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  • Writer's pictureStacy Crouse

Digital Activities to Engage Students in Speech Therapy

Many speech-language pathologists face large caseloads and considerable paperwork, so it's no surprise that prepping therapy materials often gets put on the back burner.

More than ever before, SLPs are discovering that digital resources can alleviate this problem. Using technology in speech therapy has so many benefits. Just to name a few, digital activities are convenient, flexible, motivating, evidence-based, and a major time-saver.

Becoming a teletherapist over a decade ago forced (I mean allowed 😆) me to uncover new ways of engaging students beyond the traditional cards and paper/pencil tasks I once relied on. Much to my surprise, digital activities have definitely held their own in terms of engaging students.

Digital resources are becoming increasingly available to both teletherapists and SLPs doing face-to-face therapy. They can be utilized on a variety of devices, including computers, tablets, smart boards, and smartphones.

Let's explore my favorite digital activities that SLPs can utilize to motivate students, engage them every week, and free up prep time.

Using PDFs Digitally in Speech Therapy

PDFs are an extremely versatile format to use in speech therapy. These files can be opened on a computer (or interactive whiteboard) using a PDF software such as Adobe Reader (which is free). They can also be opened on a PDF reader app on an iPad or other tablet.

Interactive PDFs

If you see the abbreviation "PDF" and think "worksheets", this might blow your mind. This type of PDF is meant to be used digitally– not printed like worksheets. Because of this, interactive PDFs are very engaging to use in speech therapy. They contain elements that can be clicked or typed in, including checkboxes, buttons, and text boxes.

PDF Annotation

Even "regular" PDFs (those without the interactive elements) can be used digitally in other ways. Annotating speech therapy PDF activities means digitally marking up or drawing on PDFs. This means that if you have some meant-to-be printed activities, you may be able to use them in a new way.

Using Boom Cards to Target Speech Therapy Goals

By now, most SLPs have probably heard of Boom Cards, if not used them in some capacity in speech therapy. These digital activities have been nothing short of life-changing for my teletherapy sessions.

Boom Cards have a ton of interactive features that instantly engage students. They have clickable buttons, fillable text boxes, movable pieces, and sounds. On some cards, you can even record your own audio and draw with your finger or a mouse.

If it's a goal you're targeting in speech therapy, there's a Boom Card deck to help you! Like PDFs, you can use Boom Cards on computers, interactive whiteboards, and tablets (using the app). Try some free Boom Card decks in your speech therapy sessions!

Using Speech Therapy Google Slides Activities

The Google Slides platform isn't necessarily designed to be an educational activity, but with so many interactive features, they work great for speech therapy! Google Slides are especially useful in teletherapy sessions, but they can also be used for in-person sessions with the Google Slides app on an iPad.

Each slide in a Google Slides presentation file is like a blank slate. Students can interact with movable images, shapes, text boxes, videos, audio recordings, outside website links, and more.

As you can see, digital activities can be every bit as interactive as physical speech therapy materials. Not only are PDFs, Boom Cards, and Google Slides bound to engage your students, but they can also free up SLPs' planning and prep time!

📌 Got a speech therapy board on Pinterest? SAVE the love ❤️

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