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Just a Click Away

By Dan Florell

Working on a Cloud

In just the past couple of years, most NASP members have joined a social networking site. Some use it to maintain professional contacts, while others use it to keep tabs on friends both near and far. For those of us using social networking sites for professional purposes, I have a new site that will fit your needs: NASP Communities!

The newly revised and revamped NASP Communities are here and they incorporate all of the social networking features that you have come to expect and rely upon. I think they will be something that you will enjoy and find very useful. The look and feel of the site mimic a lot of the features found on Facebook and other social networking sites. The similarities will allow you to feel comfortable when you first start using the site. Some of the features include the ability to add other NASP members to your contact list, keep a professional profile, and engage in discussions around various topics.

Another feature in the NASP Communities is the ability for members to have their own blogs. I have enjoyed the blogging option because you can receive feedback from readers through ratings and comments.

What sets the NASP Communities apart from other social networking sites is that most are exclusive to NASP members. There are several advantages to having this exclusivity. One advantage is that everybody will share a common knowledge base of the profession. You no longer need to worry about whether everybody in a discussion knows what a WISC-IV or an IEP is. Another advantage is the ability to share documents within NASP groups. These documents will also be deposited in the Communities’ libraries, which are searchable. This will allow new members of a group or others who are interested in a particular topic the ability to find the material well after it has been posted. A final advantage is that the NASP Communities are unlikely to be blocked by your school district’s servers, unlike Facebook. This means you can contact and get feedback from your professional colleagues and NASP groups at school as well as at home.

NASP Communities now also allow for all of the NASP groups to be in one place. You can subscribe to various groups and receive the discussions directly to your e-mail in either individual or digest form. This should lead to some lively discussions.

Of course, NASP Communities and all of its wonderful features will only work if you check it out and participate. Take that as a challenge and help me get the ball rolling!

Dan Florell, PhD, NCSP, an assistant professor in the school psychology program at Eastern Kentucky University, is the NASP Webmaster.