Face Time can be an efficient, fun way to conduct speech therapy sessions for some clients. Although Face Time should not substitute for all in-person therapy sessions, it is a great way to do therapy in many cases. For example, for my clients who have moved through the establishment phase of articulation therapy in massed practice sessions, Face Time is useful for distributive practice sessions that are shorter and more frequent. For clients with scheduling constraints, Face Time provides a way to do therapy without leaving home or office. It is important to have very good screen resolution as well as clear audio in order for Face Time to be an effective therapy tool, particularly when working on speech sound improvement. It is helpful for clients to have the screen set up in the same spot for each session to insure correct camera alignment when the session begins.
At the University of Newcastle researchers are using a smart kitchen to test theories about language learning. In their article, “Can a kitchen teach languages?” published in Smart Learning Environments (2015) by Preston et al. the authors address the implications of smart learning environments for task-based learning, specifically for learning languages. In the European Kitchen, wireless sensors are incorporated into handles of cooking utensils, ingredient containers, and appliances. The sensors collect data about the learners’ progress in various cooking tasks and provide feedback to the learners in the chosen target language. In contrast to more traditional language learning methods, Task Based Language Learning (TBBL) is becoming widely accepted with its emphasis on learning via progressing through real-world goals or tasks. Smart learning environments such as the European Kitchen or the Ambient Wood, a project designed to let children explore biological ideas and capture data in a woodland environment, have implications for using task-based learning in a number of contexts and perhaps, for the specific language impaired population as well.
Autumn is a good time of year to set new goals. Goal setting is a way to refocus and clarify your direction. When so many of us are distracted by the pull of e-communication in all its many facets, regular goal setting is more critical than ever. Without goals, it is too easy to get mired into the minutiae of life and its many demands. Goals are more than elevated to-do lists; they give shape to your ultimate purpose and clarify your own personal vision. When newly married my husband and I set goals every week – personal, professional and shared goals. Talking about and writing down goals brings to light your deepest desires and gives them form and meaning without which they are simply vague ideas. In speech-language pathology we design short-term and long-term goals for our clients in order to provide a concrete roadmap for the therapy process. Sometimes the goals seem very small, but the smallest goals are sometimes the most important because they provide a bridge to the harder work down the road. Goals provide accountability to both clinician and client. So as the temperatures fall and the pace of work quickens, take a few moments on a regular basis to set your goals, review them and regain your focus.