Tapped In Newsletter: March 2000

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...ON THE TAPIS
March 2000
Issue 28
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In This Issue
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[1] Administrator's Corner opens in TAPPED IN
[2] SWE schedules Ask-An-Engineer and HelpDesk - by Nikki Mattson
[3] Member Perspective: Dave Fish
[4] Technology Tips - MEET ME
[5] TAPPED IN Presented to the Glenn Commission - by Patti Schank
[6] Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) - by Ferdi Serim
[7] TAPPED IN survey winners and other research
[8] About ...On the TAPIS

Quote of the Month
"...Most teachers work in fairly friendly environments and share stuff with colleagues in house. TAPPED IN just makes the house bigger." - Kathy Simmons (TAPPED IN member)

[1] Administrator's Corner opens in TAPPED IN
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Educators struggle with the concept of community because they are not certain how to develop relationships, create a common purpose and foster a sense of attachment. Researchers have a myriad of suggestions about how to connect, reflect, partner, nurture, lead and grow professionally. Collegiality and communication is key. This forum, which meets the first Monday of every month, provides an opportunity for school leaders to meet and reflect on current school issues.

Professor Robert Amenta, currently Director of Education Administration at California Lutheran University and a former public school administrator with 20 years experience in 10 administrative positions, has organized this forum. Teachers and administrators are encouraged to join in the discussion. Meetings will be the first Monday of each month at 7pm PST (starting 4/3/2000). The first meeting's topic will be the administrator's role in implementing change. Bring your ideas for future discussion topics.

[2] SWE schedules Ask-An-Engineer and HelpDesk - by Nikki Mattson
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The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at the University of Wisconsin Madison (http://www.cae.wisc.edu/~swe/) are excited to become involved with TAPPED IN. The UW-Madison chapter of SWE has many activities to engage potential female engineers and teachers educating these students. TAPPED IN will be a great next step, bringing the outreach programs into the new millennium with modern technology. SWE hopes to help students and teachers, via TAPPED IN's Ask-An-Engineer, discussing sessions: Outreach, The High School to College Transition, Aerospace, Women in Technical Careers, and Human Factors in Ergonomics. SWE will also help staff TAPPED IN's HelpDesk (see http://www.tappedin.org/info/swe.html for information about the women involved). We hope SWE's involvement with TAPPED IN can grow every semester.

Note from TAPPED IN: We are very excited about the work being done by the SWE. If you get a chance stop by and meet these outstanding young women. Also note that if you are interested in arranging a time to bring middle or high school students online to meet with one or more of the engineers to talk about careers, please email us and we'll help you make arrangements.

[3] Member Perspective: David Fish
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Read all of our member perspectives.

David Fish teaches computers at Summit Day Center in Santa Ana, California. Summit Day Center is an alternative school for juvenile offenders. The student body is comprised of students who have violated laws and been expelled from their regular school districts. David taught science for the first twelve years at Summit. Upon finishing his Master's degree in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University, luck would have it that the Summit computer teacher transferred to another school, creating an opening for David.

Dave's Perspective

Like many others I joined TAPPED IN as part of my Master's Degree in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University. Prior to my joining TAPPED IN on September 12, 1998, I belonged to the Pepperdine University MOO, but it was limited. Because of Dr. Polin's vision, Pepperdine became a partner organization with TAPPED IN. We all joined and soon discovered the vastly enhanced capabilities of the TAPPED IN MUVE.

After finishing Pepperdine I took a break and soon discovered I suffered from collaboration-separation anxiety; BJB calls it plain old TI withdrawal. Teachers, especially those working in Alternative/Correctional Education are often isolated from their peers. It was even more so for me as I began applying what I learned at Pepperdine to my own practice. My peers had no clue what I was talking about when I would go on about Communities of Practice and collaboration in a constructivist environment. My isolation grew so I logged back into TI one Saturday hoping to run into someone from my Pepperdine Cadre or a former professor. It didn't happen. I sort of missed the close association I had come to know working with one group over a sustained period of time. Like so many others, when I logged back in I ran into BJB. What a treat! As I learned, BJ also teaches in Correctional Education. Most importantly I learned how little I knew about functioning in the TAPPED IN environment.

