Tapped In Newsletter: June 1999

********** ...ON THE TAPIS **********
Issue #20 June, 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:
"Listen or your tongue will keep you deaf." - Native American Proverb

[1] Member Perspective: A venue for teacher-scientist partnerships
[2] Workshop series: A Tool for Learning, a Tool to Learn
[3] Come to the TAPPED IN Summer Carnival! Help plan it!
[4] Cool Opportunity to learn more about Science
[5] Getting the most out of TAPPED IN sessions
[6] Other summer doings
[7] About ...On the TAPIS

[1] Member Perspective: Erik Wilson
Erik Wilson (ErikW) is a biochemist and a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Education at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He studies ways to use the Internet to support K-12 science teachers and works with the Science and Health Education Partnership (http://www.ucsf.edu/sep) at UCSF.
Erik's perspective:

For years when I saw opportunities for scientists to support science education, I said: "That's a great idea, someone should do it!" In 1996, while I was working as a biochemist at UCSF, my wife Terra and I learned that we were going to be parents and I started to think more about education. So when the Science and Health Education Partnership called for volunteers to join teacher-scientist partnerships, I said, "That's a great idea, I should do it!" It was a wonderful experience - helping with classroom experiments and helping teachers build a Web page to support the San Francisco school district's kit-based K-5 science curriculum.

In 1997 I applied for an NSF Fellowship for scientists who want to work in education. Someone at SEP pointed me in the direction of TAPPED IN, where I met Mark Schlager, who graciously agreed to be a mentor for my fellowship. He, Judi Fusco and Hulda Nystrom have been tremendously helpful as I've pursued my goals of finding ways to best use the Internet in support of science education.

I began hosting After School Online discussions: On "Cancer and Aging," which drew on my background as a biochemist; on the K-5 Science Web page that I helped put together as a SEP volunteer; on integrating LEGO blocks into the classroom; on "Holding Meetings in TAPPED IN;" and now I'm doing a series on "Scientists in the Classroom" and one called "Ask-a-Scientist in TAPPED IN" during my Helpdesk hours (Monday 12-2 p.m. PDT).

Jackie Menasco (JackieM) and I have teamed up in facilitating an ongoing K-8 Science Education Discussion Group. We've had many interesting discussions, especially with such guest speakers as Sue Jagoda (SueJ) of the Lawrence Hall of Science and Jack Hassard (JackH) of Georgia State University.
My future plans include assembling a guide for scientist involvement in TAPPED IN, holding a virtual Science Professional Development Institute and, my dream of dreams, using TAPPED IN as the venue for teacher-scientist partnerships across the country and around the world.

I look forward to working with the pioneers that all of us in TAPPED IN are, and using our experience to light the way for those who come after us.

Read all our member perspectives.

[2] A Tool for Learning, a Tool to Learn
You enter your classroom and find a computer. "Hallelujah!" you say. Turning it on, expecting to find content software titles, you find only word processing, spreadsheets, databases, drawing and painting. You ask about other software. "We used all of the money to purchase the computers" comes the response with a smile. What do you do?

You can take part in the series "A Tool for Learning, a Tool to Learn" during July and August hosted by Ivan Baugh, Adjunct Professor of Education at Bellarmine College in Lousiville, Kentucky! Learn how to apply the National Education Technology Standards developed by the International Society for Technology in Education, as well as Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning, in teaching your students using these tools. Share classroom tested strategies that span the curriculum through the use of a 21st century pencil. And learn how to integrate more than one of these programs in one document.

Watch for the dates in the After School Online schedule the end of this month and next!

[3] Come to the TAPPED IN Summer Carnival! Help plan it!
Following the example of our successful first annual Open House last Fall, TAPPED IN staff, HelpDesk volunteers and other members are putting on our first annual summer carnival on July 14 (date tentative). This will be a day to celebrate and reflect on the past year in TAPPED IN, and to forge ties for future collaborations. Events brainstormed thus far include: * a virtual pet show * a contest for most amusing education-related Web sites * a TAPPED IN treasure hunt * group creation of a summer carnival Web page * member-led discussions * a history of TAPPED IN. Bring your ideas for the carnival to the planning session on Tuesday, June 22 * 2:30pm PDT/5:30pm EDT/9:30 GMT in the ASO auditorium!

