I often get asked about why I feel that digital resources are so beneficial. In this episode, I talk about why I became interested in digital resources and all of the reasons I think you’ll love using them too!
You’ll want to tune in to Episode 50 to learn about:
- Minimizing planning time
- Eliminating prep time
- Increasing student engagement
Links & Resources
Full Transcript of Podcast: Why I Went Digital
Episode 50: Why I Went Digital
You're listening to the Speech Space Podcast, a podcast full of tips and resources for SLPs. I'm your host, Jessica Cassity, and this is Episode 50. Hey there everybody! I cannot believe that we're currently on Episode 50 of the Speech Space Podcast. I wanted to welcome those of you that are perhaps tuning in for the very first time. And for those of you that have been a long-time listeners, I wanted to thank you for that as well. I really do appreciate all of you, and I'm just so grateful for the positive feedback that I've received in emails and on social media. It really just makes my day whenever I get a message about the podcast, especially whenever someone's sharing how it has helped them to become a better SLP or to feel more confident in a certain area, it just really makes me happy. So today, we're going to be talking about why I went digital. It's a question that I get a lot, and I'm really excited to take the time to talk more in-depth about this topic. But before we get started, I did want to let you know that this podcast is brought to you by The Digital SLP membership site, which is a site that features time-saving no print, and low prep resources for SLPs. To learn more about the membership head on over to thedigitalslp.com/digitalslp.
All right, let's go ahead and get started. So many of you have reached out and wondered about why I like using digital resources or why I started to use digital resources in my speech room. So I just wanted to give a little bit of background. I previously was working in different settings. I was servicing various schools at the same time in addition to various private practice locations. So the no-brainer for me, what really kind of made me fall in love with no prints, even though there are many reasons to love them, is that I could easily transport them from place to place. I was having challenges finding color printers for some of my students that really benefited from some nice graphics to get them engaged. So that was a challenge that I was having. And then also transporting resources from one place to another. I did work for a specific county and I was allowed to transport those resources within sites, but for the private practice location, I could not bring my resources that I was borrowing from the county to use them in the private practice setting. So I found using no print resources to be a nice solution because I could have a resource and use it with all my clients, all my students, and not have to worry about lugging around really heavy materials or worry about losing materials. It just really streamlined the way that I did things for the day.
So that is actually how I got started doing it. But let me jump into a few, and talk about a few more reasons why I also like using these digital resources. So one of the first reasons is because it minimizes planning time. So the nice thing about a no print is that the planning time is really cut back because you're not sifting through different books with different chapters and trying to locate a specific resource within a folder that you maybe can't find. It is so simple to get on your desktop or your laptop or your iPad, and pull up the resource that you need by searching for it. Perhaps you have it in a specific folder on your desktop. If you belong to a membership site, I know a lot of membership sites, including The Digital SLP, have a favorites option. So you can, you don't even have to have them on your desktop taking up memory. You can have them saved as a favorite and you can just go in and download them. It just really streamlines the process and makes it a lot easier. You also can use something on The Digital SLP site, we have something called a digital caseload planner. So that is just an editable PDF file. So you can really use any, anything similar. You could use a Google Doc, could use an Excel spreadsheet, but just a way to keep track of what you're going to do for the week or the month, and not have to worry about losing that piece of paper. And that can also help you. You can put the links to your favorite resources or the names of your favorite resources and just really quickly at a glance kind of plan out your week or month. So it just, like I said, it just really streamlines things. It makes it nice and easy.
The other reason that I really love digital resources is—and when I'm saying digital resources, I guess I should specify. So there are digital resources that you can download from Teachers Pay Teachers, and they might actually be printable resources. So I am primarily referring to no print digital resources today. So I just wanted to clarify there. But when you're using them, it essentially eliminates your preparation time. All you're doing is clicking a button and downloading the resource on your device. And that's really it. So you're not cutting anything, you're not photocopying anything, you're not printing anything. Either really, like I said, eliminating your preparation time and who doesn't love that, right? We could all use to gain back a little time where we can find ways to kind of carve it out. So that's an easy way to do it. And another reason that I really love digital resources is because they reduce waste. So, like I said before, you know, I kind of alluded to not having to worry about these pile of papers. It's the same kind of thing. You don't have to worry about being wasteful. And, you know, sometimes you'll print out worksheets and your students will use them for a session and then throw them in the trash. You know, it eliminates the waste of all this paper. It eliminates the waste of the ink from printing out copy after copy. So it's a nice kind of eco-friendly way to use graphic rich materials without having to use tons of ink to print them out and to incorporate them into your sessions.
