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About Tapped In®

From 1997-2013, Tapped In was the online workplace of an international community of education professionals. K-12 teachers, librarians, administrators, and professional development staff, as well as university faculty, students, and researchers gathered in Tapped In to learn, collaborate, share, and support one another.

The Tapped In community is now closed, but the scores of publications about Tapped In, as well as Tapped In newsletters, member perspectives, and transcripts are archived here. Tapped In has also been cited in over 35 publications, including a dozen books.

Tapped In Campus



"What a run, fantastic job so well done, many thanks" -- John, Feb 3, 2013.
See more member perspectives

Tapped In hosted the content and activities of more than 150,000 education professionals in thousands of user-created spaces that contain threaded discussions, shared files and URLs, text chats, an event calendar, and other tools to support collaborative work.

From its beginnings in 1997 as an NSF-funded research project to support online teacher professional development, Tapped In quickly evolved into a large online education community of practice. With additional funding from NSF, the Tapped In user interface was redesigned in 2001 as a web-based online community offering new features to more effectively support group work.

Over its history, more than 50 organizations, including education agencies and institutions of higher education, consulted with Tapped In staff and became "tenants" in the system to meet the needs of students and faculty with online courses, workshops, seminars, mentoring programs, and other collaborative activities. While tenant organizations typically set up private spaces for their affiliated members, Tapped In has also hosted approximately 40-60 public activities per month designed by Tapped In members and open to anyone in the community (including tenant members). Volunteers drove the majority of Tapped In community-wide activity. Because Tapped In was populated with members of multiple tenant organizations as well as unaffiliated members, it was best seen as a network of education professionals rather than a single community.

Research on Tapped In ranged from several small qualitative studies to use of automated methods to better understand online interactions, including analysis of bridges and community structures in Tapped In. See publications to learn more about Tapped In research. NSF funding for Tapped In ended in 2003, but the community was sustained through tenant funding until 2008, and then through volunteer efforts until it closed on March 18, 2013.


Click an image to see a large version. Also see the Tapped In interface evolution over the years.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants 9725528, 9616585, and 0106926. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.