I have to admit, ASHA’s announcement that members would no longer be receiving our journal subscription in the mail did not initially make me do flips of joy. I appreciated the opportunity to quickly peruse the contents and decide which topics I’d like to explore after picking my copy of Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools out of the mailbox, I worried that I miss friend’s jokes about my nerdyness upon seeing scholarly journals in my magazine rack: “Oh, you read AJSLP too?”
For a time I did miss having paper journals (change is always hard), and at first felt a bit disconnected from these great resources. However, I have recently embraced minimalism, carefully considering each physical item I allow to cross the threshold of my home or office, and I prefer to have less stuff, including journals. Additionally, I really respect ASHA’s environmentally-friendly and cost-saving decision to avoid shipping countless reams of paper quarterly to members who, let’s be honest, may or may not be reading them. We can’t always be, as Stephen King calls his fans, the “Constant Reader,” but ASHA digitizing our journals has had another positive side effect: choice. We now have access to all four ASHA journals anytime we like, instead of just one subscription.
We can therefore think of our journals as On-Demand: they are there when we are ready and willing to read them! In this series of two posts, I’ll be showing how to access our ASHA journals online and (next time) through your iPad. I will also be focusing on keeping journals, a critical professional development resource, a little closer to the front of our mind by viewing and sharing abstracts through Google Reader. Google Reader is what is called an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) aggregator, a fancy term for a site that helps us keep online content of our own interest accessible in one place. Once you have a Google Reader account (your Gmail or Google Docs logins get you into Google Reader too), you can easily subscribe to feeds that show you the contents of any and all ASHA journals. See something you like? Just click through to the ASHA Journal site and log in to see the full text of that article. If you are Google-phobic, and I know some are, you can consider using an alternative like Netvibes to organize your journal feeds and other blogs you like to read (such as ASHAsphere!)
Are you a visual learner? Check out this little video to see how it works!
Prefer more straightforward steps? Check out this document:
Tune in next week for options for using iPad for professional development: viewing (and annotating!) ASHA journals…
Sean J. Sweeney, MS, MEd, CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and instructional technology specialist working in the public school and in private practice at The Ely Center in Newton, Massachusetts. He has presented on the topic of technology integration in speech and language at the ASHA convention and is the author of the blog SpeechTechie: Looking at Technology Through a Language Lens.