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  • Writer's pictureStacy Crouse

Using PDF Activities in Teletherapy Sessions

Back in the early teletherapy days, PDFs were pretty much IT in terms of speech therapy activities. There were no Boom Cards. No PowerPoint games. The ability to screen share websites from the teletherapy platform was rare.


No doubt about it– PDFs are the OGs of teletherapy activities. But don't file them under "digital antiques" just yet. PDF resources still offer a huge variety of engagement and therapeutic value.


Types of PDF Speech Therapy Activities

Let's get a little bit techy for a minute and talk about the two types of PDFs that can be used in teletherapy and how each one applies to use in teletherapy


Static PDF Activities

Static PDFs are the most common type of PDF, both in terms of speech therapy resources and the world in general. Static PDFs are your basic downloads from TpT or other websites (such as recipe blogs).


When you download a static PDF, you download and open it, scroll through and read the pages, and save and/or print it.


In a teletherapy session, you can (digitally) view a static PDF in one of two ways.

  1. Upload static PDFs to your teletherapy platform.

  2. Open the PDF in a PDF reader (such as Adobe Reader) and screen-share the window.

A student doing a past tense verb PDF activity during a teletherapy session

These more basic PDFs can work great in teletherapy, but be aware that not all static PDF resources are equal in terms of practicality for teletherapy. Many speech therapy PDF resources are designed to be printed as worksheets and written on.


On the other hand, some PDFs would not be practical to print and are much more suitable for display on a computer or tablet. When looking for PDF activities to use in teletherapy, SLPs should consider several different features to find useful PDF activities.


features of printable vs. digital PDFs for teletherapy

Now hold on. I am not saying that you will never be successful using a black-and-white, portrait-orientated, printable activity in teletherapy. I've done it many times and will continue to do so in some cases. It can work just fine. But when creating or searching for digital resources to present on a computer or tablet, you'll want to consider the factors mentioned above.



digital annotation of a static PDF being used on a computer for teletherapy

Interactive PDF Activities

There's another kind of PDF that is sort of amazing for teletherapy. Interactive PDFs contain built-in components that allow users to go well beyond reading text, viewing pictures, and annotation.


Interactive PDFs contain elements such as...

  • Clickable buttons

  • Clickable links to a website or another page in the PDF

  • Fillable text boxes

  • Clickable checkboxes


A student typing on a digital PDF activity in a teletherapy session.

In a world where digital activities like Boom Cards and Google Slides have some pretty fancy features, it's easy to underestimate the power of a basic PDF.


Free PDF Activities for Teletherapy

But it's time to give PDFs some well-deserved credit for all they're capable of in teletherapy! If you want to try out both static and interactive PDFs with a side-by-side (or tab-by-tab) comparison, download some FREEBIES and see for yourself!


Free STATIC PDFs


Free INTERACTIVE PDFs


PDF activities don't have to be counted out of the (teletherapy) game yet. Both static and digital PDF activities still bring a lot of versatility and engagement to teletherapy platforms and can be used in virtual sessions with students of all ages!


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