As the excitement of ASHA 2012 settles, it’s time to turn our attention to another exciting time for all those social media guru’s out there with the Edublog Awards! If you’re not familiar with these awards, they were originally started in 2004 to “promote and demonstrate the educational values of these social media.” For more information about how you can nominate your favorite blogs and sites, check out the Edublog Awards website. Considering how much I rely on and benefit from my social media family, it’s nearly impossible to nominate just one blog/person/site for each of these categories. That being said, I’ve done the (nearly) impossible and my nominations are as follows:
Best individual blog: There are so many fabulous blogs out there, but Jeremy Legaspi’s blog, The Speech Guy: Tech Savvy Speech Therapy rises to the top. Jeremy shares the ideal mix of app reviews, career-related information (job searching, salary expectations, etc.), assistive technology tips, and (best of all) functional ways to adapt apps to be excellent therapy tools! I have certainly become a more tech-savvy clinician from reading Jeremy’s blog and am always impressed by the new ideas he brings to the table!
Best group blog: My vote in this category goes to the ASHAsphere blog. Maggie McGary has done (and continues to do) and amazing job compiling great posts from various bloggers in the field to create a blog that’s educational, relevant, creative, and all in all a nice resource for sharing SLP ideas!
Best student blog: Being an SLP grad student myself, I put a lot of stock in high-quality blogs written by fellow grad students, and Katie Millican’s blog, SLP_Echo: Just Another SLP in the Making is not to be missed! Katie’s posts range from helping readers learn about the wonderful world of social media to offering countless ideas and recommendations for students getting ready to apply to an SLP grad program!
Best ed tech / resource sharing blog: Sean Sweeney has emerged as our field’s expert when it comes to integrating technology into awesome therapy and his blog, Speech Techie is the golden ticket to learning more about the amazing benefits technology can offer. I never thought it was possible to find a blog where every single post is well-written, interesting, and beneficial…until I found Sean’s Speech Techie!
Best individual tweeter: Tara Roehl, better known on Twitter as @SpeechyKeenSLP, makes me feel ever-connected to the SLP world through her regular tweets. Each and every day she can be counted on to tweet about the latest news in the field, great therapy ideas, thought-provoking questions, and the occasional morale booster for a fellow SLPeep. Thanks to her awesome tweeting, I felt like I was right alongside her in her ASHA convention sessions, learning about her sessions and mine!
Best twitter hashtag: No competition here: the one and only #slpeeps! This hashtag is a gateway to an amazing community of speech-language pathologists and speech-language pathology graduate students! On any given day, you can follow #SLPeeps to learn about new apps, ask and answer questions, engage in professional discussions/debates, and network with friends across the country (and even world)!
Best educational use of a social network: PediaStaff’s Pinterest boards are an incredible resource for speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, special education teachers, general education teachers,…you get the idea! They are amazingly well organized and span so many categories that you just might get dizzy with all that scrolling!
Best Mobile App: Custom Boards Premium by Smarty Ears is the app that gets the most use on my iPad each and every quarter. Between the countless layouts, thousands of Smarty symbols, ability to tap into saved photos on the iPad, and access to Google images, there’s no better or faster way to make visual schedules, games, articulation boards, etc.!
Writing this post on Thanksgiving makes me extra thankful for the amazing contributions the above people and blogs have made to the field of speech-language pathology. I am constantly awed to be a part of this great community!