Technology

Having fun with Instagram

I have always been “snap happy”. I’ve been a picture person since I was young! Having a baby has sent that into overdrive. Like, 50-100 photos on an average day isn’t rare. One of my requirements  for my phone is that it has a GREAT camera. So many friends were getting blurry photos with their iPhones and other smartphones, I knew it would just drive me crazy. And, because my photos are taken on my phone, they are uploaded to Intagram and FB from my phone. Instagram offers a little “fun”, but I wanted to do a LOT more with my photos. I began searching and playing. Since I started doing more with my photos, a TON of people have asked me what apps I use. I figured it would be easier to direct them here than continue to retype my answers again and again.

NOTE: I am an Android user. Some of the apps are available on both Android and iOS, and I’ll try to note when it is. But keep in mind, I have never used the iOS versions of these apps!

Labels

“Labels” are the colored strips with text. They often look like something that has come out of a real label maker or text written on masking tape, washi tape, etc. I am picky with these, I don’t like it to look “junky”. Some of my favorite apps are…

labelbox Labelbox

  • 15 different labels
  • Ability to undo – but only to clear EVERYTHING you’ve done, and you have to
    shake your phone. (which, quite frankly, leaves you looking ridiculous in
    public)

  • [Available
    on iOS]


maskingtapemaskingtape

  • I couldn’t even begin to count the number of tapes
  • Divided by colors, then patterns (you scroll for miles)
  • All are semi see-though – meant to look like Japanese Washi Tape
  • [Available
    on iOS]

Collages

This is the trick to putting a bunch of related photos into one image for sharing via social media. I prefer ones that create square collages. Then I can quickly plug it into Instagram, which then shoots it out to Facebook and Twitter. I’ve tried quite a few, but it really comes down to two for me.

photoframePhotoFrame

  • Super clean and quick
  • All the frames are divided by number of images
  • Can change the thickness and color of the frame around the collage
  • You can save to your gallery or send it straight to another app (Instagram,
    Facebook, editors, etc)
  • For iOS Check Out: Fuzel
photogridPhoto Grid
    • Some cool collage options (not all square/rectangle)
    • Funky borders available as well (patterns, etc)
    • Add text right in the app
    • [Available
      on iOS]
  • Editors

    Sometimes you want to do just a bit MORE. Maybe add some clip art, some “chalk drawing-like” text or images. A photo needs “touch-up” or even “blacked out” . Maybe even some silly arrows or talking bubbles? That’s when I go to my editor for the extra “ooph”. Now, I have a LOT of editors, and I use them all for different things. But I have a few I use more frequently for “common” edits or even more specialized features …

    beautifulmess

     Beautiful Mess

    • This one is a great one for cutesy borders, fonts, clips art, etc. It’s
      become my go-to and probably yours friends’ too!

    • It also lets you create images without a picture – use a blank background or
      one of the many patterns available!
    • [Available on iOS]
    picsartPicsArt
    • A little chalk-like clip art in the library
    • Some great fonts – sometimes I’ll leave my labels plank and add text from
      this app!

    • You can add stickers, frames, borders, layer photos, masks, draw and other
      effects

    • Also, create from scratch a brand new image!
    • [Available
      on iOS]
  • realbokehReal Bokeh
    • This adds a little “magical aura” to your images – it looks like light
      reflections

    • It also lets you pick shapes, colors and placement!
    • [Available
      on iOS]
  • Examples

    Here are some examples of these apps in use!

    4months
    Used: PicArt

    label: labelbox
    Used: LabelBox

    collage: photo frames
    Used: PhotoFrame

    heart lights: real brokeh
    Used: Real Bokeh

    clipart: picsart
    Used: PicsArt

    10426601_10101058744858842_397634377135191152_n
    Used: Beautiful Mess

    Happy Editing!

    – Tara, the Speechy Keen SLP

    Day 8: Setting Your Schedule

    ASHA ‘14 Convention: A How-To Guide

    Setting Up Your Schedule at #ASHA14! | Come see how I set up my schedule for the convention on my blog: http://www.speechykeenslp.com/blog #slpeeps #slpbloggers

    You’ve received your ASHA planner, you’ve begun finding sessions that peak your interest. There are so many to look through, how will you ever decide? And how do you even begin to start building your schedule?! Here is peek into what work apps for me…

    Picking a format

    I like to set my schedule up outside of the ASHA planner. I like having more control, the details I want at a glance, on and off line access, color coding… What can I say? I am a detailed oriented person!

    To get my schedule the way I want, I create a spreadsheet in Google docs. This gives me the ability to edit on the fly from any computer while also letting me access it from my phone, save it to my device and/or print it out.