BJ's warm and friendly enthusiasm hooked me back into TI. Soon it was time to remodel my office and expand my abilities in the TI environment. An online graduate program doesn't require any real significant MOO knowledge; about three commands does it. It wasn't long till I found a home. To participate in this environment is both stimulating and exciting. It's an extension of my graduate work but on a much broader scale due to the worldwide membership. Now my family is spread all over the country and globe. In my district, which is sizable as it includes all of Orange County California, the technology leadership is somewhat fractured. It is my hope to lure all of the techies into the TAPPED IN loop for the betterment of our professional existence but most of all for the betterment of our students.

I have had the pleasure of being a volunteer on the TAPPED IN help desk for the last six months. With the patience of Saints, BJ, Judi Fusco, Mark Schlager, Chuck Merritt and HunterG have all helped me develop my skills enough to volunteer at the "Help Desk". Also, I co-host the Alternative/Correctional Education Discussion Group on the third Thursday of each month with BJ Berquist.

[4] Technology Tips - MEET ME
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From posting a question to the TAPPED IN membership to arranging for a meeting with colleagues to getting a weekly reminder of what's on the calendar, the MeetMe list can help. MeetMe is a moderated list that facilitates communication among TAPPED IN members. You will not be overwhelmed with messages (postings are sent to you via email) as this list is designed to meet the specific needs of our community. Postings are archived...you may even find an answer to your question before you ask it! Join MeetMe today.

[5] TAPPED IN Presented to the Glenn Commission - by Patti Schank
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TAPPED IN was presented at a symposium for the members of the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century (The Glenn Commission) on March 6 in Washington, DC. The Glenn Commission, chaired by former Senator and astronaut John Glenn, is charged with creating an action strategy to improve the quality of teaching in mathematics and science at all grades nationwide. (See http://www.ed.gov/americacounts/glenn/toc.html)

The event focused on how technology can provide new opportunities for K-12 math & science teachers, to enhance both their teaching abilities and their professional growth. Terry Canning (Pepperdine University, TerryRC in TAPPED IN) and SRI's Center Director, Roy Pea, both highlighted TAPPED IN in their presentations. TAPPED IN received a lot of attention, and we're excited that John Glenn and his commission heard so many good things about us!

[6] Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) - by Ferdi Serim
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In the early days of the Internet, only higher education enjoyed Internet connections. EDUCOM represented the priorities of education with respect to Internet use, and there was no similar K12 group. CoSN evolved from the realization that K12 had different yet legitimate needs, and that solving our problems required a concerted effort between education organizations, technology corporations and government at national, regional and state levels. It described itself as "an organization of organizations" which is why many of us in the classroom hadn't heard of it or its work.

The E-Rate is perhaps the best example of what can happen when people focus on policy and practice at the levels the game is played "inside the Beltway", and CoSN had a great deal to do with helping to make that happen. Whatever we may think about what normally goes on in DC, I've always been glad that CoSN is there trying to shape events in our favor, alerting us when things are about to go awry, and informing us of actions we can take to be proactive, rather than reactive. Check out http://www.cosn.org to see the work that's been accomplished to date, and to help shape your ideas about what's needed.

A powerful facet of the Internet that is often overlooked is the richness of exchange of "intellectual capital" and concentrated talents that transcend the geographical, political or cultural boundaries that circumscribe the "range of motion" allowed to more traditional organizations. We are as free as the flowing of our thoughts, the sharing of our experience and the vitality of our dreams. It will be great to serve as a bridge between this vibrant online community and CoSN. (ed. note: Ferdi has recently been selected to serve on the CoSn board of directors)

[7] TAPPED IN survey winners and other research by Judi Fusco
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Congratulations to Don Adams (a high school teacher in Indiana), Sylvia Russakoff (a college teacher in New York), David Johnson (a middle school teacher in North Carolina), and Kathie Kanavel (a district technology specialist in California). They are the four recipients of Amazon.com gift certificates from the raffle we held for all the people who took the survey.

Recently we've created a research section on our website. See http://www.tappedin.org/info/research.html if you're interested in some of the research we've done. Also, the papers we've published can be found at http://www.tappedin.org/info/papers.html.

[8] About ...On the TAPIS
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Postings of all ...ON THE TAPIS issues are available on the TAPPED IN website. Contact us if you have any questions about your subscription, password or user name, or if you have any news items that you want to share with the community for ...ON THE TAPIS.