Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Getting Connected

 Social media is the social interaction amongst people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. For professionals, or even parents, entering into the world of Assistive Technology, I can wholeheartedly share that social media is your greatest ally. I want to share some of my personal experiences in regard to social media.

AT is broad in what it can offer and in an ever evolving field, there are endless new resources available, making it seem impossible to always have your finger on the pulse.  I have always been an active participant on social media, but only for personal interactions. When I decided to grow my PLN and join the Twitter-sphere, I made a conscious decision to create a separate Twitter handle only used for professional purposes. In the short time I have been a part of Twitter, I have gained professional relationships that have helped me to build my knowledge regarding the latest in assistive technology resources available to support my students and information that I share with my colleagues and the families I work with.

I would  consider the weekly "chats" on Twitter to have lent itself as one of the greatest areas of support in my professional growth in the AT field. Every Wednesday at 8pm I participate, whether through just following or being an active contributor, on #atchat lead by Karen Janowski and Mike Marotta. It serves as a platform for professionals in the AT field to share their experiences and resources based upon several questions posed by the aforementioned moderators. Twitter "chats" are everywhere, particularly in the education field. In addition to the #atchat, there's #satchat, #edchat, #spedchat.....and the list goes on and on!

Additionally, Facebook groups, such as Assistive Technology, or the QIAT (Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology) listserv again are platforms to promote an open environment amongst professionals within the same field to ask for insight or feedback and share knowledge and experience.

This article, Use Social Media to Keep Up with Assistive Technology written by Jamie Martin, originally posted on Noodle's website, reiterates much of my own sentiments regarding social media and offers links to other valuable resources within the AT and SPED community.

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