    Setting up

    My first column on my spreadsheet is time. I start it at 7am and end it at 8:30pm. I typically like to do this in 30 minute chunks, since that is the amount of time between sessions.

    The next three columns are for my first, second and third choices for that time frame. I don’t always fill up all three columns for a time slot, while other times it helps me narrow it down to JUST three choices.

    Why would I need that many choices?

    • The session you want has filled up and the doors are locked.
    • The session you want has been cancelled/withdrawn
    • The session is just too far away and you are too tired
    • The session you went to first is horrid. It is actually expected that you walk out of a less than stellar talk. Just be sure to make that choice quick  as you need to be at the majority of the session to earn the CEUs.
    • You heard a great speaker and want to make them your FIRST priority for future talks this weekend!

    The forth column I label “posters” and put any poster sessions that look interesting. I place up to 4 in the time slot that they are “open” for CEUs. More on this in a few days.

    The final column I label “exhibit hall” and put the hours for the exhibit hall.  Nothing is more disappointing than to finally have time for the hall and realize they closing in 10 minutes!

    Check It Out!

    Click here to see a blank version of my schedule – feel free to download or “save as” to your own Google Drive and use! At the end of this week I’ll let you see who has made it onto my planner!

    How are you planning out your weekend?

    – Tara. the Speechy Keen SLP

    ______________________________________________________________

    Tara Roehl owns and operates a private telepractice clinic in Colorado focusing on social cognition, executive functioning and the use of technology in therapy. Previously she has worked in Illinois, California, Rwanda and the Philippines in both public schools and private practices.

    Be sure to hear Tara during her four presentations at ASHA ‘14!

    • Session 1115: Camp Confidence: From Zero to Hero
      [Thursday 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm]
      This presentation will address current bully/shame cultures and introduce participants to therapy techniques for building self-confidence in students dealing with speech and language delays while addressing their therapeutic goals using active and engaging activities including games, iPad apps, and life skill tasks.
    • Session 1212: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Preschoolers
      [Thursday 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm]
      This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills and behavior modification. Applicable for preschoolers and adaptable for older clients.
    • Session 1441: Get Out of That Box! Four Creative Mold-Breaking Models of Private Practice
      [Friday 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm]
      This presentation will introduce participants to four unique models of private practice. Four clinicians will share their history, mission, and their unique service models. This session will encourage participants to develop professional resilience and shift service-delivery patterns as we face healthcare reform and other trends that affect reimbursement.
    • Session 1768: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Elementary Through Middle School
      [Saturday 2:30 – 3:30]
      This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills, and behavior modification. Applicable for elementary to middle school clients.

    Day 5: Get Carded!

    ASHA ‘14 Convention: A How-To Guide

    ABM_1413838013

    Oh the people you’ll meet! The convention of people with the same passion as you, but all adding a different flavor to the mixing bowl. You’ll meet students, CFs, brand new SLPs and those who’ve been around the block a few times. You’ll meet the famous and the unknown, the one’s at the top and the ones who are on their way up! The long of the short?

    NETWORK YOUR HEART OUT!

    The best way to make connections with people is to exchange a business card. The age-old “card swap” is still in full swing. So go get yourself a business card today! If you work for someone else (a school, hospital, etc), I’d highly encourage you to get a business card for YOU as well as carrying your employer’s card. Your personal ones doesn’t need to have a business name on it – just a professional looking e-mail address, your number, name and credentials. This will help you network as yourself and as your employer as the situation dictates.

    You don’t have to spend a pretty penny on cards, you can actually get a lot for free. But you need to get that order in soon! You’ll end up paying a ton to “rush” if you wait too long. Be sure to google the company name + “coupon” and take advantage of some deals out there.

    Some fun places to get cards:

    • Moo Cards: The quality of paper on these cards is amazing, the options are outstanding and you can even change up the shape! I personally love the minis, but may be trying square next! They cost a bit more, but they definitely have a wow factor.
    • VistaPrint: The range of pricing options make this a very affordable option! And the coupons available out there mean you could get a whole batch for just the cost of shipping!
    • Zazzle: Another site adding some pizzazz to the everyday business card. Rounded edge, minis… they are adding options to add some fun to your pockets!

    Where are you getting your cards from for convention?

    – Tara, the Speechy Keen SLP

    ______________________________________________________________

    Tara Roehl owns and operates a private telepractice clinic in Colorado focusing on social cognition, executive functioning and the use of technology in therapy. Previously she has worked in Illinois, California, Rwanda and the Philippines in both public schools and private practices.

    Be sure to hear Tara during her four presentations at ASHA ‘14!