[4] Cool Opportunity to learn more about Science
Performance Assessment Links in Science (PALS) is a project looking for a group of innovative educators to use the PALS resources at their schools and in their classrooms. PALS is an on-line, standards-based, interactive resource bank of science performance assessment tasks indexed via the National Science Education Standards (NSES). Best of all, it's FREE and available on-line at http://pals.sri.com. Researchers on the PALS project (at SRI) would like to work with some experienced TAPPED IN users to explore how this wonderful science education resource can be used in classrooms and for professional development of teachers. Look for more information on organizing this group in August as we prepare for school year 1999-2000! (Feel free to email us and let us know you are interested in the PALS group.)

[5] Getting the most out of TAPPED IN sessions
Have you ever led an After School Online and been disappointed at the turnout? That happened to me my first time out. And I know it's been the experience of others. A few months after my first venture hosting an ASO I started a summer fellowship at TAPPED IN and was tasked with scheduling them! During the year I've been scheduling sessions, I've gained a new perspective on ASOs, both as a part-time staff member and as a technology resource teacher in my district who endeavors to show her colleagues the value of TAPing INto this community.

TAPPED IN is a very personal, almost intimate environment. It's a "place" where you as a presenter can share a project, a lesson or a problem with others of similar and different circumstances and backgrounds, and get immediate feedback. It's a "place" where you as an attendee can find out from the virtual horse's mouth how successful practitioners have done projects you'd like to do, or masterfully applied methods you're struggling with. In sessions where there is a lot of sharing, it doesn't take 20-30 people. If there are ten people at your ASO session, it's a HUGE success. When there are 20 or 30 people in one room, it's either rather "noisy," or being moderated by at least two people, and those sessions lack the very nice interactions that can occur in smaller ASO sessions.

Finding audience As with many events that demand active participation rather than passive absorption, broadcast messages to mailing lists don't tend to draw in many people. Involving colleagues from your work site, inviting people in your subject area from the TAPPED IN membership and other organizations that you frequent, engaging students as co-presenters - these personal approaches are probably the most powerful ways of getting an audience for a TAPPED IN event.

As in Chinese cooking ...
Ninety percent of success lies in preparation - knowing how to
communicate and how to present in this environment, including getting the knack of the sound bite (or conversational) approach to "presenting," are the technical side of it. Structuring the "presentation" as a conversation, finding that balance between imparting information and dialoguing with others about it, is a trickier part of the process. And when multiple presenters are involved, even if from the same organization or network, agreeing on a structure to the session and meeting ahead of time to practice can make all the difference in what participants get out of it.

A TAPPED IN session is not, of course, the best means of exchange for every situation. But where distant partners are involved who do not have the budgets or the technology for face-to-face or telephone or video conferencing, but need a more collaborative give- and-take than mailing lists and newsgroups afford, TAPPED IN can be a brilliant solution!

I invite you to post your thoughts on how to get the most out of TAPPED IN sessions to our MEETME collaboration list.

[6] Other summer doings
* June 23-26 TAPPED IN at NECC
TAPPED IN, ED's Oasis, and Leadership and the New Technologies (LNT) will host a Birds of a Feather Wednesday, June 23, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the National Education Computing Conference in Atlantic City, NJ. Drop by if you're in the neighborhood!

* Ongoing throughout the summer:
"Teach the Teachers" workshops in reading, Art, History, Science and Math - for teachers in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, a collaboration of Vons/Pavillions and the L.A. County Office of Education. Share your TAPPED IN, technology and content area expertise with them if you "bump" into any!

* July 28 & August 11: Meet Your Colleagues Days
Drop by on these days and give a "TAPPED IN Welcome" to teachers taking part in Joint Venture Silicon Valley's Challenge 2000 Multimedia Project Tier 2 training!

[7] 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.