So, next reason that I really love these resources is because they are easily transportable. And then I touched on that in the beginning of the podcast. And like I said, that was my main reason behind creating these resources because it was just easier for me and what I was doing at that point in time to take them from one site to another. But they are, even within your school, if you're doing push-in, you know, and somehow tying in a lesson, a no print lesson into what they're doing in the class that day or maybe you're using that no print lesson with the entire class. You know, it's really easy to bring it on your iPad, or you can pull it up if they're using a smart board, you can pull it up in their classroom. I mean, I used to seriously walk around with this binder. I don't even know how many inches thick it was. But it was so heavy and it was just really nice to make the switched and have my load literally be lighter when I would walk from class to class. So that was another reason that I wanted to share with you guys. They are very easily transportable and that, like I said, can really be, I don't want to say life-changing because that sounds dramatic, but it can really change your day whenever you're not lugging around tons of heavy resources or having to make frequent trips back to your speech room to get something for the next student that you're going to be seeing.
Another thing that I really love about using digital resources is that it reduces clutter in your speech room. So, you know, and I'm thinking back about all those schools that I was referring to before, where I was going from kind of place to place. I just think of filing cabinets that are overflowing with papers. And it was just so impossible, especially as an SLP who was coming in just a couple of days a week to fill in one school and a couple of days a week in another school. It was so difficult to find what I needed and, you know, it has made it really nice to, I can, you know, carry this around on a thumb drive or you can keep them on, like I said, if you belong to a specific, I know I'm not the only one with a membership site, but if you belong to a specific membership site, like The Digital SLP or another site, you can just access them from your member dashboard. And that's always nice that you don't have to always worry about carrying them along with you. But like I said, it's nice to kind of store these things in a way that's much more organized. You don't have to worry about losing them in a pile somewhere or a drawer somewhere. I'm completely guilty of being that person who will print out all these things. When I'm motivated, I'm like, oh, I'm going to cut all this out. I'm going to laminate all this. And then at the end of the school year, I still have this huge pile sitting there and maybe I've made it halfway through. Maybe I haven't. And it's about is, you know, stacked as high as it was at the beginning of the year. So this allows me to not have to worry about doing that and not kind of spreading myself too thin and kind of overestimating what I can do. These are just easy to pull up at a moment's notice. And like I said, you can keep them on your desktop or you can keep them on whichever membership site you're a part of. So you don't even have to worry about taking up the space or even cluttering up your desktop, which is nice. So reducing clutter is definitely a perk of this you know, going digital movement.
And the last thing that I wanted to share with you is that going digital definitely increases engagement. So I feel like things are moving. We're moving in more of a direction of going digital. In the schools, we have a much more access to laptops, iPads, computers, smart boards, and things than we have in the past. Students are becoming more accustomed to that as well. I don't want to say that they're expecting it, but especially whenever they have access to these, you know, iPads and phones devices at home, they're just becoming much more accustomed to going digital and using electronic devices to learn. So I find that if a student is used to this method, then it's more natural for them and more engaging for them. It seems to hold their attention better than perhaps a worksheet would—not that I'm advocating using worksheets because I'm not. But I know that a lot of those, especially for older students are used. So I think that this is a really great way to keep your students engaged. It kind of keeps things moving. It reminds me of when you're giving a presentation and, you know, they suggest using more, a lot of PowerPoint slides. So you're kind of switching up what people are viewing every few seconds. It reminds me of that with a no print. So it's not this static thing. It's this dynamic process which you're moving through together, which helps to kind of regain attention if you've lost it, when you move on to the next slide. And like I said, just a very naturalistic thing for many students to be using now because they are using these things at home for entertainment or educational purposes.
So those are the primary reasons why I went digital and why I love using digital resources. If I missed anything, I would love to get an email from you. My email is email@example.com and I really hope that you enjoyed listening to today's show. And as always, if you liked what you heard, please take a couple of moments to leave a five-star review on iTunes that will help your fellow SLPs be able to easier find this show. And to access the show notes from today's episode, head on over to bit.ly/TSSEP50. If you would like to learn about how you can incorporate more digital resources into your speech room, then head on over to thedigitalslp.com/digitalslp. All right, my friends, that is it for me for today. I thank you so much for tuning in, and I hope that you have a lovely week.