How to Travel in Teletherapy

Updated: Mar 2, 2021

Traveling is fun as an adult, and thrilling as a child. Wouldn’t it be freeing to know How to Travel in Teletherapy as well? No Tele-SLP should feel the restrictions of his or her home office workspace.

In this 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic, many restrictions have been placed on traveling, to places as familiar as a playground and those as distant as Europe. When most of the working world became immersed in the virtual environment, popular sites such as amusement parks and museums closed to in-person public visiting, but opened to virtual viewing. While this is still sad as a mother of three littles who love a good day trip, to a tele-SLP it’s glimmering gold from a dark mine.


LIVE WEB CAMS:

In place of walking around and peering into Aquarium tanks or gazing into a fenced zoo pasture, live web cams have brought those places right to your desktop. These are easily screen-shared and sometimes have music embedded into the videos or interactive features. It’s a great way to share a part of a well-loved field-trip site, but be forewarned: the live webcams are unpredictable given the nature of being live. Feeding time is a great time to watch animals in a web cam, but when they’re hiding behind a kelp forest, you’re not able to see a lot of action. Check out the Smithsonian's National Zoo live web cams for 5 starkly contrasting animals or Monterey Bay Aquariums 10 live web cams for various water-loving birds, fish, and mammals.


Zoos and Aquariums aren’t the only sites with live web cams these days. You can also check out live web cams for:


Big Sky Resort Ski Lifts and Golf Course

Beach and Surfing

Famous Attractions Around the World (Links to Italy Here)

Interactive Bubbles Live Web Cam


VIRTUAL TOURS:

Before the current pandemic, hunting for a virtual tour of a museum for my students was quite challenging at times. However, there have been museums of all kinds creating virtual tours that are freely accessible from your computer. Again, the videos are screen-shareable for simultaneous viewing. These are great for conversational starters in a social skills group, interactive receptive and expressive language skills, as well as a unique approach to targeting articulation and fluency. Here are several of my favorites:

  • The Louvre: There are free online interactive tours for 5 exhibits including Egyptian antiquities. Thank goodness for the interactive map attached to the exhibits or you might get lost!

  • Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: If you want to be apart of #slpsgodigital, this is the museum to use! The interactive map makes for easy navigation and the exhibits have a 360 view with high quality images.

  • Van Gogh Museum: Not only can you get up close and personal with amazing artwork, the navigation is a simple slideshow across the bottom and the high quality virtual tour is interactive as well.

  • The Vatican Museum: The Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, and Raphael's Room, are just some of the sites you can see in a 360-view.

  • British Museum - Museum of the World: This museum is set on a timeline of the history of the world. You're able to hand-select categories of art & design, living & dying, power & identity, religion & belief, or trade & conflict. Clicking on the interactive date markers gives you a historical artifact or tool to explore.

  • NASA: Virginia's Langley Research Center features several parts of the center with descriptions that can be used across multiple sessions for deep exploration.

  • National Museum of the United States Air Force: Maybe looking at art or artifacts, isn't getting your students engaged. If that's the case, try this museum of historical and current USAF aircraft with 360-viewing capabilities and a slideshow style navigation.

  • National Parks Virtual Visits: Last, but not least, this NPF blog features links to 6 National Park virtual tours and 6 National Park live web cams.



STATIC and INTERACTIVE MAPS:

As a kid, one of the first things I grabbed when I visited a museum, aquarium, zoo, or other field trip destination was pick up a map and stare at all the places I would get to visit for a solid 10 minutes. As an adult, I still do this when traveling! While I was traveling to different websites, I discovered that many of the places provided online maps in PDF form or interactive forms. I. Was. Totally. Ecstatic. Maps were yet another way to explore all of those places that I love to visit right from my desktop, and to engage students in work that would otherwise be non-preferred. And while I love to "wing it" with virtual tours and websites, having a plan makes for a smoother session, obviously. That's why I created my

  1. Mapping Out Language and

  2. Map My Language

digital resource series and included a BLANK Editable Map Companion in each bundle for you to tailor to your needs. You'll likely want to share your entire screen for these materials side-by-side with your destination or use a split-screen.



ADDITIONAL PRODUCTS and RESOURCES:

The Speech Serenade features a few other resources with a travel theme such as...

Tamantha Cauckwell from TLC Talk Shop has a great blog post outlining seven ways to build speech and language skills using virtual field trips with an awesome cheat sheet for planning purposes.

Stacy Crouse has created a few travel and map-related resources such as a....

Amy Federer has a super cute resource for speech and language activities with a map theme called Speech Town Speech and Language Worksheets.

Marian Sia from Playing with Words has an innovative Boom Cards TM deck titled Luggage X-ray for Speech Targets /r/ words.

Google Arts & Culture: On this site you'll find links to interactive virtual tours, links for interactive apps to engage with art using personal pictures, interactive activities to get your students thinking and engaging, cook-along videos, and a interactive zoom into artwork plus a 3-D view of artwork.


Happy Tele-Traveling,

Angela C. Hancock, MSP, CCC-SLP


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