This is my old boy, Archie, looking thrilled to be in the tub (not)! But as cute and mopey as he is in this picture, he is not the old dog I am referring to. That old dog would be me. I was chatting with some other “seasoned” SLPs about technology in our field. We were laughing at the memory of handwriting IEPs on carbon paper and that amendments required drawing a line through the mistake and initialing it. Those days are gone!
What is second nature to my own boys and the new grads that I mentor with apps and social media, requires visual tutorials and lots of time for me to master. Thank goodness for Youtube and collaborative boards on Facebook! One of the great things about our field is that we all share information and support one another, and this is true in the virtual SLP realm as well. I have learned a tremendous amount from Natalie Snyders, Jenna Rayburn and Meredith Avren (The Peachie Speechie)! I got to thinking about the GIANT learning curve I have been on this year.
In the past 8 months of 2015 I have joined Instagram (love), Periscope (jury is still out), and learned to create my own pins on Pinterest. I think I may need a Pintervention, as I am slightly addicted to it! I learned how to create TeachersPayTeachers products on Powerpoint, edit pictures with A Beautiful Mess and Instasize apps, and utilize Camtasia to record presentations for new SLPs. I have struggled with Twitter (meh) and am getting ready to start using an iPad to create social language training videos for a grant project. Each time I struggle with a new skill and come out the other side, it gives me a great sense of satisfaction! Not that I am fantastic at everything, far from it, but just that I am able to learn and grow is enough.
The only constant in our field is change, and you can either embrace it or let it frustrate you. I choose to embrace it. Give it a try and dip your toes into Instagram. You will be amazed at the great SLPs and ideas you will find just by looking up the hashtag, #slpeeps! Not sure what that means? Check out this post by Nicole Allison. Besides, I have read that constantly challenging yourself to learn new things keeps your brain young and flexible, and that sounds like a win-win for this old dog!
What has been your experience with the social media learning curve?