Like most school years, I’m always amazed at how chaotic re-entry can be. As a traveling therapist (locally, and now globally) a few everyday tech tools are an integral part of connecting with my colleagues and consulting with other educators. As practitioners, we are stretched in a thousand different directions. Here are some quick ideas to use with these virtual life-savers. Best of all, they are free:
Googledocs: Get online and create group documents without several versions sent around in different attachments. It’s a totally collaborative platform. In my workplace, we have used it to:
- Make group SMART goals even smarter; create group professional development goals all in the same place.
- Make Power Point presentations for that next staff meeting virtually.
- Create spreadsheets to share caseload information, class lists, inventories of tests and supplies.
- Collaborate on evaluations and writing reports.
- Have a place to access reports and notes from any laptop or computer.
- Create meeting minutes for everyone on the team to access.
Doodle: Have a team meeting to set up? This little online tool allows you to email several time slots to one group of people all at once, and poll the best date.
Skype: Nothing like a little face time, right? Using Skype is free, but conference/group chats are available for a small monthly free. If you have a camera and a working mic on your laptop, or i-device you are good to go. I can consult with South America while looking at the notes I’ve pulled up from my google docs. I like Skype because it is super user-friendly for those who are a little tech-shy. This year I’m even using Skype to consult with supervising a SLPA in training. Through Skype I can chat with his supervisor who is out of state.
Dropbox: Similar to Google docs this has the additional ability to drop in video, notes, or whatever information you want to share all in one folder. You simply download the app to your desktop or portable device. If you put it on your iPad, then you can take videos on the go, and put them directly into the shared folder. This is great forum to video your sessions with your students, and share them with parents and teachers.
Kerry Davis, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a city-wide speech-language pathologist in the Boston area. Her areas of interest include working with children with multiple disabilities, inclusion in education and professional development. The views on this blog are my own and do not represent those of my employer. Dr. Davis can be followed on Twitter at @DrKDavisslp.