    • Session 1115: Camp Confidence: From Zero to Hero
      [Thursday 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm]
      This presentation will address current bully/shame cultures and introduce participants to therapy techniques for building self-confidence in students dealing with speech and language delays while addressing their therapeutic goals using active and engaging activities including games, iPad apps, and life skill tasks.
    • Session 1212: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Preschoolers
      [Thursday 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm]
      This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills and behavior modification. Applicable for preschoolers and adaptable for older clients.
    • Session 1441: Get Out of That Box! Four Creative Mold-Breaking Models of Private Practice
      [Friday 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm]
      This presentation will introduce participants to four unique models of private practice. Four clinicians will share their history, mission, and their unique service models. This session will encourage participants to develop professional resilience and shift service-delivery patterns as we face healthcare reform and other trends that affect reimbursement.
    • Session 1768: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Elementary Through Middle School
      [Saturday 2:30 – 3:30]
      This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills, and behavior modification. Applicable for elementary to middle school clients.

    Day 4: Additional Accessories

    ASHA ‘14 Convention: A How-To Guide

    ABM_1413866913

    I’m all about making my life easier at convention. I want to get the most out of each day, so any sort of hassle takes away from the experience. I take all my notes digitally, as well as live tweet every session I attend. Up until last year, I had a phone with a keyboard and could out tweet anyone. Well, the era of the keyboard phones has passed, so I upgraded to an S4. I was in total panic about trying to tweet from a touchscreen. I started looking at ways to minimize this problem, and fell in love with this beauty…

    keyboard

    Why I love it:

    • This Anker keyboard connects via bluetooth, so I can type to my phone or my tablet device.
    • The battery life is amazing, I bet it could last me the whole weekend of convention if I forgot to charge it!
    • They keys have a little resistance, so you get the tactile feedback when pressing a key.
    • The keys are higher than the edge of the keyboard (not so with many iPad keyboards) – so my hands can hangover when moving back and forth across the keys.
    • It’s super thin – so it takes up almost NO space in my convention bag!
    • It charges via micro USB – same as my Android phone, battery pack… no extra cords!
    • It costs $30… wow!

     

    I also like to add this beauty to my Amazon order…

    stand

    If I’m lucky enough to have a surface to prop up my device, it is rarely big enough for my iPad’s case stand. This tiny gem let’s me set it to any angle, prop up my tablet or device and then type away without it falling. I’ve even propped it on a seat next to me or on the floor, with my keyboard on my lap! It’s great for on the flight to convention, during sessions, at lunch or breaks when I can find a seat… I use this ALL the time. It is even great on the kitchen counter when I need to read a recipe or watch a show on Netflix while doing the dishes!

    Neither of these are as critical as your battery pack and power strip purchase. But they will make your life so much easier during convention – and afterwards as well!

    – Tara, the Speechy Keen SLP

    ______________________________________________________________

    Tara Roehl owns and operates a private telepractice clinic in Colorado focusing on social cognition, executive functioning and the use of technology in therapy. Previously she has worked in Illinois, California, Rwanda and the Philippines in both public schools and private practices.

    Be sure to hear Tara during her four presentations at ASHA ‘14!

    • Session 1115: Camp Confidence: From Zero to Hero
      [Thursday 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm]
      This presentation will address current bully/shame cultures and introduce participants to therapy techniques for building self-confidence in students dealing with speech and language delays while addressing their therapeutic goals using active and engaging activities including games, iPad apps, and life skill tasks.
    • Session 1212: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Preschoolers
      [Thursday 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm]
      This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills and behavior modification. Applicable for preschoolers and adaptable for older clients.
    • Session 1441: Get Out of That Box! Four Creative Mold-Breaking Models of Private Practice
      [Friday 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm]
      This presentation will introduce participants to four unique models of private practice. Four clinicians will share their history, mission, and their unique service models. This session will encourage participants to develop professional resilience and shift service-delivery patterns as we face healthcare reform and other trends that affect reimbursement.
    • Session 1768: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Elementary Through Middle School
      [Saturday 2:30 – 3:30]
      This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills, and behavior modification. Applicable for elementary to middle school clients.

    Day 3: Don’t Die! (or: How to make friends and stay charged!)

    ASHA ‘14 Convention: A How-To Guide

    Don't Die! | Part of the ASHA '14 Convention: A How-To Guide! Something else you may want to order for the convention - it's sure to make you friends and keep your devices powered up!

     

    Yesterday you read about the battery chargers us techie ASHA alumni have come to love. But today I have an additional suggestion for keeping powered up (and making a few friends!) when you do have access to an outlet!

    Sometimes you hit the jackpot – a seat, in a great session, right next to an outlet! Even if you have your charger on you, don’t miss this opportunity! Plug in your battery charger and a few devices to make sure you stay charged through the night!

