AAC at a Distance: 5 Ways to Use Video Chat & Videoconferencing to Boost Engagement
Like many of you, I have a love-hate relationship with video chat and videoconferencing these days. On one hand, we are immensely grateful for the technology that allows us to teach classes and hold meetings remotely so that we can continue with some semblance of our daily obligations. On the other hand, there is just no substitute for being in the same physical space as our co-workers, students, friends, and relatives. We are all adapting to this new reality of social distancing and experimenting with new ways of teaching, learning, and working.
Across the globe, people are using video chat and videoconference technology, like FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Zoom, in creative ways. If you’re looking for some ways to support AAC learners using these technologies, here are a few ideas.
- Hold a virtual Friendship Friday meeting: Invite a few classmates or friends to join an online meeting space to do a simple activity like Show and Tell. Everyone can bring a special object to the event, show it to the others, and say something about what it is and why they chose it. The rest of the group can then make comments and ask questions about their choice.
- Have a watch party: Pick a short wordless video, like Simon’s Cat or Rollin’ Safari. Before starting, participants can vote on which video to watch and make predictions about it. Afterward, we can tell each other about things we liked or noticed, then use a qualitative scale to rate it.
- Play a simple game: We can adapt games like Simon Says or Traffic Light for remote participation. Take turns being leaders and followers.
- Hold a Comedy Conversation: Set up a routine where everyone comes prepared to tell a knock-knock joke. Check out this selection for inspiration. You can comment on each joke and vote on which jokes take the prize for the best or corniest.
- Host a virtual Sing A Long: Use AAC core vocabulary videos, like these from Speech and Language Songs, Super Simple Songs, and Ms. Marlowe.
Have you found ways to have brief online video meetings where AAC learners can connect with friends and family? We’d love to hear about it.
This post was written by Carole Zangari