Tech Tools for Your Treatment Team In a recent online conference, AAC expert Carole Zangari chatted with participants about using screencasting, digital curation and interactive images to support teams serving people with significant disabilities. Overheard
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Overheard  |   August 01, 2014
Tech Tools for Your Treatment Team
Author Notes
  • Carole Zangari, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a professor of speech-language pathology at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She is an affiliate of Special Interest Group 1, Language Learning and Education, and SIG 12, Augmentative and Alternative Communication. She blogs at www.PrAACticalAAC.org. zangaric@nova.edu
    Carole Zangari, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a professor of speech-language pathology at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She is an affiliate of Special Interest Group 1, Language Learning and Education, and SIG 12, Augmentative and Alternative Communication. She blogs at www.PrAACticalAAC.org. zangaric@nova.edu×
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / Overheard
Overheard   |   August 01, 2014
Tech Tools for Your Treatment Team
The ASHA Leader, August 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.OV.19082014.np
The ASHA Leader, August 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.OV.19082014.np
Melony Anne O’Flaherty: Where do you find the time? It seems that so much of my day is already taken up by other priorities. What is your suggestion on how to start integrating more technology into our practice?
Carole Zangari: It seems like no matter what our role, time is the number-one enemy. I think, in some ways, it depends on your personality and work style. Some people devote a set amount of time [each] day for things like this. Others do it as the tasks present themselves. One thought is to start close to your comfort zone and begin with whatever you are already somewhat familiar with. For example, if you use Pinterest for personal reasons (hobbies, recipes, etc.), then it is only a slight stretch to expand it to your professional life. Make some boards for topics of interest, then do some searches on those topics. As you explore the things that come up in the search, take note of who curated them. If you like what you see—in other words, if it meets your needs—then follow them. Then try to check in on Pinterest a few times a week to see what comes up in your feed. You can pin anything of interest onto your new board(s). The other thing that is a great timesaver is to install the bookmark applets into your browser bar. That way, as you are coming across things on the Internet that fit with your collection, you can quickly click on the icon for the curation site you are saving to—in my case, usually [the digital curation site] Scoop.It and Pinterest—and add it to your collection. I can do both of those in under a minute.
Kristyn Nunes: I had never heard of screencasting or digital curations before. Can’t wait to share this info with colleagues! Do you use these technologies interprofessionally? Are other clinicians open to these new technologies?
Zangari: Digital curation is a newer term, but people are probably doing some of these things already without realizing it. I think I do [use them interprofessionally] because augmentative and alternative communication, my interest area, cuts through so many roles. I am not sure how many others use these technologies, but I suspect there are more than we realize.
Joy Cary: Do you use Pinterest with parents as well as your colleagues, to give ideas for home practice?
Zangari: Yes, in two ways. Both to share info/ideas with parents, and also to learn from them. Some have great resources! And there are some amazing parent bloggers out there from whom I’ve learned so much.
Jody Terry: You mentioned several things I am not familiar with in your session—digital curation, flipped videos, screencasts. What do you tend to use most?
Zangari: I think I use curation the most—lots of times per day on most days. Next up would be screencasting, I think. It depends on what I am doing that day (for example, clinical work, getting ready for a presentation, grading papers, etc.).
Katherine Simmons: I would like to hear more about the benefits of screencasting as opposed to simply doing a PowerPoint presentation.
Zangari: Actually, I think both are valuable. However, I do find that people are a little more cranky around PowerPoint these days. Too many boring classes and presentations, I guess. Lots of people are now turned off by PowerPoint, but for those who prefer that, I think it is just fine. The audio narration feature helps, too. What I like best about screencasting is how easy it is. Once you get in the habit, it just becomes second nature.
Nunes: When using digital curation—Pinterest for example—can you upload treatment videos from your mobile device to these boards?
Zangari: I haven’t done that with my own treatment videos for privacy reasons, but you can do it with other sorts of videos—that may be what you meant. Doing it from a mobile device is a little tricky. Depends on the site. But things are getting better and better all the time with mobile devices and the responsivity of sites.
Emily Hanagan: What sort of copyright considerations are involved with digital curation … for example, adding articles to a live binder?
Zangari: If it is an article in the public domain, then you are fine in most cases. However, if you got the article through your own subscription, say to a special interest group newsletter or a journal, then you would only be able to post it to a curation site if it was private (for your eyes, not broad dissemination). I am not a copyright expert, but that is my understanding.
Terry: Will you please give me another practical use of digital curation for a client?
Zangari: I love working on vocabulary. One thing that is fun to do, if age-appropriate, is to work with the family to set up the user’s own account, on something like Pinterest or Scoop.It. Then you can make collections with your client around topics that you’re targeting for therapy. For example, we might have a Pinterest board where we collect things that show a word we are targeting. Videos, cartoons, images, etc. It could be something started in therapy and then continued for home extension activities.