    But wait… you are about the break a few social rules if you take over that whole outlet. Or, heaven forbid, someone has beat you to both outlets! Now what?

    This is where the Monster “Outlets to Go” Power Strip comes in handy! It is compact, so it stashes into your convention bag easily. And it has FOUR outlets (two on each side). And Amazon sells it for only $11.12!

    outlettogo

     

    So saunter up to the outlet hogger, flash a winning smile and sweetly ask “can we share?” while you show them your power strip. Instant genius status!

    And it doesn’t just help on the convention floor! Have you ever tried to dig around in a hotel room to find enough outlets, only to end up with half of your devices charging in the bathroom? This will be a hotel life-saver as well!

    But wait! Don’t order YET! I still have a few more things you’ll want to include on that order… come back tomorrow to see!

    – Tara, the Speechy Keen SLP

    ______________________________________________________________

    Tara Roehl owns and operates a private telepractice clinic in Colorado focusing on social cognition, executive functioning and the use of technology in therapy. Previously she has worked in Illinois, California, Rwanda and the Philippines in both public schools and private practices.

    Be sure to hear Tara during her four presentations at ASHA ‘14!

    • Session 1115: Camp Confidence: From Zero to Hero
      [Thursday 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm]
      This presentation will address current bully/shame cultures and introduce participants to therapy techniques for building self-confidence in students dealing with speech and language delays while addressing their therapeutic goals using active and engaging activities including games, iPad apps, and life skill tasks.
    • Session 1212: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Preschoolers
      [Thursday 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm]
      This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills and behavior modification. Applicable for preschoolers and adaptable for older clients.
    • Session 1441: Get Out of That Box! Four Creative Mold-Breaking Models of Private Practice
      [Friday 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm]
      This presentation will introduce participants to four unique models of private practice. Four clinicians will share their history, mission, and their unique service models. This session will encourage participants to develop professional resilience and shift service-delivery patterns as we face healthcare reform and other trends that affect reimbursement.
    • Session 1768: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Elementary Through Middle School
      [Saturday 2:30 – 3:30]
      This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills, and behavior modification. Applicable for elementary to middle school clients.

    Day 2: POWER UP!

    ASHA ‘14 Convention: A How-To Guide

    Power Up! | Part of the "ASHA 14 Convention: A How-To Guide" Series! Here is a surefire way to keep all of your devices alive and kicking throughout the long days (and nights) at the convention! #asha14 #slpeeps

    **This is a repost from the past few years, with a few updates! **

    Power can be hard to come by in a convention center. Not every room will have an outlet along the wall. And even if it does, there is not promise you’ll get a seat nearby. But your devices will be your lifeline at the convention! Contests sent out via twitter will win you free things. Lunch and dinner plans will also be sent out via twitter, facebook or text. Taking notes on a device will be great, as well as snapping pictures of important information! So, what do you do when it’s only noon and all of your devices are already dying? Pull out your battery pack!

    Three years ago, before ASHA ‘11, I posted a quick video about why I love the iGo for days when I need my devices to last all day. I used my iGo for ASHA ’11, as well as for trips, long days of work and more. when I upgraded my phone, it stopped charging my devices. It could keep them from dying but the battery never increased and, once my iGo was dead, my device continues to go dead. So a few years ago I began researching what I needed in a battery. I found two key elements I needed to watch out for..

    Two Key Elements:

    mAh – A measure of a battery’s total capacity. The higher the number (ex. 600 mAh, 1,500 mAh) the more charge a battery can hold and usually, the longer a battery will last under a certain load.[source]

    Amps – A measure of electric current flow. One ampere (amp) will flow when one volt is applied across a resistance of one ohm. [source]

    As it turns out, my iGo only put out ~ half an amp through the USB ports. For newer phones, this is NOT enough to actually charge. Many of the newer phones require at least 2 amps to actually charge. Some research on the best sellers over at Amazon shows some definite leaders…


    Details:

    Sneak Peak:
    New Trent
    IMP120D iCarrier
    12,000 mAh
    2Amp/1Amp Dual Ports
    $33.95
    jackery Jackery®
    Giant +
    12,000 mAh
    2.1Amp/1Amp Dual Ports
    $39.95
    anker Anker®
    2nd Gen Astro E4
    13,00 mAh
    1 port: Up to 3 amps
    $29.99

    After much consideration a few years ago,  I purchased the New Trent and LOVE it. I actually own two, and BOTH will be coming with to ASHA with me this year. Someone is always asking to borrow a charge from me, so now I’ll have more than enough to go around.

