Tapped In Newsletter: January 1999

********** ...ON THE TAPIS **********
Issue #15 January, 1999

...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:
"'Community' is quite possibly the most over-used word in the Net industry. True community--the ability to connect with people who have similar interests--may well be the key to the digital world, but the term has been diluted and debased to describe the most tenuous connection, the most minimal interactivity." - Janelle Brown from There goes the neighborhood

[1] NEW! Help Desk in TAPPED IN
[2] A classroom collaboration project
[3] Member Perspectives
[4] If you would like to share your perspective
[5] A new way to get transcripts in TAPPED IN
[6] Online Activities in TAPPED IN
[7] About ...ON THE TAPIS

[1] NEW! Help Desk in TAPPED IN
To better serve you, we have created a Help Desk with staff to greet you and answer questions when you log in. Our website still has extensive help information on it, but sometimes you want the personal touch... so come meet our help desk helpers! BJ Berquist, Michael Hutchison, David Weksler, Diann Smothers, Erik Wilson, Courtney Glazer, Jackie Menasco. These helpers are members who are experts in TAPPED IN and all them have a lot of expertise outside of TAPPED IN in many different subject areas.

TAPPED IN would like to give a big thank you to the help desk volunteers!

[2] A classroom collaboration project by Hulda Nystrom
International water pollution collaboration and TAPPED IN - past and future

In December of 1998, a group of students at Edenvale Elementary in San Jose, California and from Dona Idalina Macedo Costa Sodre High School in Sao Paulo, Brazil culminated a year-long collaboration on a water pollution project with discussions in TAPPED IN. They learned how to monitor water quality of local bodies of water (a river in Brazil, the San Francisco Bay), studied works of artists and poets that promote cleaning up and protecting the water supply, and have created works of their own to the same end. The transcript of their meeting can be viewed at http://www.garlic.com/~lullah/brazilus2/lastchat.htm.

TAPPED IN members LindaU of Edenvale, TaniaC of Idalina and Hulda Nystrom, who facilitated the discussion, are interested in expanding this collaboration - as are the students - to more schools and countries. For more information about the Edenvale-Idalina water pollution project, see http://www.garlic.com/~lullah/brazilus/water.html
Watch for an After School Online session in February or March to discuss the collaboration its expansion. Contact LindaU or Hulda for further information.

[3] Member Perspective by Michael Hutchison
Michael Hutchison is a social studies teacher at Vincennes High School (http://www.vcsc.k12.in.us/lincoln/index.htm) in Indiana. Michael keeps very busy online and offline. Online, he's an active member in TAPPED IN, is part of ED's Oasis staff, frequently leads After School Online sessions, is part of the new Help Desk (see article 1), is co-editor of the Virtual Blackboard teacher resource site, and in the past has been a moderator/mentor/consultant for OnlineClass. He also won first place in the National Rikfin and Associates' 21st Century Teacher Contest in 1996 and 1997 and was a prize winner in the Compaq Lesson Plan Contest in 1998. No wonder he recently wrote an article for Global School House called "The Busy Teacher's Guide to Using Classroom Technology". On the personal side, Michael has been married for 20 years to his wife Suzie, a physical therapist, and is kept busy and on track by their two daughters Katie (18), a college freshman majoring in social studies education, and Molly (15) who attends Vincennes High School. The family cocker spaniel named Lady also keeps Michael busy.

Michael's perspective

Why I Like TAPPED IN...(or, why MOOing isn't just for cows)

I've used, and completely enjoyed TAPPED IN since January, 1998. When I started, I didn't have an idea that I would use it as often as I do, or that I would find it as important a resource as I do. Not only do I use it personally in order to interact with other educational professionals, but I've also used it as a classroom resource and have used it to have other teachers see the power of Internet connectivity. TAPPED IN has allowed me to be able to interact and know people not just locally, but nationwide and worldwide as well. For me, that makes TAPPED IN a great asset. I just wish more people in my school district utilized TAPPED IN, and one of my resolutions for 1999 is to use it more myself.

In a way, it's like an ensemble television show like the long-running show, M*A*S*H, for example. In that show, several people from varied backgrounds and geographic areas were brought together for one purpose, to work in a field hospital during the Korean War. Yet, in the middle of all of that, the characters not only saw each other as important professionally, they saw each other as important personally. They became a sort of informal family, and were just as close knit as if they were related by blood. In my experience, I've been able to participate professionally, but also been able to make many close friends through just being online in TAPPED IN.

In my own experience, I've been a host, or co-host, of several After School Online sessions, was a participant in the 1998 Civil Rights Forum, and have on several occasions, conducted office hours for ED's Oasis. All of this is a great professional experience for me, and I'm glad to be part of the TAPPED IN family!

Read all our member perspectives.

[4] Share your perspective
If you or a group you work with has done something interesting in TAPPED IN and would like to share it with the community then tell us your perspective! Email Judi for more information.

[5] A new way to get transcripts in TAPPED IN
There's a new way to get transcripts from your TAPPED IN log in sessions--the personal recorder. Here's how it works: The personal recorder will follow you from room to room, and record all conversation during a login session. When you log out, the recorder will automatically stop recording the current session, email you the transcript, and clear itself. When you log back in again, it will begin recording again automatically. The new recorder is nice because once you start recording with it, it will keep recording each time you log in. If you have the new recorder turned on, you never have to worry about forgetting to start your recorder. You get a transcript from each session automatically emailed to you and if you don't want that transcript, just delete it from your email.

If you own an "older" recorder (e.g., if you currently own a tape recorder), note that there are differences between the personal recorder and the older recorder. Please read the help file on the new recorder carefully. We recommend that you email the contents of your old recorder(s) to yourself (MAILME <recorder name>) and then recycle (type @recycle followed by the name of the recorder) your old recorder. If you ever have need for one of the older recorders (they have different features), then ask one of TAPPED IN staff how to get one.

[6] Online Activities in TAPPED IN
Special this month is a live discussion in TAPPED IN with Chris Dede. TAPPED IN will be hosting the Distance Learning Resource Network (DLRN) for some synchronous (chat) sessions. If you would like to learn more about the DLRN visit http://www.wested.org/tie/dlrn/. This online event will occur January 27th 5:30pm-7:00pm Pacific Time/8:30pm-10:00pm Eastern Time.
...And, don't forget that every month, we have After School Online Sessions that are open to the whole community. After School Online is a time for teachers to share their successes, compare notes on challenges and obstacles to good teaching and learning, and to learn about new ways of doing things. Ideas or feedback about the topics or the scheduling of discussions should go to Hulda.

[7] About ...ON THE TAPIS
Postings of all ...ON THE TAPIS issues are available on our 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.