Tapped In Newsletter: May 2007

...On the Tapis
May 2007
Issue 114

In This Issue

[1] Member Perspective: Leo LaBarge
[2] Tapped In at NECC: Are you going?
[3] Tips and Comments from the Experts
[4] News Nuggets
[5] Tapped In Technology Tips
[6] About ...On the Tapis

Quote of the Month - "One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team." - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA Center

[1] Member Perspective: Leo LaBarge

Aside from being a chronically underemployed jazz drummer, Leo LaBarge is a social studies and life skills teacher at Willowglen Academy in Andover, N.J. He has been a member of Tapped In since 2003. This is his second perspective and is a follow-up to the February 2005 issue. Leo's growth as an online presenter is reflected in this update.

Leo's Perspective

I've been a working musician since 1979. Along about 2000 or so, I decided I was getting tired of starving, and thought I could try substitute teaching. I did, and found that I really liked it, and was moderately successful in a classroom. Teaching, (in my mind at least), is a lot like performing music. There is sheet music of sorts, an audience, and room for improvisation. The advantages are there no smoking (usually), no club owners, and you know when you're getting through to the audience because they can tell you what you said. So, at the age of 41, I went back to college and enrolled in a teacher education course. In 2002, while still in college, I started teaching Reading, Language Arts, and Religion in a small Catholic school. Since 2006 I've been teaching Social Studies and Life Skills in a school for emotionally disturbed adolescents in northwestern New Jersey. In 2003 I had been referred to Tapped In by my college professor, so I came here and registered. Since that time, I've been able to participate in online discussions, the Tapped In festivals, met some very interesting people from all over the world, found support and guidance in my educational career, and have managed to turn some colleagues on to the features and accommodations here. In the past ten months I and my colleague Lora Bobrowski have been able to co-lead a monthly discussion about various applications of music to more "academic" subject areas. We call this discussion "Music Across the Curriculum" and it's been pretty successful.

Read both of Leo's Perspectives online.

[2] Tapped In at NECC: Are you going?

Are you going to the National Education Computing Conference in Atlanta (June 23-27, 2007)? Would you like to meet up with other Tapped In members? Want to attend a session hosted by Tapped In members? (see below) Are you leading a session you'd like us to announce? Would you like to report your experiences back to the Tapped In community?

If you are interested in any of these activities or have other ideas, send an email to Tapped In Director Mark Schlager (MarkS mark dot schlager at sri dot com). Mark will be wandering the sessions and exhibit hall this year. If you are one of the first 5 people to find him, you will receive a free "Tapped In Classic" 10-year anniversary T-shirt!* (*Fine print: relatives, SRI employees, and personal friends excluded.)

Among the presenters this year are Tapped In members David Weksler, Jeff Cooper, and Katherine Hayden.

Jeff and David are hosting a workshop "Online Collaboration: Transforming Curriculum Through Technology Beyond NCLB" on Saturday, 6/23/07, 8:30am–3:30pm. This workshop offers sustained online professional development and support (before, during, and after the workshop), collaboration between members, virtual K-12 classrooms, and inspiring techniques for motivating students.

Katherine is leading a bring-your-own-laptop session "Free Tools and Resources to Support Online Learning and Collaboration" on Tuesday, 6/26/07, 2pm-3pm. Tapped In provides flexibility for anywhere, anytime learning. This free interactive environment allows opportunities for engaging virtual activities for secondary and college online learners.

[3]Tips and Comments from the Experts

After forwarding TI member Danika Brown a comment from one of her online students Danika responded with this information: "For that class, I required all students to participate in at least one online professional development opportunity at tapped in. Most of them are teachers in training. They all reported gaining a lot out of the experience and were often more excited about the content than their limited interactions (based on transcripts) might have let on. Thanks for always having such terrific stuff for me to utilize in my courses!"
Thanks. I just learned about this site at the TIE conference and thought I would give it a try. The lady that spoke at the conference told us that there are tours but I can't remember where to go. I can't remember her name but she is a middle school teacher from Rapid City and I believe that she said that she helps in the help desk. After a bit of sleuthing in the member directory, we'd like to give a big Tapped In thank you to Sherry Crofut for her workshop presentation!
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 the How You Use TI link.