    Amazon lists it’s charging power as Apple iPad >120% battery life – Apple iphone 5:> 600% battery life  – Smartphones (andriod): >600% battery life. I strongly recommend getting one with TWO ports for charging. Either share that spare port with a friend or charge two devices at once.

    The Jackery ® has my attention … but only because it comes in orange…

    Wait to place that order! You may want to also purchase a few more items I’ll mention this week…

    Will you be bringing an external battery to stay charged up and connected at ASHA? Which one do you like?

    – Tara, Speechy Keen SLP

    ______________________________________________________________

    Tara Roehl owns and operates a private telepractice clinic in Colorado focusing on social cognition, executive functioning and the use of technology in therapy. Previously she has worked in Illinois, California, Rwanda and the Philippines in both public schools and private practices.

    Be sure to hear Tara during her four presentations at ASHA ‘14!

    • Session 1115: Camp Confidence: From Zero to Hero
      [Thursday 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm]
      This presentation will address current bully/shame cultures and introduce participants to therapy techniques for building self-confidence in students dealing with speech and language delays while addressing their therapeutic goals using active and engaging activities including games, iPad apps, and life skill tasks.
    • Session 1212: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Preschoolers
      [Thursday 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm]
      This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills and behavior modification. Applicable for preschoolers and adaptable for older clients.
    • Session 1441: Get Out of That Box! Four Creative Mold-Breaking Models of Private Practice
      [Friday 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm]
      This presentation will introduce participants to four unique models of private practice. Four clinicians will share their history, mission, and their unique service models. This session will encourage participants to develop professional resilience and shift service-delivery patterns as we face healthcare reform and other trends that affect reimbursement.
    • Session 1768: iPad to iPlay 2.0: Teaching Play Through Apps for Elementary Through Middle School
      [Saturday 2:30 – 3:30]
      This presentation will introduce participants to popular tablet gaming apps and creative adaptations to improve active participation in therapeutic activities for the development of problem-solving, speech and language development, interactive play, pragmatics, executive functioning skills, and behavior modification. Applicable for elementary to middle school clients.

    Pinterest Tip: Name that image!

    This post is a follow up to questions I have received since this article on The ASHA Leader Blog.


    Pinterest: Name that image! | by SpeechyKeenSLP http://www.speechykeenslp.com/blog/pinterest-tip-name-that-image

    Did you know that you can have a say when it comes to the pins from your site? And do you realize that so many people don’t take that advantage? It always makes me groan when I see a site is missing out on that great opportunity! Are you making this common mistake?

    What is it …

    When you upload an image into your blog or on your webpage, you are able to set parameters. I am already assuming you have them watermarked, after my last post. Settings one typically uses include size, links, location and more. The one most people don’t take advantage of is “alt image tags”. I could get all technical on you, but let’s keep it straight and to the point …

    Alt Image Tags name your pin!

    When you “pin” something from a webpage, you are able to enter a description. As the webpage/blog owner, you can pre-set the description by setting your Alt Image Tag. People are often “lazy pinners”. This means that if there is already a description, they often won’t change it! Can you see how great this could be for driving traffic?

    How to do it …

    If you have a WordPress blog, you have the option on every image to enter an Alt Image Tag …

    Pinterest Tip: Name that image! | by SpeechyKeenSLP http://www.speechykeenslp.com/blog/pinterest-tip-name-that-image

    If you are coding your own site, you can insert it into your image code:

    Pinterest Tip: Name that image! | by SpeechyKeenSLP http://www.speechykeenslp.com/blog/pinterest-tip-name-that-image

    In Blogger you can hover over an image, go to “properties” and change it there. Here is a good tutorial.

    What to say…

    Now you know how to set your Alt Image Tag, but do you know what to write to pull in those people from Pinterest? Here are some great starting points to consider when writing your description …

    • Be wordy!
      You have 500 words, and the most re-pinned often have 200-300 words in the description.
    • Keywords are important!
      Think about the words people will “search” for when they are looking for what you have to offer. But don’t “keyword stuff”, which is when people just write out a bunch of keywords in “list form”. Stick those keywords into a winning paragraph and you’re on the right track!
    • Balancing Act
      Be sure your description has readability, relatability and reaction creation! You want it to be easy to read, you want to speak to your target audience and you want to make people click that link. So before you type, think. Are you pinning this for clients, co-workers, parents, professionals? Write to them!
    • Hashtags
      Just like on Twitter, and more recently Facebook, Pinterest allows for hashtags. Do some searching and find a few hashtags that relate to your content. You can even create your own for your content/branding. But try to keep hashtags to 3 or less, otherwise you look “spammy”.
    • Link Back
      Always include your full webpage address in the description. This helps people find their way back to you. Be sure to link to the specific content page, and not just your website overall. When people follow a pin, they want to be taken directly to the image they were looking at on Pinterest! And don’t “shorten” those, Pinterest often sees those as “spam”.

