🎆 Happy New Year! It was a busy 2023 for IST, and I’m really excited for what 2024 has in store!
In 2023, I offered two signature courses and plan to offer updated versions again in 2024! The first is only one week away!
Get Going with Google in 2024 Course
I created this course to help people of all ages and abilities finally get up and running with Google apps in a way that will help with organization and executive functioning and take advantage of little known features that can help users overcome challenges. It’s perfect for parents who have kids in school who are using Google Docs and other Google apps that they have little experience with! It’s also helpful for working adults as well as aging adults who are looking for ways to simplify and streamline their use of tech. This 5-week course aims to transform your use of free personal Google apps with friendly support and step-by-step guidance. It’s a unique opportunity to learn with others as we focus on features that support reading, writing, collaboration, and executive functioning.
Click here to watch the recording of a webinar I hosted on Jan 3rd I highlighted some of my favorite Google app features and offer a glimpse of the course. Want more information about this unique course? Click here to learn about and sign up for the updated Get Going with Google in 2024 course that starts on January 8th, 2024.
ElderTech Advisor Course
The ElderTech Advisor Course is a 5-week program that uses a train-the-trainer approach to empower more people to assist aging adults with technology. The next cohort starts in March. This transformative experience empowers leaders and volunteers to be “in the know” about resources and tech tools to help aging adults leverage the benefits of technology to stay socially and cognitively engaged. Upon completion, participants become part of an ever-growing supportive network. I am encouraged by the gradual acceptance of paid ElderTech Concierge positions in senior living communities and public partnerships to support tech training efforts. One objective of this course is to expand the number of skilled specialists who are “in the know” about how to fill these tech teaching positions. Click here for more info and to get on the waitlist for the March cohort.
Presentations and Projects
I did not achieve my goal of writing a 5th book, but in addition to the courses described above, I did manage to accomplish quite a bit in 2023 😀
I provided my online TWIST 1:1 Tech Brainstorming Sessions to help many students, educators, therapists and aging adults living near and far to figure out how to get more out of their devices to make life easier and more efficient and help with everyday communication. It always starts with a free 15 minute phone consultation.
I continued to to provide content-filled cuttng-edge webinars about emerging technologies. In 2023, the webinars included: Explore Technology for Aging Adults, Beyond Facetime: Uncovering Hidden Gems for Video Calls, Unlocking the Power of Tech for Reading, iGrandparent 101: An expert Panel Shares Wisdom for Teaching Tech to Seniors, and Using AI (Artificial Intelligence) as AT (Assistive Technology.) In all, thousands of people watched these presentations!
Facebook Live and Podcasts
I was invited to private Facebook groups and interviewed for podcasts to spread the word about the many ways tech can be used to improve lives. They included: Gracefully Greying with Co-Founder, Laurie Blume, Memory Matters with Rena Yudkowsky, Telepractice Today with Kim Dutro Allen and K.Todd Houston, Special Ed Rising; No Parent Left Behind a podcast with Mark Ingrassia- Addressing the Perils and Promises of Technology for Our Children with Joan Green and Dr. Adam Pletter, and Simplify You with C.Lee Cawley.
Whew! This category kept me very busy! I provided guidance for conferences, schools, private practices, lifelong learning organizations, associations for specific disabilities, and religious groups. Some groups were large, others were small. Some were in-person. Most were online. There were too many to list them all, and quite a bit of the support I provide is private and “behind the scenes” to help small businesses support their students and clients with tech.
Here is a sample of presentations I provided in 2023: Prince George’s County Public Schools, Loyola University Primary Progress Aphasia Group, Montgomery County Commission on Aging Technology Forum, The Spirit Initiative- OU.org, Capital Senior Solutions and Charles E. Smith Life Communities, GW Community School- Educator Inservice, OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University, OLLI Personal Computer User Group, Leisure World Tech, Diamonds in the Rough Conference- professional development with Dr. Adam Pletter, and Charlestown Senior Living- An Erickson Community.
The variety keeps me energized and on my toes! Before each presentation, I need to do research to make sure I have all the latest info since tech changes so fast!
I continued to manage the FREE IST Tech Savvy Solutions Facebook Group which now has 1,156 members who joined to further develop tech-savvy skills to help themselves or others improve communication, cognition, literacy and learning.
Local Professional Group for Assistive Technology Specialists
I formed the Assistive Technology Network of Greater Washington (ATNGW). We now have 34 professionals in MD, VA and Washington, DC who are interested in being part of this local group to share and learn together about how to help people of varying ages and abilities to overcome obstacles with the help of technology. If you live or work in the DMV and work with assistive technology, click here to join us!
I’m so pleased that my presentation proposal was accepted for the next Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference that will be in Orlando, FL at the end of January. I will be presenting with Adina Bradshaw and Sally Norton-Darr. The title of our talk is From Reluctant to Resilient: Embracing Tech-Powered Aging.
New Platform for Email, Courses, and Webinar Recordings
Recently, I switched to a new platform called Systeme to manage newsletters, webinar recordings, and course content. It’s been a learning curve, but it meets most of my needs and is more affordable, intuitive, and feature-rich than other platforms I have used.
Unfortunately, emails may be blocked by people, businesses and universities with very strict privacy settings. It often helps to use personal emails if you’d like to receive my updates. Click here to stay in touch.
All webinars IST offered over the past couple of years have been successfully transferred and are available to watch! Stay tuned for emails featuring those past webinars and how to access them.
IST Team Members
I would be remiss if I didn’t give a special shout-out to two terrific speech-language pathologists/assistive tech specialists, Adina Bradshaw and Alyssa Antcliff, who were instrumental in 2023. THANK YOU!
I also appreciate the ongoing feedback from Paul Foldes, a self proclaimed “techno-dummy” who always seeks to expand the reach of the services I offer.
I’m looking to expand in 2024 and am always seeking collaboration with tech-savvy entrepreneurs.
On a Personal Note
I recently turned 60 years old and am often asked if I have plans to stop working. No way! I have many ideas and projects to pursue and feel as if I am just getting on a roll with all this. Keeping up with the latest technology and helping others learn to use it to improve their lives is my passion. It’s my pleasure to continue to help many people become more tech-savvy through various initiatives and collaborations.
Long walks in nature, spending time with family and friends, and helping others are the activities that fill my days and keep me going, especially when the world situation is so concerning and tumultuous.
Just one or two changes with tech can often change someone’s trajectory for success and greatly enhance quality of life. Seeing that smile and feeling the sense of relief in others as they overcome obstacles and learn to use tech to improve their lives makes my day.
If you attended a private session, webinar or course, I’d appreciate your feedback. Were any topics or tips particularly helpful for you and offered lasting results?
Requests for webinars and group sessions in 2024 are welcome as I plan the year ahead. I’d love to hear from you!
I wish you a healthy, happy and safe new year!
Warm regards, Joan