Tapped In Newsletter: December 1998

********** ...ON THE TAPIS **********
Issue # 14 December, 1998

.ON THE TAPIS is a monthly letter with updates on TAPPED IN and related events. Check out our website to learn more.

***Please update us if your email address changes.***

Quote of the Month:

For the most part, one is not aware of one's culture. People, having grown up in a particular culture, believe that that's just the way the world is.

"Teachers, Culture, and Power", an interview with Lisa Delpit, 1992 in:
Rethinking Schools, 1995

[1] Happy Holidays from the TAPPED IN staff
[2] Member Perspectives
[3] Alternate routes to TAPPED IN
[4] Password Amnesia?
[5] ThinkQuest, ThinkQuest Junior, TeacherQuest
[6] The TAPPED IN Web Site

[1] Happy Holidays from the TAPPED IN staff
As the year winds down and 1999 approaches, we reflect on the past year, and realize that we have much for which we are grateful. TAPPED IN has grown (our membership has quadrupled this past year) and changed a great deal. Each of our members brings talent or knowledge that makes the community more aware of issues, more diverse and more special.

We want to say many thanks to each and every one of you for helping make 1998 such a success. Because of all of you, we're able to continue to expand and improve what we offer. In the coming year, look for faster service from a new Sun server, a new look to our interface, and new tools and services. We'll be open 24/7 over the Holiday Break, but staff will be in and out and there will be no After School Onlines (12/21-1/12). If you need assistance or have a question and don't find anyone online to help you, contact us.

Have a great Holiday and we'll see you online in 1999!

[2] Member Perspectives
BJ Berquist is an art teacher at the Loysville Youth Development Center, a residential male juvenile correctional facility in central Pennsylvania. BJ became a member on February 7, 1998, and has become a valuable member and leader of the community. She was involved in the planning of the Civil Rights Forum held in May, 1998 and has led discussions on Sensory Literacy. BJ, when she's not in her Enchanted Forest virtual office, often takes on the role of official greeter in Reception. She can answer questions about how to do things in TAPPED IN and about what activities are going on. If you would like to meet her, she is frequently online between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific (5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern). BJ, who lives in a real life Enchanted Forest, has been married 31 years to a terrific guy named Tom, has two grown children, a son-in-law (who is also a TAPPED IN member), 7 cats, 2 dogs, 2 fish, 4 frogs, and a sucker-fish.

BJ's Perspective
I became involved with TAPPED IN in a rather serendipitous way. A professor at the University of Indianapolis, Dr. Greta Pennell, had put a notice on the Teachers Helping Teachers bulletin board asking for people to work with her Ed Psych class. I responded to her request and had my art classes answer questions from Greta's students. One of the lessons Greta had for her students was a treasure hunt at TI. I followed the lesson out of curiosity and stumbled into the warm and welcoming arms of some of the most supportive and helpful people I have ever worked with!

I am by no means techno savvy. I enjoy using the computer and can navigate fairly well. If I run into a problem, I either bluff my way through it by trial and error, or I holler for help. I mention this because I think many people hesitate to become involved in an organization like TI, which was, after all, started with a grant from NSF to support science and technology programs. I am an art teacher in a male juvenile correctional facility. I'm interested in just about everything, but am a true jack of all trades, master of none! And in spite of this I have met and interacted with some marvelous people from diverse disciplines. The Civil Rights Forum gave me the opportunity to not only work with social studies teachers from across the country, but also encouraged me to work closely with the social studies teacher at my own school. This professional interaction has continued and I now have a colleague with whom I enjoy sharing successes and failures.

The staff at TI have also become colleagues and dear friends. When I presented an After School Online on Sensory Literacy, everyone was kind and patient in guiding me through the nuts and bolts of the process and supported my ideas. Any questions are quickly answered, problems are discussed, suggestions are given, and (my favorite) hugs of encouragement are frequently administered. Why do I use TAPPED IN? For all of the above reasons and more. It provides me with an opportunity to share, to learn, and to see the world through other's eyes. Visit the member perspectives page to read BJ's perspective online.

