Tapped in Newsletter: October 1999

October, 1999
Issue 23

In This Issue

[1] Having trouble logging in to TAPPED IN? Information you MUST have!
[2] Middle School Math Teachers--Brush up on Proportions
[3] White Papers on Technology Issues for Educators
[4] Getting Students TAPPED IN Part 2
[5] Technology Tips
[6] ED's Oasis MasterSearch Contest
[7] Schwab Foundation for Learning
[8] Alternative/Correctional Ed Discussion Group - NEW!
[9] Help Sustain TAPPED IN
[10] About ...On the TAPIS

Quote of the Month:
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." - Navajo Proverb*

[1] Having trouble logging in to TAPPED IN?
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 to use as a member as long as you have no problems. If you ever experience difficulty connecting using it, please check out the alternative applications.

TAPestry can have problems if you mistype your password, or if 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. If you ever fail to connect with TAPestry, a restart of your computer is often necessary to resolve the problem.


Alternatives to TAPestry are available at http://www.tappedin.org/info/software.html. Here 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. These will get you on all of the time--when you are taking or teaching a class online it is essential to have these as a backup. All applications listed 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, you can get more information from our Help page.

Best of both worlds

You don't like just text, no problem! 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 Login, enter your user name and password and click on Open a Web Window, and voila! It looks just like the connection you get when you use TAPestry (one difference is that you don't get webpage projections).

[2] Middle School Math Teachers--Brush up on Proportions
Join the Middle School Math Project on Tuesday afternoons at 4 pm (pacific) October 19th-November 16th for Brush up on Proportions. This seminar is designed to

--deepen your own understanding of proportional reasoning, which is a central theme in middle school.
--develop your own mathematical practices.

Though this is a continuing seminar, drop ins are welcome!

[3] White Papers on Technology Issues for Educators
How are new information and communication technologies changing schools? As part of a Spring, 1999 online Masters course, CTER: Curriculum, Technology, and Educational Reform, offered at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign, seven teams of teachers and other K-12 personnel developed a set of white papers to address the issues of Access; Credibility and Web Evaluation; Free Speech vs. Censorship; Privacy; Commercialism; Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Plagiarism; and Computer Crime and Technology Misuse. An overview of these issues, written by and for educators is available at http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/wp/

[4] Getting Students TAPPED IN Part 2, by Chuck Merritt
As a member that has used TAPPED IN with my students, I recommend that you explore the Student Activities Center. There are a variety of meeting spaces there, including a large group Auditorium and the Studios for small group interaction. We can help you with other rooms to provide appropriate resources for your classes.

Another place to check out is the Exhibit Hall in the Student Activities Center. The Project-Based Learning link takes you to the PBL Web Ring. The Elementary and Secondary student projects links are for viewing projects or for posting your own (ask us if you need help!) I hope you will post your students projects; it will be a wonderful way for us to share with each other.

Using the TAPPED IN Student Activities Center with your students can be beneficial to both them and you.

[5] Technology Tips
Using the Mood Command: Ever want to let others know that you might be away from your keyboard (afk) for a few minutes? Or maybe you are working on 300 jobs at once (multi-tasking) and want to let others know that you may not respond to their comments immediately! These labels are called a 'mood' and you can set them by typing MOOD label and hitting return. If you type MOOD AFK, there will be an AFK label next to your membername. To UN-SET the Mood, type the word MOOD (with nothing after it) and hit return. (Type LOOK ME to see your mood.)

Here's a tip for Meeting Leaders: Ever wait in your office and wonder if the participants of your meeting are going to show up? Maybe they have already logged in and are waiting for you in reception! In your text window type HELP LOGIN-WATCHER to learn how to set your machine to let you know when everyone or just a select group of people logs in to TAPPED IN.

[6] ED's Oasis MasterSearch Contest
Entries are still being accepted in the ED's Oasis MasterSearch contest. Read all about the contest at ttp://www.edsoasis.org/TGuild/MasterSearch.html. The contest is sponsored by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Each winner will receive a year's membership. Entries must be received by November 1.

[7] Schwab Foundation for Learning
October is Learning Disabilities Month. Schwab Foundation for Learning, a nonprofit foundation, provides information and resources for all parents, caregivers and educators who are making a difference in the lives of kids who struggle with learning. The site offers FREE publications on learning disabilities, along with an Information Desk that answers individual questions from readers. Take advantage of these free resources in the month of October and all school year!

[8] Alternative/Correctional Ed Discussion Group

A new community begins Thursday, Oct. 28th. This new discussion group is being formed by BJ Berquist and Dave Fish. Together they have over thirty years in Alternative and Correctional Education. BJ and Dave identified some pressing issues facing teachers in alternative and correctional education. Isolation, funding emerging technologies and special needs of this "forgotten population" will be examined over the next few months. BJ and Dave envision this group as inquiry driven by those that come into the community and participate in its planning and development. The first meeting will be a get-to-know each other and will examine the Pueblo paper Children, MUDs and Learning.

Be a charter member of this community or just come in and see how a new community of practice develops. Alternative and Correctional Education-Facts and Follies will meet from 5-6 pm PDT on the last Thursday of each month.

[9] Help Sustain TAPPED IN
In case we haven't met online, I'm the director of TAPPED IN. I would like to thank all those who have taken the time to complete the TAPPED IN survey. More importantly, I would like to ask those who have not to please do so at your earliest convenience. Let me tell you why 20 minutes of your time is so critically important....

TAPPED IN is FREE, and it will continue to be as long as we can demonstrate to our funders that we are providing a valuable service and resource to our 5800 member (and growing!) teacher community. We cannot provide that evidence without feedback from you, the members. We need ALL MEMBERS to fill out the survey, not just the frequent users or K-12 teachers. Even if you dislike TAPPED IN or have never logged in at all, PLEASE fill out the survey. (If you no longer wish to be a member, fill out the survey and then email me asking to terminate your membership.)

The survey is at http://www.tappedin.org/info/surveys/1999. Please fill out the entire survey (seven web pages) in one sitting(approx. 20 min). You cannot go back and fill out parts later.

If you prefer hard copy, download the pdf file, fill it out, and mail to Mark Schlager, TAPPED IN Director, 333 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park CA 94025, or fax it to me at (650) 859-3673. We can also send you a copy via email, fax, or snail mail; just let me know.

I regret resorting to public TV pledge-drive tactics, but if you derive value from TAPPED IN, consider the time it takes to fill out the survey as your financial contribution to TAPPED INs survival. Without the data we will not get new funding. Without funding, we cannot offer free access and services. Rather than requiring you to submit to interviews and questionnaires all year long, we ask once, and then we leave you alone. Is 20 minutes of your time, once a year too much to ask for FREE UNLIMITED access? And you could win a TAPPED IN T-shirt!

[10] 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.