Analog SLPs Dig Social Media, Too You’re never too old to learn the benefits of online networking, researching, connecting and developing materials, according to this retired clinician. Get Social
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Get Social  |   July 01, 2014
Analog SLPs Dig Social Media, Too
Author Notes
  • Wilma Dean Trout worked for 35 years as an SLP. She has co-authored articulation software and two articulation workbooks. She creates treatment materials for her online stores at Teachers Pay Teachers and Etsy. Connect with her on Twitter (@DeanTrout) or Facebook (DeanTrout’s Little Shop of SLP) or follow her on Pinterest (Dean Trout).
    Wilma Dean Trout worked for 35 years as an SLP. She has co-authored articulation software and two articulation workbooks. She creates treatment materials for her online stores at Teachers Pay Teachers and Etsy. Connect with her on Twitter (@DeanTrout) or Facebook (DeanTrout’s Little Shop of SLP) or follow her on Pinterest (Dean Trout).×
Article Information
Professional Issues & Training / Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / Get Social
Get Social   |   July 01, 2014
Analog SLPs Dig Social Media, Too
The ASHA Leader, July 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.GS.19072014.np
The ASHA Leader, July 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.GS.19072014.np
When I took a class in key punch operations back in 1969 at Freed-Hardeman College, I never dreamed that such a technological storm would erupt, as it has in my lifetime.
The younger set of today’s speech-language pathologists were born into a digitized world, and all things technology-related are familiar to them. Unlike we, the more mature set SLPs who are computer immigrants and must seek to learn and become a part of the digital world.
One of the greatest blessings in my computer knowledge quest has been social media. Through the various social media avenues I have developed a personal learning network, shared my professional knowledge with others, made personal friendships from around the world and started a small business.
You see, social media isn’t just for the young SLP. Many older SLPs use social media than you might think. I conducted a very informal poll recently on Facebook and discovered that I am not alone in my use of technology. Most got started by communicating with family members, using augmentative and alternative communication devices in their work settings, or simple curiosity and interest in learning new things.
It’s interesting that most of us older folks who use social media are bloggers and tweeters, and have Facebook pages. A few of us even create digital products that we sell online. As I have heard it said, “50 is the new 40”—and age doesn’t have to limit our doing what we want.
So, if you are reading this and are of a “certain age” and are wondering how you can benefit from social media, let me list the benefits as I see them:
You are no longer alone in your professional world. Not all of us live and work in a setting where there are several SLPs. Many times we are the only SLP and have no support group. Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, support from another SLP is just a few keystrokes away. There is always someone around who can answer any question you may have about a disorder, a test or any other professional problem you encounter. Even if you just need someone who will understand your frustrations from the daily grind, there will be someone there to listen and empathize.
  1. You can increase you personal knowledge and keep up with the latest research by reading blogs and tweets from conference-goers. Even when you can’t go to a conference, someone will be attending and tweeting facts from the lectures and seminars. There are even some really nice SLPs out there who will not only tweet their notes, but also organize them for you in a Tweetstory.

  2. Instant access. Find yourself at home on the weekend and realize you forgot to bring the test manual home with you? Just post a question on Facebook or Twitter and more than likely someone will have a manual handy and can give you the scores you need.

  3. Tired of the materials you have been using and wish you had something more engaging for your students? Look no farther than Pinterest. You will find creative ideas for any goal or topic in that one spot. You can also find scores of therapy material to make from digital downloads at TeachersPayTeachers.com. Both of those sites are very budget-friendly.

  4. Stay connected, even in retirement. Although I have been retired since 2008, I still have my finger of the pulse of speech-language pathology. I love to hear about the latest trends and advances. I also love to hear and see how things are constantly changing only to come full circle in what we think.

There are so many wonderful ways to use social media to enhance you life, regardless of your age. So don’t be afraid to turn on your iPad, open your laptop or smartphone, and explore. This cyberland is your new home now, go meet the inhabitants. Link up with your colleagues on the many online groups, including SLPeeps on Facebook or #slpeeps on Twitter.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
July 2014
Volume 19, Issue 7