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!!!
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.