Tapped In Newsletter: July 1999

********** ...ON THE TAPIS **********
Issue #21 July, 1999

...ON THE TAPIS is a monthly newsletter 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:
"Sometimes you gotta create what you want to be a part of" - Geri Weitzman
[1] Welcome New Members and New Partners!
[2] Quick Orientation for new members.
[3] Summer Carnival Report
[4] Meet HunterG and ChuckM
[5] ****New TAPPED IN Guide online****
[6] How do you get your picture in TAPPED IN?
[7] A Change in Login Watcher
[8] About ...On the TAPIS

[1] Welcome new members and new partners!

This summer has been a busy (and fun) one so far. TAPPED IN staff want to welcome new members from NECC, the Teach the Teachers workshop, new Pepperdine University Graduate students, American Association of School Librarian members, this summer's Tier 2 participants, and anyone else who is new. The community is growing very quickly right now. We are now over 4800 members (we hit 4,000 in June)!

We also want to welcome our two new partner organizations ICONnect and Schwab Foundation for Learning.

ICONnect, an initiative of the American Association of School Librarians, and supports school library media specialists as they assume leadership positions in the use of the Internet in the school community. See http://www.ala.org/ICONN/ for more information.

Schwab Foundation for Learning seeks to raise awareness about learning differences and equips parents, teachers, and other professionals with the resources they need to improve the lives of students with learning differences. See http://www.schwablearning.org/ for more information.

[2] Quick Orientation for new members
We know that when you first join TAPPED IN, you might be a little confused about finding information and learning your way around. We're a big place, have lots of activities and rooms, but we're also a friendly community. The easiest way to find anything out about TAPPED IN is to log in and ask. Our online environment is a safe place--it's ok to talk to strangers, it's encouraged even. We have staff and volunteers online Monday through Friday approximately 8am-7pm Pacific to help you.

Attending any of our After School Online sessions is always a good way to get to know different experts in the community. Every month we email you the latest discussion schedule.

Our mailing list, MEETME, is a place where you can ask questions, find out for more information about events, meet colleagues, and learn about resources. MEETME is something we invite all members to join--we don't automatically subscribe you to the mailing list.

[3] Summer Carnival Report
July 14, 1999 was our first Summer Carnival in TAPPED IN. Erik Wilson, a scientist from the University of California San Francisco, organized the "learning while playing day." We had 10 wonderful sessions and approximately 115 members and 80 guests participated in different events during the day. If you weren't able to make it to the Summer Carnival and would like a transcript of a session, log in and get one from the Archives.

Transcripts are archived in the ASO room. To get one, log into TAPPED IN and go to the ASO room. If you are using the web interface (TAPestry or the webwindow), look under the "What is here" tab. There are many transcript archive containers. The summer carnival is archived in the one called Summer Carnival 99. In the webwindow just click on the Summer Carnival 99 container, and then click on the link of the session you want. If you need help just ask when you are logged in and we'll help you get whatever session you need.

s [4] Meet HunterG and ChuckM
As the new lad on the virtual street, I should introduce myself. I am a former social studies teacher who just completed an MEd. in school counseling. My trusty vehicle and I just made the 3273 mile trip (not that I counted the miles) from Amherst, Mass. to Palo Alto, CA. I am now interning for TAPPED IN this summer and will begin graduate school at Stanford's School of Education this fall. In addition to the TAPPED IN regulars, I am working with Chuck Merritt who is on a fellowship from the IISME (Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Educators) Program. Chuck is a some-time Spanish teacher and some-time administrator for the Palo Alto Unified School District. He is a full-time TAPPED IN enthusiast. Both Chuck and I will be working over the summer to update parts of the TAPPED IN website and develop new content for K-12 teachers. Keep your eye out for new information.

I wanted to solicit your thoughts on what could make TAPPED IN a better environment (what would help you learn it faster, what tricks do wish you could perform, what would you like to see more of? etc.) If you have ideas, please email us. Thanks for your input. See you online...

[5] New TAPPED IN HelpGuide Online
Over the past several months, we've been developing a new HelpGuide for members to use. Our new guide is available from our home page.

[6] How do you get your picture in TAPPED IN?
You may have noticed that some people have pictures of themselves beside their names (in the web window). Any member can attach an icon to their character. To do so, you need to get a picture of yourself digitized and onto a web server somewhere. Pictures that are turned into 32x32 pixel gif icons look best.

Once you have a 32x32 gif on a web server that you want to attach to your character, log in and type: icon me is "http://the-url-of-the-icon.gif"

You can attach custom icons to all object types in TAPPED IN. Just type:
icon object is "http://the-url-of-the-icon.gif"

Make sure you put quotes around the URL of the picture, and that the URL is the actual URL of the image (.gif), and not the page (.html) that it is on.

7] A change in Login Watcher
Some of you may know about Login Watcher, a TAPPED IN feature that allows you to monitor when members and guests connect and disconnect. It's very handy if you are leading a small session and want to be alerted to when members of your group arrive. However, we've recently had a lot of trainings, and Login Watcher became very "noisy." Getting notified when 20-50 people log in or out can make a conversation impossible to follow. Login Watcher used to be ON by default. We've now turned it OFF by default. If you miss being notified when people log in or log out, type HELP LOGINS next time you are online and learn how to turn it on.

[8] About ...On the TAPIS
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.