Valentine’s Day Ideas

Valentine's Day 2012 Calendar

Photo by danielmoyle

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I thought I’d share a few blog posts and other resources for those looking for some new activities to try.

 Have other posts or resources? Please share in the comments.


 Maggie McGary is the online community & social media manager at ASHA, and manages ASHAsphere.



Fun Resource for Therapy Ideas: Pinterest


Photo by rasamalai

Social media sites are a dime a dozen these days, and there are only so many hours in a day, so keeping up with them all is impossible. But in terms of therapy ideas and just plain fun, Pinterest may be worth checking out. Never heard of Pinterest? You’re not alone–while it’s been around since 2010, the site is still in beta mode, requiring an invite to set up an account. However, you don’t need to set up an account or a profile to enjoy Pinterest–you can simply go to the site, type in a search term in the search box in the upper left-hand corner of the page, and you’ll be able to see and click through to any results that come up.

But sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself–what exactly IS Pinterest? According to Pinterest’s “about” page:

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

That’s great, you may be thinking, but what does this have to do with CSD professionals? At first glance, nothing. But it just so happens that SLPs and other therapists and educators are “pinning” therapy ideas by the hundreds, making Pinterest an invaluable resource for therapy ideas and inspiration. If you go to Pinterest and search “SLP” or “fine motor” or “audiology” or any term you might be interested in, you’ll see what I’m talking about. Pediastaff has pinned an incredible number of therapy ideas grouped by topic, and features a “pin of the week” of the most popular therapy pins.

Want to start exploring Pinterest and need an invite? Leave a comment and I’ll send you one. Already on Pinterest and want to share your boards with ASHAsphere readers? Leave a comment with your Pinterest url (e.g. ““) so ASHAsphere readers can find and follow you. ASHA is just starting with Pinterest so we haven’t really started using it yet; however, we have set up an ASHAsphere board, starting with December’s posts, and plan to update it with new posts going forward.

Winter Break

winter landscape

Photo by David Blackwell

‘Tis the season to be busy, and hopefully to spend some time offline with family and friends–or maybe just relaxing. To give you one less thing to cross off your to-do list during this holiday season, ASHAsphere will be taking a winter break next week.

Thank you all for reading along this year, and to all the great ASHAsphere bloggers–thank you for making this blog the success that it is.

In the coming year, we’d love to feature more audiology bloggers in addition to the awesome SLP bloggers who already contribute to ASHAsphere. If you’re interested, please fill out and submit the blogger application.

Thanks so much for reading, commenting on and sharing ASHAsphere, and we’ll see you next year!

SLPs Shortlisted for 2011 Edublog Awards–Voting Ends Tomorrow Night

Edublog logo

Last year, several SLP and SLP-related blogs were nominated for the Edublog awards. According to The Edublog Awards website, the awards are “a community based incentive started in 2005 in response to community concerns relating to how schools, districts and educational institutions were blocking access of learner and teacher blog sites for educational purposes. The purpose of the Edublog awards is promote and demonstrate the educational values of these social media.”

This year, SLPs again made a strong showing among shortlisted nominees. Here’s a listing of the SLP and SLP-related nominees (hat-tip to Sean Sweeney for compiling these):

Best Individual BlogiLearn Technology

Best Group Blog TherapyApp411

Best New BlogAll4mychild and Speech Room News

Best EdTech/Resource Sharing BlogCindy L Meester’s Blog and SpeechTechie

Best Twitter Hashtag#slpeeps

Best Free WebtoolGlogsterEDU

Best Educational Media/PodcastThe Compendium Blog of The A.T.TIPSCAST

Best Educational Use of a WikiUDLTechToolkit

Best Open PDEdcamps

Lifetime Achievement– Special Education Teacher and Mac Genius Meg Wilson

Voting for the 2011 Edublog awards is open until 11:59 pm EST on Tuesday, December 13–that’s TOMORROW– and the winners will be announced during a live online awards ceremony on Wednesday, December 14 at 7 pm EST. You can vote once per day per category through tomorrow at 11:59 pm.

To vote, visit the Vote Here page, then select the category from the pull-down menu. Once you select the category, the list of nominees in that category will appear in another pull-down menu. Christopher Bugaj has a short video tutorial of the voting process on his blog if you’d like more direction.


