There are many categories in which I can nominate different educational blogs and tools, however, as you know I have learned about and followed many new blogs this year. It is extremely difficult for me to choose nominees out of 818 speech-language pathology websites and tools (yes, that's how many I have found now and you can view the file on my Resources page). Here is the best I can do to choose out of all of those tools:
- Best Individual Blog - I absolutely cannot decide. It's like a mother choosing her favorite child (although I am definitely not a mother to any person or blog). I have always really enjoyed reading Speech Room News, Crazy Speech World, Speech Time Fun, If Only I Had Super Powers, Sublime Speech, and Activity Tailor; but I have have been reading many more blogs lately including Speech Adventures, Speechy Musings, The Speech Dudes, Speech Techie, Erik X. Raj, and Speech2U.
- Best Group Blog - Speechie Freebies is definitely a group blog that has saved my life time and time again with its materials as well as how the group interacts with its readers.
- Best New Blog - I know that this blog JUST started, but Rachel Wynn, the author, has been blogging for a while. It is called SLPs for Change and focuses on improving work environments and client care in the field of speech-language pathology primarily, but I also look forward to continuing my education and being a better clinician from reading this blog! Rachel is a huge advocate both for SLPs and her clients and I know this from following her on Twitter, through her actions, and through what she has written. I encourage all of you to follow her!
- Best Student Blog - I am not sure if "student" means that they have to be younger than college or if it can be a college student, but my goodness has Speechy Musings hit the nail on the head when it comes to blogging about speech-language pathology graduate school. I wish her blog was around when I was in graduate school because I would have felt like everything was going to be okay in the end after the stress.
- Best Ed Tech/Resource Sharing Blog - I don't know how this man has so much time on his hands (well, I guess I say that about a lot of bloggers), but I am so thankful for Richard Byrne's Free Technology for Teachers blog. I have started incorporating more technology in the classroom because of his blog!
- Most Influential Blog Post of the Year - Oh my goodness this is a tough one. I LOVED Speech2U's Soapboxes, Speech Room New's letter to Male College Students, many of Speech Adventures' posts (because she tells it like it is), Busy Bee Speech's letter to teachers, Chapel Hill Snippets' post about not being a magician, The Speech Guy's post on the controversy over auditory processing disorder, Erik X. Raj's post about not knowing why a student hated to come to therapy, Speak Listen Play's post about the government shutdown, If Only I Had Super Powers' post about families of speech students moving, and The Speech Dudes' post about free apps not really being free. However, the most influential post to me comes from The Speech Dudes and is their "I Don't Care What the Research Says" post. I have been reading a LOT more research as well as my fellow SLPs blogging about the research, but the one thing I have started to run into at my school is disrespect of evidence based practice. While no one has really stated aloud in particular that they don't care what the research says, it is shown in actions of not following a treatment plan or when someone says "that won't work for my student" without giving the technique a try. I have had to stand up time and time again for myself and the research and appreciate that other speech-language pathologists do as well.
- Best Twitter Hashtag - #SLPeeps of course! I have started using Twitter a lot more and have learned so much from the SLPeeps group!
- Best educational use of a social network - PediaStaff OWNS when it comes to social media! They have a huge following on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. In addition, it is so helpful to have Heidi Kay behind it all interacting personally with everyone to show that PediaStaff is not just a company but wants to help individuals further their educational careers in regards to OT, PT, and SLP continuing education and work! In addition, they have given so much back to the SLP community by helping out graduates with the interview process and teaching others to connect and learn via social media through workshops!