Tapped In Newsletter: June 2006

...On the Tapis
June 2006
Issue 103

In This Issue

[1] Member Perspective: Jeff Cooper
[2] Tapped In Festival 2006
[3] Tapped In Member Blogs
[4] Tapped In Technology Tip
[5] Tips and Comments from the Experts
[6] Mentoring at the University Level
[7] About ...On the Tapis

Quote of the Month - "If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people." - Chinese proverb

[1] Member Perspective: Jeff Cooper

Jeff started his career in education in 1990, teaching English at Jefferson High School in Daly City, CA. His teaching experience has been almost exclusively at inner city schools, including four years at Richmond High School (of Coach Carter fame). It was at RHS in 1997 where, armed with one 386 computer with a shell connection to the Net, Jeff helped his students become published through the Newsday project and listserv.

Jeff's Perspective
I was one of the first members of the original Tapped In in 1997. At the time, I would connect to a multitude of educational moos through my 386 using a telnet client named "tinyfugue" which allowed me to multitask even though the computer didn't have windows. Although the connection was text only, I was able to accomplish quite a bit. As time went on, I began helping other users learn how to navigate, volunteering on Helpdesk as Tapped In created one of the first web interfaces for a MUVE (Multi-User Virtual Environment). I saw then, and believe now, in the collaborative possibilities of Tapped In as a way for educators to support each other worldwide, far beyond the typical one day professional development meetings.

Read all of Jeff's Perspective.

[2] Tapped In Festival 2006

It's party time again in Tapped In! This year's festival theme is "Sustaining Professional Development Online." Join us on July 19, from 8am-8pm PDT for a series of events chosen to help educators become engaged in and sustain lifelong learning. Keynote speakers Midge Frazel and Will Richardson will open the Festival. Dianne Allen will close the festival with a challenge to participants on how participation at Tapped In can be extended to provide value-added inputs (reflective structures) for professional development that may be accredited by schools, districts or other agencies. Keep an eye on the Festival webpage to see the latest schedule!

NECC in Tapped In - by Jeff Cooper
Jeff Cooper's National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) Workshop is scheduled for July 5th from 8-11am PDT. There will be a videoconferencing room and Jeff is trying to set up a multiple bridged hookup with the Northwest Regional Education Service District (NWRESD), as well as from workshop participant schools and universities. Jeff will also be starting the workshop the week of June 12 via Tapped In. Participants will be invited to register in advance, so that when the actual workshop takes place we will be far advanced, rather than just having the typical one-day staff development workshop. As Jeff states in his perspective, "After all, staff development and support doesn't really happen and sustain in just a couple of hours, does it?"

An additional hope is that TI members participating in or doing workshops at NECC keep Tapped In running and people informed of NECC activities.

Certificates of Participation
Once again, Tapped In is offering Certificates of Participation to any TI member or guest who participates in a minimum of three Festival events. One event may include a pre-Festival Tour (check the calendar for Tips and Tricks) or Jeff Cooper's pre-NECC activity. Certificates may be used to document participation in the Festival. Individual school districts or educational institutions will determine if the certificates will be accepted for professional development credit. (See Tech Tips for more information about certificates.)

[3]Tapped In Member Blogs

Tapped In has created a new web page to share links to our members' blogs. If you have a blog that you would like to share with the Tapped In community, send us your blog's url and we will add it to our growing blog list.

Also, be sure to add your blog to the EduSources room in Tapped In. You can find your way to the EduSources room in the Featured Passageways note in our Reception room. Once you are in the EduSources room, click on the "i" icon in the Welcome note and then click the "Join this Group" link to become part of the group so that you can add a link to your blog. After you have joined the group, click on "Room View" so you can see the room again. Then click on the Blogs folder in the Featured Items section and click on "Add Link."

[4] Tapped In Technology Tip

TI Festival Certificates of Participation
At the end of each Tapped In Festival event a code word will be given. That code will be entered on the electronic sign-in form along with participant information needed for the certificate. At the end of the Festival all sign-in forms will be tabulated and certificates will be issued to all participants of three or more festival events. Because the Tapped In team wants all festival participants to get the most out of the festival events, you are encouraged to participate in a pre-festival tour. One pre-festival tour may be included in the minimum three events.

[5] Tips and Comments from the Experts

TeresaMC: Hi, BjB...I wanted to share a little serendipitous moment with you and thank you for being a part of it. I recently had my first-ever piece published and I was quite excited. Today, in an unrelated venture, I was investigating Tapped In, and lo and behold, I find your comment on...my little piece, "Rainsong" in the e-Voice! [e-Voice is the electronic newsletter for the National Writing Project] So, thank you for making my day! One of those "teachable moments" where I learned more than the student. And thank you for your kind words.
TI discussion leader and member Lynne Wolters writes: Based upon your reply to my concerns, I will not filter resources to make available to the TI community other than for appropriateness and quality. I will also take you up on the suggestion to lend my energies and support to Dianne Allen and those working with her on the Certificates of Participation group. Thank you for your thoughtful and reflective response. I have a heart-felt connection to TI and all the folks who keep it working for our community of learners.
If you have a comment or experience to share with the Tapped In community, please submit the information to BJ Berquist at bjb@tappedin.org or post to How You Use TI.

[6] Mentoring at the University Level - by David Weber

It's been reported that roughly 50% of beginning teachers leave the profession within the first five years and that, in general, the best ones leave the earliest. While factors such as lack of respect, low salaries, teaching out of field and a lack of resources contribute greatly, new teachers also require a great deal of support. Solutions such as mentoring, professional development and induction programs have been implemented in an effort to increase the support we offer to our new teachers. One of the institutions that is seldom consulted is the university, the place where most of us learned to teach.

One of our Tapped In members, David Weber, is trying to establish whether or not there is a theoretical basis for university involvement in supporting beginning teachers as part of his PhD at McGill University in Canada. He has put together an online survey that he hopes educators (new, experienced, university faculty, etc.) will fill out pertaining to their experiences and thoughts on mentoring. The survey will only take ten minutes and your anonymity is guaranteed. There is no need to log in to the site or provide an e-mail address of any kind (unless you want a summary of his results). You will not be contacted in any way afterwards, unless you want to receive the results summary. So, if you have been mentored by a university faculty member or an experienced teacher, or you have been a mentor (university faculty included), or if you just have thoughts on how we can best support our new teachers, please take ten minutes and fill in the survey. Your responses will help shape the support that we offer those new to our profession. Thank you very much.

[7] About ...On the Tapis

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