5 ways of using technology to stimulate speech & language development- by Veronica Montanaro

5 ways of using technology to stimulate speech & language development- by Veronica Montanaro

‘There’s an app for that’……Anyone who knows me would have heard me use that phrase at some point or other. It crops up in conversations about baking, teaching, work or about life in general. Having studied the way young children learn how to use an iPad, I am not surprised that I am associated with touch-screen technology. It is very common for people look in my direction when they say the words tablet, touch screen or app. I am often greeted with ‘I found a really good app…..’. There is no doubt that I am passionate about the potential that technology has for children to learn the colours, vocabulary, puzzles, animal sounds, alphabet and songs. There are over 650,000 educational applications available on the iTunes store with thousands of apps are added each week. However, one of my great concerns is that a child is given a tablet, with one of these great applications, and he or she sits alone with no interaction, other than with the machine itself. As a speech and language pathologist I am particularly interested in children’s speech and language development. So here are a few tips that you can use to help your child’s speech and language development when using tablets. Turn taking is the root of communication. Turn taking is in everything we do and say. Any app can be shared in this manner. “It’s your turn. It’s my turn.”  Some children are possessive over the tablet and do not want to share their screen time with anyone. Using this approach will teach your child that you are not going to take the tablet away from them...
Preventing cyberbullying

Preventing cyberbullying

“No body likes me….I can’t believe what my ‘so-called’ friends are saying about me” Bullying is not just physical- using technology to tease, embarrass and spread rumours are also bullying behaviours. Do you know what your child is chatting to his/her friends about?  What is cyberbullying? Cyberbullying occurs when a student, or several students use technology to: makes fun of another student does not include him or her out of things in activities on purpose excludes him or her from their group of friends or completely ignores him/her calls him or her hurtful names spreads false rumors about him or her or tells lies sends mean texts and tries to make other students dislike him or her These hurtful things can occur through: text messaging, pictures/photos or video clips, phone calls email instant messaging or chat-rooms and social media websites. Did you know? A recent survey conducted by the Malta Communications Authority revealed that 98% of Maltese children between 8 and 15 years old have access to Internet in the home.  Also, within the same age group 56% have access to the Internet on their mobiles. Other statistics show that 41% of children between the ages of 8 and 11 have a Facebook account in their name despite the minimum age of 13 to register.  What can I do? Set up the Vodafone Guardian Application . The app enables parents to stay in control in a number of ways, including: Blocking specific contacts or mobile phone numbers to prevent bullying text messages or calls Specifying times during which their child can make or receive calls, use apps, access the Web and...