Ease Into Social Media as Receptive Communication In my frequent workshops on integrating technology into speech and language intervention, the participants—lifelong-learner professionals—often ask, “Where can we get information about treatment ideas on our own?” My honest response, based on my own learning sources, includes social media—an answer that often elicits a slightly fallen face and instantly glazed ... Get Social
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Get Social  |   September 01, 2014
Ease Into Social Media as Receptive Communication
Author Notes
  • Sean Sweeney, MS, MEd, CCC-SLP, is an SLP and technology specialist working in private practice at the Ely Center in Newton, Mass., and consultant to local and national organizations on technology integration in speech and language interventions. His blog, SpeechTechie, looks at technology “through a language lens.” sean@speechtechie.com
    Sean Sweeney, MS, MEd, CCC-SLP, is an SLP and technology specialist working in private practice at the Ely Center in Newton, Mass., and consultant to local and national organizations on technology integration in speech and language interventions. His blog, SpeechTechie, looks at technology “through a language lens.” sean@speechtechie.com×
Article Information
Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / Get Social
Get Social   |   September 01, 2014
Ease Into Social Media as Receptive Communication
The ASHA Leader, September 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.GS.19092014.np
The ASHA Leader, September 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.GS.19092014.np
In my frequent workshops on integrating technology into speech and language intervention, the participants—lifelong-learner professionals—often ask, “Where can we get information about treatment ideas on our own?”
My honest response, based on my own learning sources, includes social media—an answer that often elicits a slightly fallen face and instantly glazed look.
For many, social media invokes a black hole of engagement that can consume one’s time and energy. We have all seen some sort of “Facebook drama” in our family or friends that resulted from a sharing misstep, and read news stories detailing misuse and overuse of social media resources. The spoken-word poem “Look Up” and poignant “I Forgot My Phone” encapsulate current social concerns about becoming too electronically involved (although, ironically, you’d probably need to be involved in social media to see them). It’s natural to be wary.
As speech-language pathologists and audiologists, we know the difference between receptive and expressive communication. The line between the information our clients receive and understand—as opposed to what they generate—guides our evaluative judgments and prescribed treatments. We can apply this paradigm to our own engagements, illuminating and debunking the myth that social media has to be a two-way (or many-way) communication.
We can tap receptively into the wealth of great information being shared in social media channels: blogs, Twitter and otherwise. Although there are definitely benefits—as well as risks—to engaging online, we can use these resources to stay informed and creative, without putting ourselves “out there” expressively. Here are some quick and easy ways to streamline your access to this information.
As outlined by SLP Aubrey Klingensmith in a previous column, blogs by professionals in our field are a terrific source of information and ideas. Blogs offer full-length, robust explorations of different topics, unlike “micro” media that interact around a quickly posted, short idea. Although interaction with bloggers and commenters can be beneficial, you can easily choose to follow and absorb blog information without responding.
If you decide to follow blogs, you may face a new issue: Blogs have diverse sources and locations, so can become a chore to navigate to their various websites. The good news is that blogs have an RSS (“Really Simple Syndication”) feed that helps readers’ subscribe to many sources all in one place, and there are apps to help you organize them.
One of the best apps to create a one-stop “news magazine” of sorts is Feedly (free apps for iOS and Android). This app allows you to quickly search for and add blogs to your feed list. You can search by name or topic or add the blog’s URL to the app. After you have compiled your core list, you can quickly review new posts, save them for later or share them (via e-mail or other means).
Feedly is great for simply receiving the information, as it would take quite a few taps or clicks to comment or interact with the post. To decide which blogs to follow first, check the great list in Aubrey’s post or the comprehensive list compiled by Jenna Rayburn at Speech Room News).
The flipside of Feedly is Zite (free apps for iOS and Android), a “personalized magazine” of your subscribed topics, rather than individual sources. Zite provides you with an easy place to consume the latest news and allows you to share what you like with others. Zite also has a “thumbs up/thumbs down” response to each article; over time, Zite customizes your reading experiences based on your responses—much the same way that Pandora can shape your music listening. Some relevant topics searchable in Zite include special education, autism, psychology and assistive technology.
(Note: Zite has been acquired by Flipboard; it’s possible that Zite’s technology might be absorbed into that app and Zite may disappear.)
Remember, it’s OK to just “lurk.” For similar receptive experiences, feel free to lurk around Pinterest (free apps for iOS and Android—start by following Pediastaff and SLP Lauren Enders) and podcasts if you prefer some auditory comprehension. The free iOS Podcasts app or Android apps such as BeyondPod (free) allow you to access audio gems like EdCeptional, featuring topics in special education and speech and language, and A.T.Tipscast, a wealth of “tips” supporting all learners.
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September 2014
Volume 19, Issue 9