Listen to Your Buds Gears up for ASHA Convention

Listen to Your Buds Logo

ASHA’s Listen To Your Buds safe listening campaign is taking off at warp speed and landing in San Diego next week.  Mayor Jerry Sanders has declared “Buds In The Schools Week,” November 14 – 19, throughout the city during which ASHA will engage young students in campaign activities.  Six lucky elementary schools will participate in concerts presented by Listen To Your Buds Musicians’ Coalition members Oran Etkin and Moona Luna

ASHA has also partnered with USO San Diego to put on a holiday concert for military families on Saturday, November 19.  The concert will feature the U.S. Marine Band as well as Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band. Winner of a 2011 Parents’ Choice Foundation Gold Award, family entertainer Lucky and his band will share the Buds’ safe listening message with attendees.

To keep up with all the Buds’ activities, you can follow Listen To Your Buds on Facebook.

Boo! Halloween Idea Treats

Halloween Tree

Photo by H_Elise.

Since it’s almost Halloween I thought I’d “treat” ASHAsphere readers to a roundup of some Halloween-themed blog posts and resources, as shared with @ASHAweb on Twitter:

Know of other posts, activities, or apps for Halloween? Please share in the comments.

A New Way to Connect with Fellow Members: ASHA Community

Earlier this week, ASHA launched a new online community platform for members, ASHA Community. ASHA Community combines the functionality of traditional listservs, discussion forums and the member directory with new features like the ability to build your own network of professional contacts and link to your profiles on public sites like Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. ASHA Community features granular privacy controls that let you control what information you share, subscription management that allows you to customize the way you prefer to receive updates, and resource libraries where you can share documents, audio and video files with other ASHA members. If you haven’t already checked it out, we encourage you to log in and check it out.

Here are five quick steps to get started:

  1. Complete your profile. If you have a Linkedin profile, you can easily import some or all information from that profile–including your photo.
  2. Customize your privacy settings, including your contact preferences.
  3. Subscribe to ASHA Discussion Groups, customize how you’d like to receive updates, and start posting comments.
  4. Browse or post content to the community library including documents, videos, and audio files.
  5. Find an ASHA Community Member to connect with using our online member directory.

If you have any questions, suggestions or need help, you can post a message to ASHA Community Feedback group.

We look forward to featuring discussions and resources from ASHA Community here on ASHAsphere.

ASHAsphere One Year Later


Photo by melalouise

Ok, technically it’s been over a year (the first ASHAsphere post was published August 31, 2010), but I wanted to mark the belated one-year anniversary of ASHAsphere by saying thank you.

Thank you, faithful readers, who comment on and share and tweet the posts we publish here each week. We appreciate your support and hope you continue to find this blog engaging and useful.

Thank you, talented ASHAsphere bloggers, who are generous enough to share your insights here. You are the reason this blog has been such a success, and I personally am deeply grateful to you all and hope you’ll continue to contribute to ASHAsphere.

If you’ve thought about blogging for ASHAsphere but haven’t applied to become a blogger yet, please do.

Here’s to another year of shared insights and ideas!

Clinical Doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology–Good Idea or Not?

The August 2, 2011 issue of the ASHA Leader featured an article titled “Clinical Doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology: Philosophy, Implementation, and Success at the University of Pittsburgh.” The authors explore whether a new doctor of clinical science program at the University of Pittsburgh the answer to the increasing depth and breadth of SLP practice.

Apparently this is an issue that stirs up a lot of feelings among SLPs; when we posted a link to the article on ASHA’s Facebook page, more than 35 people weighed in on the issue. The article has also inspired several blog posts.

You can read the article on the ASHA website and add your own thoughts to the discussion.

Congratulations ASHAsphere Blogger Kenneth Staub!

ASHAsphere is proud to announce that Kenneth Staub, M.S., CCC-SLP, was won one of The Stuttering Foundation’s 2011 Awards for Excellence in Journalism. His ASHAsphere post about The King’s Speech, won third place in the Internet Blog category. What a great achievement for Kenneth–an SLP–to be recognized alongside professional journalists from the likes of CNN! We’re proud to have him on ASHAsphere!