I have found that if I am not careful, social media can be a black hole where my free time disappears. One minute I tap open the Pinterest app on my phone and before I know it, hours have passed and I have accomplished nothing! I know I’m not the only one who sometimes loses hours of time while browsing social media sites. However, there are ways to make our “idle” time more productive. The following is a quick overview of some ways that social media outlets can be used to improve your practice as an SLP.
A blog (short for “web log”) can be used to write about basically anything! There are all sorts of blog topics, including *you guessed it* speech therapy. ASHA has a blog called ASHAsphere. ASHAsphere covers a wide range of topics written by a variety of bloggers. One post in particular gives a fairly comprehensive list of other blogs that cover topics related to speech pathology. PediaStaff is a staffing company, but they publish a blog that is geared toward SLPs, OTs, PTs and School Psychologists.
YouTube can be used to supplement your practice in a couple different ways. You can use it to find information and you can also use it to find videos to use in therapy. ASHA is also on the bandwagon with YouTube. You can find their channel by typing ASHAWeb into the YouTube search bar. This channel spotlights things like patient success stories, SIGs, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Other channels include Autism Speaks, autismtreatment, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Akron Children’s Hospital, SpeechLanguageBeyond, and sayitrightspeech just to list a few. EduTube is a resource that is similar to YouTube but geared toward education.
Pintrest is a great way to find resources that are available via the web. For those of you who aren’t “pinners” yet, Pinterest is a virtual cork board. You can follow other people and they can follow you. When you see pins from the people you are following that you like, you pin it to a board. You can also pin other things that you see online or even take a picture of something you have done and pin it to a specific board. Pintrest it’s self is really just a tool for collecting ideas, but following other speech therapists/speech therapy practices allows you to see what others are doing. You can follow people you know or perfect strangers.
I have to admit, I have been slow in joining the Twitter revolution. In fact, I just started my Twitter account in preparation for this post. However, I know that it is a good way to stay connected with colleagues at the school level. Many principals tweet as a way of providing information to parents and staff alike. Even our own superintendent of schools tweets. How do you use twitter?
This is where social media started, right? Facebook can also be a useful tool to stay in contact with other therapists. KSHA and ASHA both have Facebook pages. Both post links to articles, calls for action, photos and reminders. You can become “friends” with other therapists and join groups that are related to speech therapy. You can also link your Pinterest to your Facebook account.
What types of social media do you use? What are the benefits and draw backs to this type of communication? Are there things I have forgotten? Comment to share what you think!
*I/we do not represent any of the groups/individuals listed in this post. They are simply resources that are available to check out! As always, nothing can replace your professional judgment!