#RCSLT2014 Keynote, Workshop and Social Media Links and Resources








This page contains the abstracts, handout, slide show, links and resources for the #RCSLT2014 keynote address delivered by Caroline Bowen on September 17, 2014, and the associated workshop conducted on September 18, 2014, in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Keynote Abstract

ICT, social media, and speech and language therapy

Twitter’s potential as an empowering co-catalyst for intra and inter-professional discourse and change is largely untapped and un-researched by speech-language professionals whether they are students, new graduates, or experienced academics, clinicians, educators, managers, researchers or retirees.

In this talk, and the associated workshop, conference delegates heard about potential uses of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), social media (SM) in general, and Twitter in particular. They were invited to consider how their roles as advocates for clients and their families, and the profession might be enhanced by embracing Twitter as an ally in achieving their own professional goals.

For example, Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) can generate and disseminate news by tweeting links to current abstracts or live-tweeting evidence-based practice-innovations reported at conferences and scholarly meetings. They can engage in tweet chat on topics such as, 'how the profession can survive and thrive irrespective of economic contexts'. They can provide information via Twitter, particularly around translating research into practice, clearly quantifying and demonstrating the value of what we do, and letting all stakeholders know. And SLTs can inspire and support others by, for example, initiating or participating in a campaign or event, encouraging a colleague, or spurring-on a consumer advocate, allied professional or member of the general public.

Anyone with an email address can access Tweets by signing up for a free Twitter account.

Workshop Abstract

Minding the gap between work and the Twitter platform

Founded in 2006, Twitter is a ‘real time’ microblogging social media platform. It provides a user-generated information network that comprises advertisements, ideas, news, opinions and stories in the form of ‘micro posts’ or Tweets.

A Tweet is a little burst of information that is restricted to 140 characters. Anyone with an email address can access Tweets by signing up for a free Twitter account at www.twitter.com. Health networks (e.g., @cochranecollab), individuals (e.g., @KGadhok, @vjoffe), organisations (e.g., @RCSLT, @PHE_uk), projects and campaigns (e.g., @GivingVoiceUK), publishers (e.g., @BSPLtd, @wiley_health) and regulators (e.g., @The_HCPC) and others have Twitter accounts from which they send Tweets.

If you have a Twitter account that simply ‘sits there’ you are not alone. Many Twitter handles are idle or are used infrequently. According to twopcharts.com, a company that monitors Twitter activity, there have been no Tweets from 44% of them, 30% have sent a mere one to 10 Tweets, 13.3% have not tweeted for the last 30 days, and just 11% of users who signed up in 2012 were still tweeting in April 2014. Overall, only 13% of accounts have generated 100 or more tweets.

So, if you engage and connect with like-minded others and Tweet actively on specialised topics such as speech and language therapy, or an even more specialised aspect of SLT, other interested parties, including stakeholders, will feel your presence.

In this workshop, delegates further explored the importance of SLTs learning to harness the power of information and communication technology (ICT), social media in general, and Twitter in particular, and considered how their roles as advocates for clients and their families and the profession, might be enhanced by embracing Twitter as an ally in achieving their professional goals.

Scope of the workshop Essential ‘how to’ aspects of Twitter: chatting, connecting, curating, tagging and tweeting; pros and cons of Twitter use: staying cool, safe and comfortable in social media; Twitter research: SLT Twitter use now and in the future; tweeting for professional purposes: advocating, campaigning, intervening and learning; #SLPeeps, #SLP2B, #WeSpeechies and caseload- and cause-specific hashtags.

Learning outcomes Extending the knowledge gained in Wednesday’s keynote, participants in this workshop gained a greater understanding of Twitter, how it works, and its largely untapped potential as a professional tool in speech and language therapy, and as a research topic.

Delegates were invited to access free WiFi to live-tweet during the session and afterwards, tagging with #RCSLT2014.

Websites referred to in the presentations

Social Media Platforms


Linked in



Second Life

Blog-publishing tools



Academic blogging changes the nature of academic research, not just how it is communicated
Being Multilingual Madalena Cruz-Ferreira

Bishop Blog Dorothy Bishop
Developmental Phonological Disorders Susan Rvachew
Language Fix Paul Morris
Life after thesis Katie Wheat
PrAACtical AAC Carole Zangari
School Speech Pathology John Panagos
Speaking My Languages Sharynne McLeod
Speech Techie Sean Sweeney
Spelfabet Alison Clarke
The Snow Report Pamela Snow
Therapy Ideas Rhiannon Walton
Writing for Research

Microblogging platforms




SLP/SLT on Facebook


Facebook groups


Adult Rehab Speech Therapy
School-Based Speech & Language Therapy
Speech and Language Therapy
Speech Pathologists at Large
Speech Therapy Ideas

MRA speech-language pathology/therapy professional associations on Facebook

ASHA on Facebook
IASLT on Facebook
NZSTA on Facebook
RCSLT on Facebook
SAC-OAC on Facebook
SPA on Facebook

Third party tracking on the Internet

Disconnect me

HTTPS Everywhere

My perspective

I view Information and Communication Technology, Social Media, and Speech and Language Therapy from at least six interacting perspectives, as a:

