Plunging into Distance Learning

Have you needed to take the plunge into distance learning?  The above picture illustrates my rapid need to quickly get up to speed on creating Distance Learning Plans for my varied caseload.

Luckily it seems as if the whole community has reached out to assist us in our journey.

Some ideas that I am finding that have been helpful to me are:

  • Continuing Education: ASHA: American Speech-Language and Hearing Association has offered free continuing education: ASHA LEARNING PASS through June 30,2020. Not only are there some great resources for teletherapy but these courses will count for your certification renewal.
  • Creating a schedule for myself: Our routines have changed and there is a need to make sure that we maintain a healthy lifestyle. I was finding that I was doing distance learning 24/ 7.
  • Creating  Google Sheets: I am getting really good at Google Resources. I had a Google Sheet with my students, a summary of their goals, timelines, data on their goals. This has really help me quickly get my distance plans together as all the data was in one place. I added to this sheet creating a Distance Learning Plan attendance sheet to give me a snapshot of which students might need more support or might need an encouraging email.
  • Resource Google Document:  Help has been coming from all fronts and I was becoming overwhelmed so I created a Google document that I now put the link to the resource on this. As we don’t know how long this distance learning might last I have a resource list that I can pull from.
  • Connecting with Families: I love being able to send fun videos I have made or personal emails and activities to encourage my students. This personal connection to the families has created a different relationship that will only enhance my student’s abilities as the partnership between the family and therapist blossoms. It is a unique opportunity to coach the family and shows how the child might be able to use the skills in the home.
  • Online Programs: I have always used technology in my speech and language therapy. I am finding that for some of my students this is the easiest way for them to continue their treatment at home. Some of my favorites are
    • Nessy programs are designed to help students of all abilities learn to read, write, spell and type, especially those who learn differently
    • Everyday Speech  Everyday Speech social-emotional curriculum
    • Hearbuilder This program builds following directions, phonological awareness, sequencing, and auditory memory skills
    • Boom Learning I am loving Boom as not only can I purchase materials that are self-correcting but I can make personal Boom Cards that teach and create unique opportunities for my students. A bonus I feel is that you can create a class that allows you to quickly see which students have been online.
  • BREATHE: I need to make sure that I am understanding this is a very different time in our life. Things will be messy. I need to have an understanding that families are needing to adjust to this distance learning just as we are. There may be times that a family will need a great deal of support and might be contacting us daily. On the other hand, there may be families that can’t do this at this time. I need to understand and respect where the families are. Tell them I am there for them in any way ( while practicing social distancing!) that they need.

This is a journey that continues to evolve. Stay healthy.

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