How Twitter, SLPeeps, and Personal Learning Networks Have Helped Make Me a Better Clinician

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By Megan Panatier MS, CCC-SLP

We are always learning. We are always teaching. Speech language pathologists, SLPs, are apprentices and master teachers for each other from day one. What I love most about the communicative disorders and sciences fields of audiology (audpeeps) and speech language pathology (slpeeps) is the dedication to science and human connection.

I think this is why Twitter and Personal Learning Networks, PLNs, have been influential in bringing slpeeps and audpeeps together to discuss, chat, laugh, brainstorm and argue about current topics (or sometimes personal ones) that influence all of the language rich society in which we all share across the globe.  SLPs like to talk (and listen).  Twitter is a great place to talk – and listen.

I admire how communication disorder scientists use all means & tools necessary to bridge the importance of storytelling, genetics, education, technology, science, music, art, animals, augmentative and alternative communication and human nature.  Being able to incorporate diverse tools into therapy will mean evolution for speech language pathology. We are lucky to live in 2012 when math, robotics, DIY, engineering, makers, medicine, special education, designers, crafts, science, tablets/mobiles and speech therapy collide. We can take ideas from all kinds of interesting people and apply their insights to advance our field.

Twitter has made this instant connection a reality. Twitter for SLPs is like having a mobile staff conference room constantly in your hand. In the working world, isolation from other professionals can stifle motivation and the ability to share and receive feedback information with fellow clinicians. With Twitter, clinicians are never alone. There are thousands of professionals from diverse backgrounds – and not only from communicative disorders and sciences.

SLPeeps salons or slpeeps tweetups are conversations on Twitter (such as #slpchat) that have evolved into actual in-person meetings in coffee shops, ASHA conventions and eventually homes of SLPs and AuDs in every city and country on the planet. It is only by networking and providing feedback in this human communication loop of ours, that we can grow as global, socially connected fields. It is in social collaboration that we will help in understanding each other and other professionals. Social media fosters learning and teaching in this community of worldwide communication feedback loops. Remember, as communicative disorder scientists, we are always learning and teaching. Join Twitter and join in the conversation!

 Featured Columnist:  Megan Panatier (Bratti) M.S., CCC-SLP

Megan Panatier (Bratti) M.S., CCC-SLP lives in Los Angeles and works as an independent contractor for AlphaVista Services, Inc. Connect with her at linkedin.com/in/panatiermegan and with other #slpeeps @ twitter.com/avocadotech.

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