...your client's internet connection.
Hello, again! Today's post is a bit of vented frustration. (I apologize in advance!) It's been building up in me for a while, and it's truly just making the case for spending the extra buck for quality, high-speed internet.
My livelihood at the moment relies on technology. I depend upon my iMac and internet speed to get me through 8 hours of speech and language therapy, 5 days a week. Now, I'm barely technology literate (T.G.F.Y.T. - Thank God For YouTube Tutorials), but I know enough to spend my hard-earned dollars on the best internet money can buy. There is no sense in performing therapy through a sub-par connection, especially when I rely on visual cues so much. For you readers who aren't familiar with speech therapy, a ton of what we do in articulation therapy is demonstrating how a client should place their lips, tongue, teeth, and other oral structures to make the correct speech sounds. Not only does articulation therapy rely on real-time visual and audio input and output, but if a student gets reward time to play a game, it doesn't work if their internet is lagging.
That being said, I completely understand if a family's budget does not allow for the fastest internet around. It's not cheap to zip through the internet at lightning speed. At the same time, how effective is this therapy when I am waiting for at least 10 minutes out of a thirty minute session, once a week, for the computer to "catch up" on the other end?
If a student is enrolled in virtual school, they are administered a computer. If they qualify for speech and/or language services, they are also administered a webcam. What's so different about a quality internet connection? I was required to upgrade my 2010 white MacBook (R.I.P. MACaroni) and internet to ensure that I had a quality connection. Why isn't this a student requirement, too?
Virtual school is 100% technology. My students don't even live in my time zone. How will we ever establish quality foundations for such a fundamental part of the services I'm providing, if they look like a box of pixels and sound mechanical and robotic?
Food for thought.
The Cyber Speechie