our lesson and what they believe is a supporting detail, what they predict may happen next, or their best guess for the Main Idea. They can use it as a way to make notes about how they can  improve with their articulation the next session.  This can help them take responsibility for knowing what they need to work on!

I would also use Good Docs as a way to collaborate with other speech groups on other campuses.  We could decide on a common book we read to our groups and then interact with each other about recall of facts, retelling the critical elements of the story, etc....

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tool #5 - Part 2

Wordle: Zoo animals

I can use Wordle in the speech class as a way to help students organize vocabulary words into categories which improves their recall of words.  We can also write words that start with the sound that student is working on...they come up with the word lists they need to practice, put it in Wordle, and take it home as their "homework" of practice words!  Fun activity :)