SRSD: ASHA Schools 2014 Poster, Handout, and Appreciation

I’d never been to an ASHA Schools conference before, and I was missing out! As an SLP and Learning Specialist who works with a school-aged population, I’ve often found the Annual ASHA conference overwhelming, irrelevant, and hit-or-miss. The ASHA Schools conference was an entirely different experience: speakers were primarily or all invited, sessions were longer, and everything was current, evidence-base and relevant to my work (egocentric as I am, that latter point made me most excited!). Favorite sessions included: Melissa Malani’s tech session, and everything Julie Masterson and Kenn Apel did. Specific notes and links about take-always from those sessions to come!

Until then, please have a look at the poster I presented, and its handout. I presented about how Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) can help struggling writers. It was such a pleasure to speak with everyone who stopped by– everyone was passionate, brought interesting experience, and was ready to learn. I loved it! There was also a clear need for evidence-based writing instruction; many SLP’s confessed they had avoided addressing writing because they did not feel they had been adequately trained in that area, so folks were thrilled to have information and resources about how to address writing.

You can check out my poster at tinyurl.com/ashasrsd and my handout here. Got more questions? Write them in the comments, and I’ll get back to you.

Link to Love: Differentiation Theory & Practice

A lecture from the Churchill School and Center. For those of you not familiar with the institution, it is a school for students with learning differences in New York City. They spend a great deal of time on professional development for their staff, and this is a lecture about differentiation that I found online from Dr. Jane Gertler, the Director of the Office of Teaching & Learning at The Churchill Center.

Incorporating Technology: A Philosophy & Framework

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I like technology, but I don’t believe in using technology for technology’s sake.
The folks at teq.com introduced me to the SAMR model by Dr. Puentedura. They distinguish between types of technology that are “above” the line, and those that are not. Above the line technology uses technology in a novel way and to do novel tasks or technology that completely redesigns how we approach a task. Below the line technology simply substitutes traditional activities with a technological medium, or addresses learning tasks with minimal redesigns. See the age for examples of viable, innovative technologies (that are above the line), or read more about SAMR here.

What level/letter is your technology integration at?

Built-in Text-to-Speech Applications

Welcome to the future of accessibility! All devices now have built-in text-to-speech applications. These tools help individuals who have difficulty with decoding, reading fluency, reading comprehension, or for students who have visual impairments. It can also be a handy tool for someone attempting to multi-task: your devices can read you steps of a recipe while you’re cooking, or read you an article while you are walking (and would like to rely on your eyes for safety!).

For iPads or iPhones, “Highlight text on the screen, tap Speak, and your device reads the selected text out loud. You can also have words highlighted as they’re being read, so you can follow along. You can even adjust the voice’s dialect and speaking rate to suit your needs.” To adjust the dialect and rate, go to Settings, click on General, then select Accessibility to play around with these features.

For Macs, go to Apple’s accessibility page, or follow these steps:

  • go to System Preferences
  • click Dictation & Speech
  • click on Text to Speech

Here, you will can select the speaker’s voice and rate. You may also set up a keyboard shortcut, which you can click each time you would like your computer to read your text to you.

For Windows, see Microsoft’s support page. Here, they describe how to configure your speakers, as well as the speaker’s voice, rate, and volume.

For Chromebooks, the Speak It! web extension can be set up to read any selected text.