Cary: What is the feature you enjoy most on Google, and how do you use it most with your colleagues?
Zangari: It really depends on what I’m doing. I wear many hats, like lots of you. So, for my teaching (master’s and doctoral AAC classes), I probably use curation more than the other things. For other things, probably screencasting. Depends on the task at hand and who the partners are. Not everyone is open to some of the technologies I like/use, so I would use more traditional means of communicating in those cases.
Nunes: When you utilize screencasting—for example, sharing feedback with a colleague or student—I know the feedback is typed, but is there audio as well?
Zangari: Most of it is audio. So we are looking at their typed document, but the feedback that I am providing is recorded audio. That lets me add more detail, infuse a little humor, offer encouragement, etc., which can be hard to do in print when you are rushed.
Mary Jo Schneider: Would you please tell me the tools that you use to create a memory book for a client?
Zangari: It depends on the client and what we want to do with the memory book. Sometimes I make those in PowerPoint, because it is so flexible.
Judy Price: I don’t think referring my administrators to personal blogs, Pinterest, Twitter or even YouTube is going to go over well. I think putting together some very short videos from some reputable educational sources would be ideal. I am not sure where to start, though. Graduate schools, manufacturers—what would you suggest?
Zangari: That’s a shame, because they’re missing out on high-quality information from reputable sources, including ASHA, the American Occupational Therapy Association, the American Physical Therapy Association, the Council for Exceptional Children, etc. I would refer them to some of the Ed Tech literature that is showing the value of these things.
Tracy Miller: You talked about “following” others as a way of staying current and getting new ideas. How do you know what groups or people to follow?
Zangari: One way is to connect with people, agencies and organizations that you already have a relationship with. Find out if they use digital curation and follow them. For example, the United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication uses Scoop.It to publish a weekly AAC newsletter. ASHA has Pinterest boards, and I bet the same is true for AOTA, APTA and others. (See list below for specific examples.)
Kristy Davies: Is there one you use more than another—Pinterest, Scoop.It, Diigo? I find it slightly overwhelming to have so many pieces of technology which somewhat do the same things (somewhat!).
Zangari: Overwhelming, yes! I can relate to that, and I’m sure others can as well. I guess to some extent it depends on your personal style, but here is what works for some. One thought is to start close to your comfort zone and begin with whatever you are already somewhat familiar with. For example, if you use Pinterest for personal reasons (hobbies, recipes, etc.), then it is only a slight stretch to expand it to your professional life. To answer your question, I use Diigo a lot and also Pinterest from your list.
Miller: Do you have any tips for good places to start to use some of the other technologies you mentioned—such as screencasting or flipped videos? Especially for people who might not be very comfortable jumping into unfamiliar technologies?
Zangari: The screencasts are a great place to start. The one that I mentioned, Jing, has a number of good video tutorials to get you started. Once you have your account set up, it is easy to make your first screencast. All you do is use their tool to show what area of the screen to record, select image or video, then begin to record. Once you are done—up to five minutes long—it will give you the option to upload it. Once the upload is done, you can click on the link to view it or share it. Instant gratification!
Allison Cordes: Do you have a separate Pinterest account for professional life? I don’t think parents of my students need to know my fashion sense.
Zangari: That is what most professionals do, I think. Glad you brought that up!
Megan McCall: I’m trying to find your livebinder but am unsuccessful—looking for CommunicationGreenhouse.
Zangari: Here’s one of them: www.livebinders.com/play/play?present=true&id=116956. You can click on the upper right to see the author and find other things they’ve posted.
Miller: The chat hasn’t really touched on using interactive images. What are the most common ways you use them?
Zangari: Since I recorded the presentation [for this conference], I have started thinking about using them in home programming for some of my clients. For example, taking a photo of us in a therapy session and making hotspots with links to related material. I could link to a video clip that we watched or a Tarheel Reader book that we read. I could link to a visual support that we used or a photo of craft/snack that we made in our therapy session/classroom. I’m thinking that it may be useful in extending the therapy experience, and even build skills toward the use of visual scene displays for communication. Currently, I use them most for teaching grad classes, but those are some thoughts as to what I may do next with interactive images.
Mention of specific products or companies does not imply endorsement by ASHA.
Here are some suggested sites based on Carole Zangari’s interest in AAC:
Pinterest
Lauren Enders (speech-language pathology, assistive technology, AAC)
Carolann Cormier on assistive technology
Kate Ahern (special education, assistive technology, AAC)
Carole Zangari at PrAACtical AAC
Scoop.It
Martha Bobbit Meyers on assistive technology, Universal Design for Learning, AAC
Spectronics on iPads for communication
Zangari on AAC-related topics
LiveBinders
Assistive technology overview by Caroline Musselwhite
Musselwhite’s binder on Social Scripts
AAC resources by Janice Reese
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August 2014
Volume 19, Issue 8