[4] News Nuggets

Webheads In Action announces the Webheads in Action Online Convergence, May 18-20. WiA volunteers will be in TI during this time to help participants access events in the various venues in which the conference will take place. Several discussions during the event will be hosted in TI.
TI members Ross Perkins, Debra Sprague, Glen Bull, Christine Jager, and Camilla Gagliolo have written or contributed to articles in the May 2007 issue of Learning & Leading with Technology.
TI members Craig Roland and Pam Stephens have articles in the May/June 2007 issue of SchoolArts Magazine.
Do you have a News Nugget about yourself or another member of the Tapped In Community? Send your News Nugget to BJ Berquist at bjb@tappedin.org.

[5] Tapped In Technology Tip

10 steps to having a successful discussion in Tapped In
This information is posted under notes in most of the public conference rooms in Tapped In (Reception, ASO, Cafe, Tree House, Comfy). If you are new to Tapped In and online real time text chats, taking or teaching an online course that requires students to attend calendar events, plan on participating in Tapped In Festival 2007, or just want to refresh your memory on how to get the most out of your Tapped In participation, please take a few moments to read over this list:

1. DETACH your chat window.
To DETACH your chat window and make it larger and easier to read, click on the ACTIONS drop down menu in the upper right of the chat window and scroll all the way down to DETACH.

2. Use the PRIVATE MESSAGE to greet and talk to friends.
When a friend enters the room and you want to greet them or ask them a question, double click on their name under the HERE tab to the left of the chat window. This will open a new small window. Enter your comments in the bottom of the window and press return on your keyboard. This message is PRIVATE and will only be seen by the person you send it to. This avoids a lot of distracting off-topic chat in the main chat window.

3. Use the PRIVATE MESSAGE to ask for help.
If you have any questions about Tapped In or how to do something, send a PRIVATE MESSAGE to the discussion moderator (usually the person who introduces the discussion leader and asks people to introduce themselves). To send a private message double click on their name under the HERE tab to the left of the chat window. This will open a new small window. Enter your comments in the bottom of the window and press return on your keyboard. This message is PRIVATE and will only be seen by the person you send it to. This avoids a lot of distracting off-topic chat in the main chat window.

4. Give a brief introduction.
If the moderator calls for introductions, give your discipline, grade, and location.

5. LISTEN to what the Moderator has to say.
The Moderator offers tips on participation, introduces the Discussion Leader and sets the ground rules for the discussion.

6. LISTEN to what the Discussion Leader has to say.
Before you ask any questions or make any comments, give the Discussion Leader the courtesy of your attention. You will then be prepared to contribute to the dialogue in an informed way.

7. Click on a hyperlinked URL to open a webpage.
When the discussion Leader shows a URL it is hyperlinked. When you click on the hyperlink, a new webpage will open for you. You can open the page, look at it, and then close it if you wish. Do not minimize.

8. WAIT for the discussion Leader to ask for questions
Eager audiences are a joy for any Discussion Leader, but questions that are blurted out take the discussion off topic. Because of the limited time for each discussion, wait for the Discussion Leader to ask for questions.

9. Use the PASTEBOARD to view unmoving chat text
During many discussions the chat scrolls very quickly and it is easy to lose the thread of the discussion. To view a section of the dialogue without having it scroll, click on the ACTIONS drop down menu and scroll down to SEND TO PASTEBOARD. This will put the section of dialogue on a new non-scrolling window. When you have caught up, close the pasteboard window.

10. Members receive an emailed TRANSCRIPT.
If you are a member of TI, when you are finished with the discussion and log out, a transcript of the discussion that took place while you were logged in will be sent to you at your Tapped In registered email address. The transcript will include all chat text, all text from private messages, and any URLs that have been shown.

[6] About ...On the Tapis

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