[3] Alternate routes to TAPPED IN - by Judi Fusco
This article will be especially helpful to you if you sometimes have difficulty connecting to TAPPED IN with our Java applet TAPestry, or if you find that your TAPestry connection is slow.

A little background:
TAPestry is a Java applet that gives you easy access to TAPPED IN because you don't have to install anything on your machine--just click the "Connect via TAPestry" button when you login and the Java applet downloads and sets everything up for you. TAPestry is a great way to try out TAPPED IN, and use it as long as you have no problems. But if you ever experience difficulty connecting using it, we recommend you check out the alternative applications.

TAPestry can have problems when your computer's Web connection to the TAPPED IN server is slow, (e.g. if you are dialed in over a modem or if Internet traffic is heavy.) Problems can also occur if there is any problem with the download of the Java applet and this can happen if too many users are trying to connect at the same time. Each time you login using TAPestry you are actually downloading the Java applet--thus each time there's a chance for something to go wrong.

See our Help page for software information. You can download "client software" for Macintosh, Windows 3.1 or Windows 95/98. Instructions for downloading and configuring the software are available from that Web page. All applications listed are easy to make work on your machine, take up very little disk space, need very little RAM to run, and should download quickly. If you have any problems or questions about the applications after you download them, email us.

If you are using America Online and are having problems connecting to TAPPED IN, see our Help page.

Best of both worlds
You can still use our Web window while using a text client. After logging in with the client, go to our Web site and click on Member Loin, enter your user name and password and click on Open a Web Window, and voile! It looks just like the connection you get when you use TAPestry.

[4] Password Amnesia? by Patti Schank
Forget your password? Use our new Automatic Password Requester at any time to get another one! Here's how:

1. Go to the Member Loin Page and click on the link that says "Forget your password?" next to where you enter your password to log in. 2. On the next form that you see, type in your user name (or part of your name) and click "Search", and the Password Requester will attempt to locate your account. If one or more accounts are found, you will be asked to select yours from the list of matches.

3. Click on "Request New Password" and a new password validation message will be sent to your account's registered email address within 10 minutes. We do this as a security measure, to confirm that the request was actually made by you.

4. To verify and execute the request, simply reply to the email without changing the subject line. Once your reply is received by us, your new password will be emailed to you. If you do not reply, your password will not be changed.

Once you have your password, you can change it at any time: Just log in and type PASSWORD. The system will prompt you for your current and new password.

Problems? If you request a new password but do not receive an email message confirming it, email us and we'll help! It may be that your registered email address is wrong (in which case we'll update it with the email address you tell us is correct).

[5] ThinkQuest, ThinkQuest Jr, TeacherQuest - by Hulda Nystrom

On December 1, two members of the EgyptWorld ThinkQuest team were special guests at an After School Online session. These 2 students, one from Germany and one from Texas (plus their other teammate in California), each won a $20,000 college scholarship for winning the Best Design award. Their coaches each won a couple thousand dollars, as did their schools.

ThinkQuest Junior for grades 4-6 began last year and is for the U.S. only. This year yet another new Web design contest has been launched: ThinkQuest for Tomorrow's Teachers (which I call TeacherQuest). Find out more about all of them at http://www.thinkquest.org

We plan to have After School Online sessions with other TQ students, coaches and staff in the coming months, so stay tuned! (logged in?)

[6] The TAPPED IN Web Site - by Judi Fusco
The TAPPED IN homepage has links to many helpful web pages, and new features. If you need some help in learning to use TAPPED IN, check out our help guides. The help guides tell you more than just how to "use the technology." There are helpful hints on how to lead online meetings and have successful conversations. There are discussion areas on the website where you can browse postings or post your own comments or announcements about Educational resources or grants.

Read the newsletter or browse past issues of the newsletter online. You can even make comments about the newsletter online. Visit the Events Calendar to see what activities the community is hosting. There's also a link to the new Password Requester on our home page.


Postings of all ...ON THE TAPIS issues are available online. Contact us if you have any questions about your subscription, login name or password, or if you have any news items that you want to share with the community for ...ON THE TAPIS.