  1. Speech-Language Pathologist
  2. Website owner/author of www.speech-language-therapy.com since 1998
  3. Internet columnist, writing Webwords since 1999
  4. List Owner of the children's speech sound disorders 'phonologicaltherapy' group since 2001
  5. Twitter participant since February 2012 and co-administrator of @WeSpeechies since March 2014
  6. Co-administrator of the Speech and Language Therapy group on Facebook Jun 2013-Dec 2014


Webwords Index 1999 -

Webwords 44: Life Online
Webwords 46: Social Media in Clinical Education and Continuing Professional Development
Webwords 49: Policy, practice and social media
Webwords 51: Taking Twitter for a twirl in the diverse world of rotational curation

SLP/SLT in Twitter


Giving Voice

RALLIcampaign (now RADLDcam)


#ERChat | BLOG
#Hellomynameis | ABOUT
#SLP2Bchat | ABOUT
#WeSpeechies | ABOUT @WeSpeechies | About @WeSpeechies' Chat

Symplur Health Hashtags

The Good Oil on Hashtag Use

MRA Professional Associations in Twitter

SPA @SpeechPathAus

Twitter Resources


You might like to follow

Global Partnership | @GPforEducation
| @speechBite
The Cochrane Library | @CochraneLibrary
The Mental Elf | @Mental_Elf
UK Cochrane Centre | @UKCochraneCentr
WeSpeechies | WeSpeechies Chat | @WeSpeechies
Writing for Research | @Write4Research

Links to articles including blog posts

10 things I’ve learned about sharing evidence through social media
[MORE from Evidently Cochrane]
38 reasons why you should blog about your research

Anatomy of a Tweet
Do you want to discuss science? Use Twitter 
Does Twitter matter?
Five ways in which Twitter can be useful in academic contexts
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Online collaboration: Scientists and the social network
Social Networking Fact Sheet
The beginner's guide to Twitter - Brandon Smith
The one Twitter mistake that even experienced users make - Matt Southern
WeSpeechies: A meeting point on Twitter - Dorothy Bishop
What's the best way to use 30 minutes of your time on social media marketing?
Curating Crafting Posting Scheduling Measuring Analyzing Responding Listening Engaging Helping Planning Experimenting

Recommendations - Just the Rs


Stay classy! Aim for 90% of your Tweets to be professional and ‘on-message’, relating to the topics/interests stated in your bio. Have fun with the other 10% so that your followers can see you have a life beyond SLP/SLT and are approachable…but don't bare all!


Tweet regularly but don’t overdo it. Many are ‘un-followed’ because they Tweet incessantly and prolifically, swamping their followers’ timelines.


OK, that’s a joke – but Twitter is "addictive" for some.


Don't let Twitter take over or encroach on time you might spend talking to and being “with” people.


Develop a reputation for being consistent and reliable as a source of information. Consider what you Tweet. Read articles fully before tweeting or re-tweeting them, check the authority of the author, and try to determine whether it is their original work or something they might have copied and pasted into their blog or website without permission. Put your evaluation skills to good use.


By building your reputation in Twitter through community engagement you will open the way to opportunities to share your research, including practice-based evidence, with people who are most likely to benefit directly from it, and least likely to read about it in scholarly journals. Having a positive social media profile also enhances media engagement. If journalists cannot find you in Twitter and you don't have a website, blog or faculty page, they can’t find you.


Twitter can be valuable at every stage of research endeavour: finding research posts; identifying funding opportunities; generating ideas and research questions; finding others who may be able to help locate articles for a literature review; recruiting participants; distributing questionnaires and surveys; data collection; and disseminating findings.


If you want to attract followers and stimulate conversations around your special interests, reciprocity and responsiveness are strategic. Respond to other people’s Tweets, mention them in your Tweets, help promote their events and causes (and they will very likely do the same in return), and start a conversation with them. They will notice you, and know that their work is of interest to you.


Remain on-message generating 90% professional Tweets and re-tweets, and 10% general interest and fun. Most of your Tweets (90% again) should be in your own words and 10% should be re-tweets. By aiming for 90:10 you will probably achieve 70:30. Your Twitter account is your brand and followers follow you because they are interested in what you have to say. Make sure the image you project through your Tweets reflects the ‘real you’ and let your enthusiasm shine through. Avoid spin, self-promotion and persistent marketing and promotion of you and your ‘brand’; this goes particularly for associations and advocacy groups who can bore their followers by only ever promoting events and posting self-congratulatory content.

Rotation Curation (#RoCur) handles

The first SLP/SLT #RoCur is @WeSpeechies, founded in March 2014 by Caroline Bowen and Bronwyn Hemsley. It is becoming a useful point of contact for #SLPeeps and #SLP2B’s interested in Evidence Based Practice and research. Once you have a Twitter account you can click here and then click 'follow' to follow @WeSpeechies. You can read about @WeSpeechies here, and see the once-weekly chat topics.


How far did your Tweet travel? - just for fun
Tweetails - just for fun -- CB: "Comes up with revolutionary ideas on a daily basis, but probably can't tie their shoelaces"



Twitter headers 1500 x 500
Twitr Covers


Keynote and Workshop Handout .pdf
Note that some of the finer points of Twitter have changed since September 2014 (e.g. ❤️ has replaced ⭐️ to indicate "like") but the information in the handout should still be helpful.

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