[Presence Learning (415) 512-9000]

         Advancements in technology have made it possible for live, online speech therapy (also known as telepractice) to become an appropriate model of service delivery for speech-language pathology (SLP).  Telepractice is an effective solution for overcoming barriers that prevent access to services, such as distance, unavailability of specialists and/or subspecialists, and impaired mobility; and for addressing budgetary constraints that are present in many school districts.
PresenceLearning is a leading provider of telepractice for K-12 students, and is approved by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The company provides school districts with web-based access to a nationwide network of licensed SLPs at an affordable cost. A telepractice session or encounter typically consists of real-time audio and visual connection between a client (or group of clients) and a clinician, similar to an in-person diagnostic or treatment session. It requires computers and a high speed internet connection, with specific hardware and software such as headset (earphone/microphone), webcam, Adobe Flash Player, interactive whiteboard technology, etc.
         Many studies have examined synchronous interactive audio-video teleconferencing as a method for providing speech-language pathology services in areas such as aphasia, fluency, speech, language, cognitive communication, voice, and swallowing disorders.
PresenceLearning won a BESSIE Award in the category, "Multi-Level: Special Education Website." The company has provided useful links to YouTube videos which demonstrate how the service works: 

Therapy for James  (Meet James, 1:15)
Therapy for Hector (Meet Hector, 1:36)

Reading Eggs
[Archipelago Learning (800) 419-3191) and Reading Eggs (877) 661-4898]

         With lots of reading websites available to teachers and parents, the choice comes down to not only which works best, but which is most affordable
and which has the ability to hold a child's interest over the long haul.  We believe that Reading Eggs, BESSIE winner of awards in both Early Learning and Early Elementary Reading Website, meets these criteria splendidly.
         Reading Eggs' main interface is a skills map which takes students step-by-step through complete sets of reading and writing skills, rewarding completion with 'golden eggs' which can be used to play (educational) games in the Arcade.  For remediation, additional practice, and parallel skills, students can navigate through the Playroom, My House, My World, Music Café, Story Factory, and more. Skillfully rendered animations are silly and fun enough to keep young children happily engaged through the repetition of sounds, shapes, and drills which define what learning to read is all about. (Warning to adults: Headphones will probably become mandatory). Bonuses are the clever (and cleverly appropriate) songs scattered throughout the program.
         Reading Eggs offers observation opportunities between home and school, an idea we haven't seen often enough at the early learning/early elementary levels; and there is also a teacher's management site. The latter, while good, could be better with a little de-cluttering to make it more user-friendly.
         The creators of
Reading Eggs promise to continue to expand and improve the content--and we look forward to watching their progress.


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