Friday, April 3, 2015

April 3 - I Crave More Connectedness

In previous posts I have shared about how my life has been turned upside and opened wide as I have become more connected through Twitter, blogging, Voxing, attending ECET2, and being part of the Gates Foundation TAC. I spend every free moment I have (in between family and my thousand plus projects) online trying to continuously learn and grow. My thirst for learning has grown exponentially. Yet I crave more!

I have noticed since joining Twitter in January 2014 that there is a lack of Twitter chat about Deaf Education. I looked at the awesome Google Doc that lists all the educator chats available virtually 24/7, but where is the deaf education chat? No where to be found! Yes, people use the hashtag #DeafEd when they tweet about something related to Deaf Ed, but a chat doesn't exist.

Then it happened! 

In November, I saw a tweet from @behearddc announcing the FIRST EVER #DeafEd Twitter chat.  I think I did a double take.  Were my eyes deceiving me? Was it actually going to happen? Was there finally going to be a chat about my passion, my love, my field?  YES!!!!!

Man, I could not wait to re-tweet and re-tweet and email my teacher friends and post on Face Book this historic event. I wanted the world to know that it was happening!

Students from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college of Rochester Institute of Technology, were leading this Twitter chat as a class project from their professor Talila Lewis. I could feel my adrenaline rush throughout the entire hour.  I was discussing my field with like-minded professionals and Deaf college students. What made it even more exhilarating than expected was that the students had created online videos of someone signing each question, increasing the equal access to all those participating.  WOW!!!

And then...

There was no more chat :(

The students developed an incredible chat for their project which was now complete.  I wasn't satisfied.  I needed more. There needs to be more!

I will make more!

I contacted the professor about continuing the chat.  TL was 100% supportive of the idea of a chat and agreed to help in anyway possible if I decided to start something.  So I am.

This week I created and disseminated a survey to collect interest from Deaf Ed teachers, Deaf community members, interpreters, college students, etc.  People are providing their feedback on day and time, frequency, and suggesting topics.  Some are even signing up to guest host!  So far less than 30 people have responded. I do hope to get a great deal more before closing the survey and begin to plan for the chat.

With the help of everyone out there..

#DeafEd chat will happen!

Update: April 7, 2015

The new #DeafEd chat is now held the first Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m. ET. A special kickoff is happening on April 16 with the first monthly chat happening on May 7.


  1. Hooray Heidi! This is so awesome! It can be a little nerve wrecking starting up a chat (I am co-moderator of the new, as in March 1st new, #Read4un chat!) but it is so worth it in the end! You can do it!!

  2. Hello Heidi, I too have been searching and searching for #DeafEd Chat. I usually am a frequent participant in #flipclass chats on Monday evenings. I have found a few other Deaf Ed teachers but we have not been able to establish a chat...I'll spread the word of deaf ed chat!

  3. That is fantastic! I am looking forward to seeing you for the chat Thursday! Yes, bring every Deaf Ed teacher you know!!!