Growth of the Web – and How it Affects Your SLP Career

by Tom Kloiber on February 15, 2013

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Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, which tracks the growth of networked devices on the web, had some very interesting predictions. Most notably, devices accessing the Web will outnumber the population of the world by three to one in the next few years. It sounds crazy until you start counting how connected we really are. How many WiFi-enabled devices do you have? A desktop, laptop, and tablet? An e-reader? An iPod? How about a video game? And chances are your TV itself is Internet ready. And that’s before we start discussing smartphones.

Examining the Possibilities
It may take a while for most people to catch up with the possibilities, like streaming live contact to the big screen so they can participate in a life-size, real-time therapy session and catch every nuance of expression and sound in high-def perfection. But you can. Did you know that hooking your TV into the wireless network often requires a fairly inexpensive adapter you can pick up anywhere?

You may have seen commercials for a dual-screen game controller that uses a tablet-style controller with action on-screen as well, or adverts that feature iPad videos splashed on the big screen. It’s only a matter of time before this level of technology is adopted by the majority. It takes a bit of tech know-how, but making it happen is not only doable, it’s affordable.

Putting technology to work
What does it mean to you? Already, tablets and touchscreens have opened a whole new world for kids with autism, developmental delays, Down’s Syndrome, and hearing problems. Telespeech is becoming more accepted as an alternative to traditional in-person therapy sessions, and as the technology improves and becomes more accessible, the potential uses for technology become that much more exciting.

Chances are when you decided to become an SLP, becoming a techie wasn’t at the top of your list. This is one of those careers where distance is always a factor, and need often outstrips financing. Putting technology to work is not only practical, it’s necessary…and will allow you to reach your clients in a true in-person manner without the hassle and expense of travel for you or for your patients. It’s all about erasing the barriers to treatment. Are you up to speed on technology? It’s definitely worth the effort to learn.

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