Forgive me, I’ve been away for quite some time!

Hello all! I’m sorry about my absence from this blog for the past few weeks… midterms have kicked into full gear and I’m trying to keep my head above water! However, since we’re already on the topic of blogs, that’s going to be this week’s topic! Blogs can be an extremely valuable resource for anyone, but I’ve found as a CMSD major, (or as they call it on Twitter, an SLP2B) blogs can be a great way to make connections with others in the field. Follow the blogs of professionals and favorite the posts that appeal to you most. Most blogs have a feature enabled where you can comment on particular posts. This is a great opportunity for you to ask questions or share your thoughts with the author of the post!

Not only are blogs a really efficient way to make connections with others in the field, but it’s also an effective way of learning about what you’ll encounter in the field (if you’re an SLP2B like I am) or what other professionals are doing to solve problems that you may be facing yourself if you’re out working in the real world!

Blogs are also unexpectedly awesome tools to success. For example, I’m currently following a blog (which I will list later) which contains a list of helpful tips on applying to graduate school. There is virtually a blog for any topic or concern; it’s just a matter of finding that blog! I’ve compiled a few very helpful blogs about our field, many of which I found on Twitter believe it or not. Here they are:

 

http://thespeechchicks.blogspot.com/

I just recently started following these ladies after I saw someone that I follow retweet one of their posts. I was excited to see that they not only had a twitter account, but also a blog for me to follow. They post some really unique and fun therapy techniques that I can’t wait to try out in the future!

http://slpecho.wordpress.com 

This is one of my favorite bloggers to follow because the author is currently completing her clinical fellowship, she she’s not too far ahead of where I’m at in my education. She’s full of insight and posts about her struggles and triumphs in the field. She also has tips and information about applying to graduate school and what to expect. I also follow her on Twitter, and she is always incredibly helpful when I have any questions!

http://blog.asha.org/

The always helpful ASHA blog is an interesting read. Many of the posts are useful because I can store the information for later use, even if it does not directly apply to me right now!

http://slpolivia.blogspot.com/

SLP Olivia is another blogger that I just so happen to also follow on Twitter. She creates updates on her blog by posting videos from her YouTube channel! She’s also featured in the following post from ASHA:

http://blog.asha.org/2012/03/15/the-best-speech-language-pathologist-blogs-from-a-to-z/

This particular post I just had to save for last because it is an absolute goldmine! This post has a list of recommended SLP bloggers that I think can be used as great resources for anyone in the CMSD field!

These are just a few of the blogs that I like to keep up with, but the last link to the ASHA blogs post a-z is a good place to start looking for new bloggers to follow!

 

 

If you are looking to create a blog for yourself, I highly recommend using wordpress as a template. It is clean, organized, and very easy to use! Other websites include blogspot, livejournal, tumblr, etc.

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Creating an online presence using… Twitter!

Social Networking in general was not something that I took seriously in the realm of professionalism until very recently. I always just assumed that Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. were places to connect with friends and family (and sometimes strangers) on a very basic level; sharing thoughts or pictures about every day life. However, as my first assignment in this instructional technology course, I was asked to create a Twitter account for professional use. Until about a month ago, I was the one person in my group of friends who never used Twitter. It just never really appealed to me! However, now I use it more than I ever have before because I am using it as a professional resource. You never know what’s out there until you look, and Twitter has opened my eyes to everything I have been missing out on! Sure, I have decided to bypass tweets from celebrities, athletes, and many of my friends, but I am gaining so much knowledge through following a group of fellow CMSD/SLP/”Speechies” on Twitter. 

As an added bonus, Twitter is an especially great resource to find new ideas to try for yourself. For example, craft ideas, therapy ideas, and study techniques are just a few of the things I’ve come across. Probably the best thing for me on Twitter as a CMSD student has been finding certified SLP’s because everything I am experiencing as a student, they have already experienced… and then some! I find it so helpful to be able to reach out to those who have already been in my shoes. Not to mention the endless possibilities of exploring hashtags!

If you’re unfamiliar, hashtags look like this (#) and can be used to track one topic through a variety of Twitter users. For example, when I am searching for Twitter feeds that are related to speech, I often type “#slpeeps” in the search bar. Anyone who is using the hashtag #slpeeps will appear in the results, and from there I can pick and choose which users I want to follow. Hashtags can be as simple as one word or can be many words crammed together into one tag. Regardless of what you’re looking for, it’s a little piece of Twitter that can be incredibly helpful to you.

I view my awakening to Twitter as somewhat of a blessing. I was reluctant to join, but now that I am connecting with so many other professionals in the field of Communication Sciences and Disorders, I am realizing how important it is to create an online presence for yourself. So, if you’re not already on Twitter, I strongly encourage you to jump on that bandwagon and get started by following some people pertaining to the field. If you’re already on Twitter, great! I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite Twitter users, but I’m constantly finding new people to follow!

 

@SpeechnLanguage is the official Twitter of the Pearson Speech and Language team. They have reached out to me a few times and are very friendly and encouraging! I retweeted a great SLP craft idea from them as well!

@usedgov is the official Twitter of the US Department of Education. Since many CMSD majors involve themselves in the field of education as well, I decided to follow this feed so that I can stay updated on what’s going on in the Education Department. I have also followed my state’s education feed, and I would recommend that others do this as well! Not in the US? I’m sure there are Twitter feeds regarding education just about anywhere, so don’t fret! 

@pediastaff is a great resource for those seeking employment in the CMSD field! They are constantly posting job listings!

@avocadotech, according to their bio is a “Personal Learning Network, PLN for language, speech therapy, technology, AAC, education, science news from the web.” I love following them because they are always posting interesting articles pertaining to the field.

@ASHAweb is also a great resource to keep in mind. Almost everyone in the field is aware that ASHA has a website, but I hadn’t even thought to check for them on Twitter until someone asked me to. ASHA posts not only about the organization and things going on within it, but they also retweet articles and news regarding our profession!

@USSAAC is the Twitter of the US Society for Augmentative/Alternative Communication. Like some of the Twitter users listed above, USSAAC posts really great articles, especially regarding the field of Special Education and assistive technologies that are often used by students.

 

There’s also a plethora of users on Twitter who create apps for speech, therapy, etc. and many of them will post special offers regarding their apps. If you’re a parent, therapist, or student, it could be beneficial to reach out to these app creators for more information about the app than is listed online. Also, if you’re looking for a discount on therapy apps, this could be the jackpot for you since, as I stated above, sometimes they do post special offers!

 

So, if you weren’t on Twitter before reading this post, I hope that you’re at least considering the advantages to creating one for yourself. The possibilities are near endless with this resource. It really is a great bit of technology to include within a learning community because there are people posting information about CMSD and Speech Therapy from all over the world. Whether it be information about therapy apps, a newspaper article pertaining to AAC devices, job listings, or crafty therapy ideas, Twitter can be used to find just about anything you’re looking for!