    Do you have more questions? Leave a comment or find me on Pinterest or Twitter! I’m happy to answer!

    – Tara, the SpeechyKeen SLP

    #ASHA13–Inside My Bag

    I am the queen of over packing. Quite frankly, I’m not sure how I am going to get all my things to ASHA, considering I won’t have my husband’s bag for “overflow”. But one thing I learned VERY quickly was that over packing for a day at ASHA is b-r-u-t-a-l. You have to haul whatever you bring into the convention ALL day long – along with whatever you pick up along the way. Very rarely do you see your hotel room until late in the evening.

    So, what do I pack?

    Laptop Backpack
    I typically carry a laptop backpack. This gives me plenty of pockets to keep myself organized and to carry all of the things I pick up throughout the convention. I did a roller bag last year, when I was very pregnant, but that was nearly hazardous to my health… roller bags and escalators don’t always get along.
    Tablet
    I always have my iPad with me. It’s lighter than my laptop, quicker to turn on, less space in the tiny rows of chairs… overall it works for me! In the exhibit hall there will be a ton of app developers – your tablet will come in handy there too! Make sure to charge it every night, it will get a lot of loving all day long!
    Stylus
    I like to “jot” notes, copy diagrams and sketch ideas. I don’t mind to toot my own horn, but I can draw a mean stick figure! I also like to write on pdf files with my favorite app. I do this best with a stylus, so I always have one or two in my bag! You can pick them up pretty cheap nowadays, which is an added bonus!
    Keyboard
    I type way faster than I write – but only on a physical keyboard. Typing on my screen is adequate, but not the best environment for my mad-crazy typing abilities. I typically use my phone at convention, as I have always had a phone with a physical keyboard. Well, they officially stopped making good phones with a physical keyboard – I had a period of mourning. Really. Then, I raced out to amazon and bough this bluetooth keyboard *smile*
    Stand
    If I have the ability to, I like to prop up my ipad or phone so I can see the screen while typing. This isn’t always feasible in sessions, unless I’m sitting on the floor. But it’s helpful back in the hotel room, at lunch, or sitting at a table in between sessions. I’m giving this one a try this year for both my phone and iPad – my clients were over zealous with my iPad case and broke the stand…
    External Battery
    I wrote up a whole blog post about the need for an external battery during convention. I just received my newest New Tent iCarrier and was ecstatic with the new upgrades! No more separate charger – it charges by micro USB! Every night I charge the charger up and it almost always gets me through a whole day of convention. Unless I share too much.
    Power Strip
    I love my mini power strip! It comes in handy throughout the WHOLE trip. I can plug in multiple devices in the airport and the convention center. And if all the outlets are full, I can usually sweet talk someone into sharing their outlet with me when I show them the power strip! And it allows me to plug in a lot in one place inside my hotel room… rather than spreading my tech around the whole room!
    Chargers + Cords
    The New Trent has 2 USB outlets on it, so you need to carry along your USB cords for your tech. I typically carry a few extra in case a friend needs to charge as well! I like to have at least one micro USB and one iPad cord on me! I’ll even bring a USB plug adapter to charge from the wall (if available).
    Phone
    My phone serves SO many purposes throughout the convention! I clearly use it for calls and texts, but also as my primary camera. I’ll tweet and update Facebook throughout the convention. But my favorite feature? Tethering! I can use my phone as a remote wireless hotspot – a godsend when the convention center either 1) doesn’t have WiFi or 2) the WiFi can’t handle the size of the convention (read: every.single.year.).
    Business Cards
    I always ASHA is all about networking – making connections with others in the profession! Whether you are making social or business connections, business cards can be an easy way to ‘keep in touch’. Plus, they are great for dropping into those contest buckets in the exhibit hall! I love mine from Moo Cards!
     
     penandpaper Pen + Paper
    Sometime tech just DOESN’T work. Or, you need to write something down to hand off to someone else. I always keep a small notebook and a few pens in my bag. I would rather have it and never use it, than be stuck without them and really need them!
    Name Badge
    DO NOT LEAVE YOUR NAME BADGE BEHIND! Don’t forget it anywhere, don’t set it down in your hotel room or even on the lunch table. I always take it off and put it RIGHT in my bag at the end of the convention day. You will NOT be allowed in sessions or the exhibit hall without it. And it will cost you – $$ to reprint and TIME. I forgot mine once, and by the time I got it reprinted I missed the first session of the day!
     black-grey-cardigan Sweater/Light Jacket
    Sometimes you will find yourself in a room so packed with people that you can barely breath. Other times you’ll be in a nice airy room that will leave your teeth chattering. And you’re going to be in Chi-town… in November. Trust me, pack a sweater or light jacket in your bag to throw on (and shimmy off) throughout the day. They usually have a coat check for your bulky winter coat so you don’t have to haul it all day! 
    Cash
    Whether you’re splitting a cab fare, chipping in for lunch or paying back someone for doing an “all call Starbucks run!” – cash will serve you well (in addition to your CC). And make sure you have some smaller bills while you are at it! It’s doubtful anyone else will have change for you.
     cash-02

