Tapped In Newsletter: October 1997

********** ...ON THE TAPIS **********
Issue # 3 October, 1997

...ON THE TAPIS is a monthly letter with updates on TAPPED IN and related events. See the TAPPED IN web site to learn more.

Quote of the Month
Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.
      --John Cotton Dana

[1] NEW! After School Online Discussions
[2] NEW! Student Activity Center and Woodlands
[3] Easier Creation of TAPPED IN Objects
[4] Log your TAPPED IN meetings
[5] Activity survey results and t-shirt winner
[6] Self-Guided TAPPED IN WebTour
[7] Announcing K-8 Math/Science Teacher Workshops
[8] About ...ON THE TAPIS

[1] After School Online Discussions

WHEN: Mondays and Tuesdays 3-4 pm (PST), starting in November

After School Online (ASO) is a special TAPPED IN discussion time BY and FOR teachers on specific topics. Eight lucky attendees will also win t-shirts (see below). So mark your calendars! November topics are:

- El Nino (Nov 3, 11, 17, 25)
- Getting more support from your administration (Nov 4, 11, 18, 24)
- Everything you ever wanted to know about the Internet (Nov 10)

Mary Pat Horn will lead the discussions about El Nino. She will discuss what has occurred, what (supposedly) will occur, the possible consequences, and what causes El Nino. She also has information on mythology surrounding El Nino. Mary Pat is a project based learning mentor and 6-8th grade science teacher in the San Francisco bay area with 25 years of teaching experience.

Barbara Chriss will lead the discussions on how to get more support from administration for new curriculum, mentoring, workshops, training, and just support in general. Barbara has been a Curriculum Director in West Contra Costa Unified School District, and was a K-8 principal for 12 years.

TAPPED IN's Patti and Judi will lead the session on Everything you ever wanted to know about the Internet :-). Come to learn about different Internet tools, and tips for being a web savvy teacher.

Proposed topics for December include: Mars exploration, special education and disabled students, pathways to math and science for girls, and more on the Internet.

To commemorate the launch of ASO we will have another WIN A TAPPED IN t-shirt contest. For every ASO session you attend in the month of November you will be entered in a contest to win a TAPPED IN t-shirt. Eight t-shirts will be awarded. The more sessions you attend the more chances you will have to win. This is a great chance to get to know the best resources you have on-line--your colleagues with similar interests. See you there!

PLEASE GIVE US FEEDBACK: Click on the After School Online link on TAPPED IN's home page for more information, to give us feedback, or to join the bulletin board discussions. Or contact us to suggest discussion topics, let us know if you would like to lead a discussion, or if the times we have scheduled don't work for you. Let us know what is on your mind regarding school reform, standards, how to deal with administration, how to deal with classroom problems, or what activities are great for teaching students about photosynthesis.

[2] New Student Activity Center and Woodlands Exhibit Area

By popular demand, we are in the process of building a new Student Activities Center (SAC) next door to TAPPED IN where teachers can bring their students. To help us design the SAC, develop online activities for your students, or find out how to get SAC membership accounts for your students, talk to Judi, Denise, or Patti in TAPPED IN, or contact us. From the Reception area, go OUT to the campus and then into SAC. Note: Students cannot get into the TAPPED IN building.

On your way to the SAC, check out our new Woodland Exhibit area, where teachers and students (with help from TAPPED IN staff) can create their own natural science exhibits. We have set up two simple demonstration exhibits on aggressive mimicry in tree frogs and mating territories of grouse. TAPestry users will even hear croaking and chirping sounds!


[3] Easier Creation of TAPPED IN Objects

Having trouble creating and editing TAPPED IN Notes and WebViewers? Creating notes and other objects is now a snap using the NEW Vending Machines and Frequent Command buttons.

In the Text Interface just go to the supply room for more information and try the things listed under "Things to try."

In the Web Interface look for the List of Commands on the right side of your browser window. Just click NOTEPAD for a new note or ROOM SUPPLIES or MISC SUPPLIES for any other object that you want to create. Fields will pop up where you can name, describe, and link the object to a URL (and enter text for the contents of a Note). Try it out and pass notes to your friends (GIVE notename TO membername)!

If TAPPED IN objects still have you down, then come to a Monday 4-5 pm (PST) practice session or contact us


[4] Log Your TAPPED IN Meetings

We've created a new tape recorder object for logging on-line conversations. Now you can record what everyone in your meeting said and refer back to it later or share the transcript with people who weren't able to attend. This object is especially useful for TAPestry users, since TAPestry doesn't have a logging feature like some other text interfaces (gMUD, MUDDweller, etc.). Simply get a Tape Recorder object (see [3] above) and LOOK at it for more information.

If you still have questions, come to a Monday 4-5 pm (PST) practice session or contact us.


[5] Activity Survey Results and T-shirt Winner

In August we asked you to fill out a survey to help us identify the kinds of on-line activities you would be interested in participating in. Thanks all of those who responded. To summarize what we learned from your surveys:

43% of those who responded were teachers
7% were staff developers
20% were researchers,
30% were "other" which included principals, technology specialists, and staff at our partner organizations.

The activities that received the highest level of interest were:

- a library of web resources organized by grade and subject
- a live "real person" web librarian to help teachers find resources
- talks where teachers share classroom experiences
- website tours hosted by teachers or researchers on different topics
- doing online projects with teachers and students

We are hard at work planning these new activities and services. One new activity, called After School Online (ASO), is a special discussion series BY and FOR teachers (see above item [1]). The Student Activity Center (see above item [2]) is a place for teachers and students to collaborate. If you have other ideas for activities, contact us.

.....And the winner of the TAPPED IN T-shirt is ... MISSY PARKER!

Missy Parker is a Middle School Science Teacher who teacher Life Science, Physical Science and Environmental Science at a private school, Capitol Hill Day School, in Washington DC.

Congratulations MISSY!


[6] Self-Guided TAPPED IN WebTour

Do you have friends who might be interested in joining TAPPED IN? No time to take them on a tour yourself? Send them to TAPPED IN and tell them to click on WebTour (under step 1) for a more complete introduction to TAPPED IN. There, they can find out all they want to know about TAPPED IN without logging in. Or tell them to contact us.


[7] Announcing K-8 Math/Science Teacher Workshops

UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science, one of the nationís leading science curriculum development and teacher professional development organizations, is pleased to announce two upcoming K-8 teacher workshops (both are face-to-face, not on-line).

-GEM'S Associate's Workshop at the Lawrence Hall of Science November 4-6, 1997 (Tues-Thurs) and March 3-5, 1998 (Tues-Thurs)

-GEMS 3 Day Leader's Workshop at the Lawrence Hall of Science January 14-16, 1998 (Wed-Fri)

GEMS or Great Explorations in Math and Science is a leading resource for the advancement of activity-based science and mathematics worldwide. GEMS units use accessible everyday materials and are designed for successful presentation by teachers who may not have special background in math or science. Experience with GEMS is useful but not required for attendance. Participants will receive all 6 gems handbooks and ten gems teacher's guide of your choice! For more information or an application form for either workshop contact GEMS Workshop Administrator Terry Cort at (510) 643-0672 or reach her by email: tcort@uclink4.berkeley.edu. Also see their Website: http://www.lhs.berkeley.edu/GEMS/GEMS.html


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