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  • Writer's pictureStacy Crouse

How SLPs are Using Technology in Speech Therapy (in 2024)

More than ever before, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are utilizing technology in speech therapy rooms far and wide. From teletherapy platforms to a variety of digital devices for in-person therapy, no-print resources are no strangers to SLPs and their students.

I recently surveyed a group of SLPs and SLPAs (thanks, email subscribers!) about their experiences with technology in speech therapy. The nearly 300 responses provide insight into how digital activities are valuable resources for therapists and their students.

How often are SLPs using technology in speech therapy?

Even just 10 years ago, technology in speech therapy was not the norm. But get this– 89% of survey respondents are using technology at least weekly with their students, while 60.8% use it nearly every day 🤯.

Chart that shows how often SLPs are using technology in speech therapy

It's clear that, like all aspects of our world, technology has made its way into speech therapy sessions. SLPs have embraced numerous types of digital devices and activity formats to serve their caseloads.

"I'd be lost in my speech sessions without technology! I have come to depend on many types of digital materials. They are so easy to pull up on the screen and they keep students very engaged." -Karen

From convenience to engagement, the reasons why SLPs use digital activities vary as much as speech therapy settings and caseloads themselves. Let's hear more from SLPs in the field about their experiences with technology!

What digital devices are SLPs using in speech therapy?

SLPs access a variety of technology devices to engage their students, and some might surprise you.

80.8% of SLPs use a desktop or laptop computer for digital activities (which, of course, includes my fellow teletherapists). In the survey, several in-person SLPs noted that they use a second computer monitor to display therapy activities. What a great (and cost-efficient) idea!

Chart that shows the types of devices that SLPs use in speech therapy

Tablets such as iPads are a close second, with 78.8% stating they use them with students in speech therapy (13.7% of SLPs use a smartphone). 30.5% of SLPs access a smartboard (or interactive whiteboard) to share activities with their students.

SLPs using a smartboard, a computer, and an ipad in speech therapy sessions

What digital activities are SLPs using in speech therapy?

Now that we have a feel for the devices that SLPs are using, let's figure out what they're doing on those devices.

Not many SLPs will be surprised to learn that Boom Cards take the #1 spot here– they are used by 94.9% of SLPs that took the survey😲 But I understand why. Boom Card decks are extremely versatile! You can find (or make) a deck to address any goal for any age. They can also be played in any setting using the mobile app (on a tablet or phone) or the website browser.

I love boom cards to reinforce what has been taught. The kids think that are playing a game and it’s great for progress monitoring. -Anonymous

84.9% of SLPs utilize additional websites in sessions. This can include sharing books, games, activities, and other sites. 83.2% of SLPs use YouTube videos. There are so many websites to use and love in speech therapy!

Chart that shows the types of digital activities that SLPs use in speech therapy

Over a third (69.2%) of SLPs said that they use PowerPoint or Google Slides to teach and practice goals with their students. Apps are also frequently used in speech therapy with 61.3% of SLPs using them in sessions.

In addition to web-based activities, SLPs are finding value in digital PDFs. 64.4% use these PDFs that are designed to be used digitally with various interactive features such as buttons and text boxes. They are a great option for the on-the-go SLP who doesn’t have internet access on their device.

Technology has allowed me to become a better SLP. Whether it's having a copy of my students' AAC devices ready to model, or the option to switch to an alternate activity when "Plan A" doesn't work, I am thankful for the flexibility that technology provides! -Aubree Gregory, MA, CCC-SLP

In summary, the majority of SLPs are using digital activities, although the type of device, activity format, and frequency may vary. While this very official research may not land me a Nobel Prize, it does demonstrate some significant trends in the use of technology in speech therapy. As one SLP survey respondent nicely summed it up, "Using technology & digital activities have the power to transform speech therapy sessions."

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

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