Chris Wenger, whom you might also know as Speech Dude, comes from a family of educators. He started off as a special ed teacher, but he moved into the speech language field when he realized that the tools he needed to help students was in speech pathology. Because he’s been on both sides of the IEP table, and because he was a teacher first, he’s seen a wide variety of students and he knows how to write an IEP that ropes in parents. Today we have a fantastic conversation about creating a curriculum that teaches older students about how to interact online or with their peers on social media.
Starting with the phrase “How you do anything is how you do everything”, Chris’s interactions with his students online often inspire his TikTok videos and Instagram posts. Students need to be able to make inferences and they need the ability to perspective-take. If you see a picture that you like, you comment once on it. But five times? People will wonder what’s going on with you. If you comment on a really old video or post, it can give away that you’re doing a deep dive on a person’s profile. These are the kinds of scenarios that Chris identifies so he can teach his students how to interact appropriately online.
What’s a digital footprint and why should a student care? Even for kids in the AP classes, they still need some explicit instruction on online “netiquette” so that they understand that what happens online can affect their offline life. The idea that kids today instinctively understand online behavior doesn’t help kids who actually don’t. That’s where Chris tries to fill in that gap.
Chris’s best advice for a future or present SLP is simple: You don’t have to be a perfect SLP; just do your best to be a happy one. Your positive vibrations can be felt throughout your classroom. Check out Chris’s social media channels or his Boom Learning store for more strategies or curriculum for older students.
Chris Wenger is an enthusiastic school-based SLP and nationally-acclaimed presenter who loves to share his knowledge about current trends in technology and practical ways to infuse it into the school setting for older students. Chris’s experience in using confidence building strategies in his own speech therapy sessions has provided him a depth of knowledge for making effective connections between self- confidence and education. Chris is widely known on social media as “Speech Dude.” A prominent thought leader in the field of education, Chris motivates and entertains fellow educators and clinicians through his humorous and inspiring posts and videos.
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