    So, what DON’T I pack…

    1. My Laptop – I bring it with me to ASHA, but it stays in the room. It is just too big and heavy to haul around. Even if you have a super light laptop, think about how much room it is taking up in that bag. That is PRECIOUS room – free pens, handouts and that t-shirt you just won could ALL go in that space!
    2. A large notebook – if it’s there, I’ll use it. I want my notes to be digital, so I don’t give myself the option of taking a ton of notes on paper. And again, valuable space!
    3. Purse – I put my wallet, glasses case and chapstick into the backpack. The rest can stay in the hotel room. And by “rest” I mean everything else in the bottomless pit I call “my purse” AND the purse itself. I don’t need to try and manage a backpack, a free bag from the exhibit hall, my winter jacket, my Starbucks cup AND a purse. Not going to happen.

    Anything else you are thinking about bringing?

    – Tara Roehl

    #ASHA12 – Staying Powered Up!

    Last year before ASHA I posted a quick video about why I love the iGo for days when I need my devices to last all day. I used my iGo for ASHA ’11, as well as for trips, long days of work and more. But when I upgraded my phone, it stopped charging my devices. It could keep them from dying but the battery never increased and, once my iGo was dead, my device continues to go dead. So, with ASHA ’12 fast approaching and recently getting a brand new phone that doesn’t allow you to swap out the battery, it was time to get shopping. I knew I needed to get something ‘better’, but I didn’t exactly know what I was looking for – a quick crash course by my dad and my husband got me up to speed!

    Two Key Elements:

    mAh – A measure of a battery’s total capacity. The higher the number (ex. 600 mAh, 1,500 mAh) the more charge a battery can hold and usually, the longer a battery will last under a certain load. [source]

    Amps – A measure of electric current flow. One ampere (amp) will flow when one volt is applied across a resistance of one ohm. [source]

    As it turns out, my iGo only puts out ~ half an amp through the USB ports. For newer phones, this is NOT enough to actually charge. Many of the newer phones require at least 1 amp to actually charge. So this year, I knew I wanted to purchase one that had enough amps for my current phone, and hopefully any newer phone I get in the next year or two. I also knew I wanted it to last a LONG time… so I went searching for something with at least 1 amp and a lot of mAh. Here at the best of what I found (click the pictures to go to the Amazon page):

    New Trent
    IMP120D iCarrier
    12,000 mAh
    2Amp/1Amp Dual Ports

     

    Anker® Astro3
    10000mAh
    2Amp or 1Amp Each Ports

    Incredicharge I-8800
    Power Bank
    8800 mAh
    2.1Amp/1Amp Ports

    PowerGen Mobile
    Juice Pack
    8400mAh
    2Amp/.6Amp Ports

    After much consideration, I decided “go big or go home”. So I purchased the New Trent and LOVE it. I took it last weekend to Disneyland with me and it kept my cell and my hubby’s cells charged all day long (and he was taking a LOT of business calls that day!). It’s got a bit of weight to it, about 10 ounces. But if you are going to have that much battery power, you have to be ready for a bit of heft. It really isn’t bad and is compact enough to drop into my purse. The only other downside is it is ANOTHER charging cord to carry around, while the iGo had the plug built in. More for me to lose *smile*

    Amazon lists it’s charging power as Apple iPad 2: >120% battery life – Apple iphone 5:> 600% battery life  – Smartphones (andriod): >600% battery life. I believe it! This baby is charged up and ready to come along to ASHA ’12!

    Will you be bringing an external battery to stay charged up and connected at ASHA? Which one do you like?

    – Tara, Speechy Keen SLP

    DISCLAIMER: Each of those pictures DO have my Associates ID attached to it – if this makes you uncomfortable they are VERY easy to find by independently searching for each one by name!

    Lego: Life of George

    The Dilemma:

    If asked what my boys love to do in therapy, it always comes down to 3 things: Angry Birds, iPad and Legos. If you read back to my post on Angry Birds, you can see that I linked the iPad and interactive play into the same activity. I really enjoy doing this with iPad based activities. But it isn’t always easy. Lego based iPad apps are often highly involved games, movie makers, etc and they are solely iPad based. I like activities with manipulatives in the immediate therapeutic environment. Legos are great but come with a variety of dilemmas as well. The games come with a MILLION pieces and take time to set up, and time is valuable in any session! Just straight Legos often require me to provide extensive structure – time limits, goals, purpose, etc.

