Blog Hop: Essential Social Media Tools for SLPs – Pinterest

Welcome to Our Blog Hop!

At the recent ASHA convention, I was proud to be a featured panelist on a Learning Lab session and volunteer on the Social Medial Learning Center booth.  At both venues, we talked about why it is imperative that SLPs understand and embrace the world of social media that is taking our profession by storm.  Whether you want to interact daily or prefer to sit back and and listen, social media has become an invaluable resource for communicating with colleagues and staying on top of recent research and trends.

Our booth and panel were both quite popular and our visitors expressed an interest in learning more that they could take home with them to digest at their leisure.  We anticipated that this would be the case, so several of us “#SLPeeps,” together with Heidi Kay at PediaStaff, co-authored and produced a simple e-book that we would like to share with you as a blog hop.

Part 1: Using Pinterest

By: Tara Roehl, M.S. CCC-SLP

What if I told you that I had found a resource with unlimited activities, games and crafts for use in your therapy? What if I said this resource could also connect you to some of the latest research, creative SLPs like yourself and even additional resource libraries? Too good to be true, right? Let me put the cherry on top – it’s FREE! Let me introduce you to the wonderful world of Pinterest.

 

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a website for sharing visual links to resources. It is like having unlimited access to a library of bulletin boards, where people have “pinned” their favorite crafts, activities, free resources, blogs, research and more. And you are allowed to come and copy anything you like!

 

But I Already Have My “Go-To” Resources…

Many of our current resources have come from other professionals, trainings, magazines, books and more. All of these are wonderful, but limited. Many of us aren’t able to go to trainings or even interact with a variety of professionals on a regular basis. Magazines come out once a month, and don’t always have what we’re looking for in every issue. Books cost money, take up space, get borrowed and the contents aren’t always 100% what we need.

Despite this, many SLPs have created fantastic collections of ideas they have gathered over time. These may be kept in a binder, in a file, on their computer, etc. But how often have you ended up somewhere and not had access to your ideas? Maybe you have 20 minutes to stop at the store NOW, but you left the recipe/materials list back at home. Perhaps you are at a different school today, the resources are in the other car, or they are still sitting on the kitchen table where you set them down last night.

 

So How Can Pinterest Help?

  • Cost:  Many of the resources on Pinterest are free. These include demonstrations, directions and printables for you to access as needed.
  • Access:  Pinterest is a web-based service, which mean as long as you have internet you have access to new or saved resource and materials. This means from any computer, your smart phone and even your tablet device!
  • Amount:  New content is added daily, so you never run out of new resources to browse, search for, and add to your growing collections
  • Organization:  Pinterest has a versatile framework that allows users to organize “pins” in ways that make sense for them as an individual – save them by topic, theme, type, etc.

 

Logistics: How Does It Work?

Finding Resources:

  • Custom Searches:  Pinterest provides a search box for searching the millions of pins for what you need/want. This is great when you have something in mind for an upcoming session or a particular handout/item you need. Try varying your search terms to include different combinations of words, abbreviations, etc. For example, try searching for “articulation cards” as well as “artic cards” and “speech sound cards.”
  • Categories:  Pinterest also allows people to add a “category” to their personal boards. This then categorizes their pins that go onto those boards. A drop down menu at the top of the Pinterest screen provides you with a listing of the categories. From there you can “browse.” This is great when you aren’t looking for anything specific, but instead are just looking for fun ideas and inspiration in general. Try looking in the “DIY” and “Kids” sections!
  • Following:  A great way to find materials is to find others Pinterest users who have created boards with items of interest to you and “follow” them. This will then place their latest pins onto your “home screen.” If you find some great “pinners” you will never run out of new inspiration to browse and “pin” yourself!

Pins vs Boards:

  • A “Pin” is a visual image representing a link to an outside website with information of interest. People create “pins” from websites and resources they come upon. You can then “re-pin” these items onto your own “Boards” for later use. Think of it like putting a Polaroid image of an item up onto your custom bulletin board!
  • A “Board” is a collection of “pins”, organized at the discretion of the Board’s owner. You can “re-pin” from someone else’s board, “follow” a Board to see what new items have been “pinned” and create your own “Boards” to save your favorite “pins!”

 

Getting Started

Sign Up:  You do not need to create an account to search through the resources available on Pinterest. However, if you want to begin creating your own Boards, Re-pinning materials and following others, it is necessary to create an account. It is a free and easy process, using either your log-ins for Facebook/Twitter or your e-mail address. It takes just a few minutes!

Begin Following Boards:  Find some users whose boards have items of interest to you and begin following them. These can then lead you to other users and their boards (think of it as the proverbial “rabbit trail”). Some suggestions:

Begin Following Boards

  • PediaStaff
    • Their boards are created for a variety of professionals and topics including: SLPs, OTs, Psychologists, PTs, auditory processing, articulation, language, literacy, pragmatics, neonatal, hearing science. All of their boards are clearly organized for easy browsing, follow one or follow them all! They even have a board dedicated to SLPs, OTs, Psychologists and PTs who have Pinterest accounts! This is a great place to start exploring!
  • ASHA
    • Their boards are strictly professional development information including: materials from publications, ideas for therapy, job opportunities, and videos
  • Tara Roehl
    • My boards show a variety of interests, both professional and personal. You can use this as an example of how to merge your two areas of life into one large library. If you are interested in my therapy based boards, check out “Kraftivities 4 Kids” and “Speech Science.” But feel free to browse them all

Continue Reading Through Our Blog Hop:

Part 2:  Embracing Blogs

Part 3:  #SLPeeps on Twitter

Part 4:  Online discussion Group:  #SLPChat

Part 5:  Other Social Media Platforms

A Letter from a Founding Member of the #SLPeeps

Discovering Social Media:  Growth Starts Here  (http://slpecho.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/essential-social-media-tools/  )

 

 

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