• Stacy Crouse

Using Split Screen Activities in Speech Teletherapy

Updated: Dec 22, 2021

In face-to-face speech therapy, do you ever use articulation cards and a game simultaneously? Or a book and a book companion? What about a visual and a toy or worksheet?

ALL the time, right? It's second nature for speech pathologists to utilize resources in combination for one activity.

In fact, I’ll bet you probably never realized the ease in which you use multiple resources at one time in face-to-face therapy.... until you began providing teletherapy. Suddenly, it's not as simple as presenting to items on a table at once.....

....Or is it?

Here is where split screen comes into play and makes all of your digital resource dreams come true. Split screen means your computer screen is divided equally into two windows (or applications) that do not overlap. They each take up exactly half of your screen.

Here's what that looks like...

How to set up split screen (on a PC):

1) Open both activity windows.

2) Click on the top of one window and drag it to the middle of one side of your screen. It will expand to fill that half of the screen.

3) Select the window to fill the other half of the screen.

4) From your platform, share your entire screen (by selecting to share the desktop) so that everything on the screen is visible to your student.

Mac users- check out this post for the how to.

I won't let myself go off-topic by getting into the benefit of having a second monitor for this purpose (and many others), but let's just say it makes sharing your split screen smoother and easier if you do. If a second monitor isn’t in the cards for you right now, it can work for you with just one screen, depending on your platform. Play around with it!

Of course you can also share two activities at once by just having two windows open at the same time and sharing the entire desktop. But why drive yourself crazy trying to resize those windows to fit nicely together on the screen? Use split screen and save yourself the agony! See how nice and neat those two windows fill the left-side screen above? Ahhh. Perfection. So now that we know how to split screen and understand the value it brings to sessions, here are some of the types of activities I use most often with split screen:

This is a super simple pairing of no print articulation cards for drill with an open-ended board game for reinforcement. #SLPstaples

I love to pair visuals with many activities (what SLP doesn't?) and since this non-verbal communication activity comes with a PDF and a Boom Card version, I can easily share both at the same time.

The National Geographic Kids website has tons of free fill-in-the-blank stories (called "Funny Fill-Ins") that are so much fun for my older students. For those with articulation goals, we always use these sound-specific word lists of nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. right alongside.

BOOKS AND BOOK COMPANIONS! It's pretty much a given that you're going to want to reference the book while completing companion activities, amiright? I pair books on Epic! or YouTube read alouds with no print book companions by The Type B SLP and Simply Speaking SLT on the regular.

I'm sorry if I've talked about this in a million other posts, but Epic or Fail clips from the Ellen Show are great for so many goals! I pair the YouTube videos with a companion in my email subscriber freebie library!

My middle schoolers and I love traveling the country’s national parks in our sessions by pairing live webcams on the National Park Service website with this comprehension and vocabulary resource or this digital guidebook. I find that adding webcams or videos about the topic really makes the content more relevant!

For students that need a visual schedule or timer, I can present something like this countdown timer with the reinforcement or reward at the end of the session (such as this free Uno-like game on ToyTheater).

Last but certainly not least, AAC! Can I tell you a little secret? Even though this is my 7th year as a teletherapist, implementing AAC via teletherapy is still a challenge for me. But Angela at The Speech Serenade wrote this blog post about how to successfully use AAC with a student in teletherapy! Sooo helpful. Light bulb moment times 100. As Angela discusses, you may be able to utilize the student's actual AAC software with another activity....using SPLIT SCREEN!

For students that don't have an AAC device but benefit from picture cues to formulate simple sentences, you can use something like Smarty Symbols (shown above in PowerPoint) or Lesson Pix to create your own simple visual for an activity (such as this Make A Christmas Tree activity on ABCYa).

I could go on and on. There a million different combinations of activities that you could utilize in teletherapy, but hopefully this is enough to get your wheels spinning. Split screen is a quick and easy way to expand and individualize your activities as well as give proper support to students that need it.

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