    The Solution:

    I was walking through a local bookstore recently and a strange box caught my eye. It looked like (yet another) Lego game, but there was a mention of iOS. So I stopped to read it. I then walked out of the store with a very popular purchase, my guys LOVE it! Let me introduce you to “Life of George

    The Features:

    The package

    Life of George comes in a nice small box, so less space taken up in my closet!  The 14+ age range on the front of the box has me a little concerned, considering a lot of my clients are 5th grade or younger. However, after playing it just once on my own, I knew even my 2nd graders would be able to handle this activity. Also, it specifies that the app attached to the box contents was for iPhone. Although you can use iPhone apps on the iPad, sometimes it really isn’t that functional. The graphics get fuzzy, the app navigation isn’t as responsive, etc. But again, it seemed too good to be true, so I had to give it a try! It worked GREAT on the iPad! It was a tad grainy in some scenes, but the navigation and game play don’t seem to be impacted at all when using the “2x” feature.

    Box contents

    Inside the box were two bag of Legos (put in ziplock baggies by me) and a thick card with a grid printed on it. The app is a free download from the iTunes store. You are given a map of continents to select from, and it brings you to a scrapbook like page with blank photos. Each photo you click on is a new, timed, challenge in which you build the Lego constructed image presented on the page . Within the time limit you not only need to construct the image, but also place it on the card and snap a picture which is then scored by the app.

    The Lesson

    I have paired this activity with a few different lessons. It clearly can work as an incentive, and the nice thing is that each round is extremely short. So, letting each member of your speech group play a round at the end won’t take any significant time away from your therapy. I also have a group with whom I have been working on “waiting turns”. This involves discussing what we do while waiting for our turn in a game and how our words/actions/attention impacts the group. Cheering, advice and even “awww mmmaaannnn…” when an oops occurs are some of the things we work on. We discuss it as a group, because often both parties need practice giving AND receiving. We practice giving helpful advice (versus “know-it-all” advice) and accepting advice from peers. We also talk about cheering to encourage versus to distract them from doing better than you. This is a great game to practice this on because cheering during a Lego activity is MUCH different than cheering through a gross motor activity (like Angry Birds)! We aren’t going to be jumping up and down screaming “GET THAT BLOCK! YEAH!”. Instead we can talk about how loud our voice should be using a 5 point scale, and specific things we can comment on (ex: “Yeah, the yellow block! Nice job!”). I keep tally marks on the board for who comments/cheered/etc and they get to “earn” their turn at the game by participating throughout their waiting turns. After each round, I ask the player how the cheers and advice made them feel. It’s great for them to hear from each other how they are impacting the group!

    Tips

    • Practice snapping the picture of the creations on the grid a few times on your own BEFORE moving this into therapy. If the lighting is bad, there is a lot of reflection  you snap is sideways, etc you end up without ANY points. If something does go wrong, I’ll often have the students “judge” each other to off-set the bad score and hurt feelings.
    • You cannot replay a round – so there is no “fixing” it. I’ve gotten around this by simply deleting the app and then re-downloading it to clear EVERYTHING. I have enough groups playing that this allows us to play for weeks on end.
    • If you are going to be re-installing the app routinely, take a picture of the blank “scrapbook” page and print it out for each group. Then group members can keep track of which ones they have done to avoid the “awww… I did this already! This is dumb” stalemate.
    • Go through and check all of the images first, making note of ones that might not be appropriate. For example, the first time you access the North America page, you get a bar scene and the first image is a cocktail. Thankfully, the bar doesn’t reappear on subsequent visits to that scrapbook and the image itself appears less clear once “completed”. All of my students think its a flamingo *smile*
    • I am sure to explain the game to parents and often ask that they do NOT purchase this app as soon as they leave therapy. I have frequently run into the situation where parents go out and purchase a game that their child LOVES in therapy, and then it stops working for me in therapy. Ug!
    • They have recently come out with a NEW app, Build Your Brain, that works with the same materials! This is “game show” based and involves some problem solving to answer questions with the blocks. Not great for my younger ones, but the middle schoolers are loving it!

    Go enjoy some Legos in therapy this week! *smile*

    – Tara, the SpeechyKeenSLP

     

    *Disclaimer: When I link to a product on Amazon, I do include my associates code. I do this to help purchase more therapy items down the road! If this bothers you, simple go to Amazon and search for it on your own and it will not count any of the purchase towards me!