Tapped In Newsletter: September 2007

...On the Tapis
September 2007
Issue 118

In This Issue

[1] New Tapped In Groups
[2] Are you an "oldie but goodie?"
[3] Tips and Comments from the Experts
[4] News Nuggets
[5] Tapped In Technology Tips
[6] About ...On the Tapis

Quote of the Month - "The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind - computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers. But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind - creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers. These people - artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers - will now reap society's richest rewards and share its greatest joys." - Dan Pink, A Whole New Mind

[1] New Tapped In Groups

As is becoming more and more evident, educators are learning that Tapped In is a community that is designed and populated by and for its members. Members are encouraged to make suggestions for additional features and events. One direct result from suggestions by TI members is the creation of the TI Presenters group. Because the pre-service teacher group is significant, and their contributions to the TI community via participation in calendar events is greatly valued, it was suggested that all instructors who teach pre-service classes be invited to join the TI Presenters group. If you are such an instructor, join this group to collaborate and benefit from the experiences of your colleagues.

Other suggestions for After School Online (ASO) topics made by TI members after the Tapped In festival were for more science and "just in time professional development" offering classroom applications that can be used the next day by the classroom teacher. It is with great pleasure and excitement that the TI team announces two new groups posting events on the monthly calendar.

The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA)
Meet Sharon Bowers in the Science Resource Room on October 2 (check the TI calendar) to travel to the new NIA group room. The NIA room is growing with quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) educational resources and opportunities.

The National Institute of Aerospace is dedicated to helping teachers use 21st century technology to engage students in learning about 21st century STEM topics. NIA is a non-profit research and graduate education institute located in Hampton, Virginia.

What kind of research goes on at NIA? Research that affects everyone's daily life. Principal areas of investigation include Aeronautics, Space Exploration, Atmospheric Science, Materials and Structures, Aviation Safety, Air Traffic Management, Planetary Sciences, Flight Controls, Rotorcraft, and Nanotechnology.

NIA's graduate education program offers students a unique opportunity to earn M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in the fields of engineering and sciences while participating in leading-edge research programs. Participating in the NIA Graduate Program are six highly regarded research universities: Georgia Tech, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina State University, the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. While students enroll in a M.S. or Ph.D. program at one of the member universities, and ultimately receive a degree from that institution, NIA students may take up to 50% of their courses from the other participating universities.

Working actively with partners such as NASA, Nortel LearniT, and Nintendo, NIA develops multimedia resources and educational materials to help teachers strengthen their understanding of STEM content. NIA is also involved in pre-service and in-service teacher professional development.

Math Transformers
Tired of hearing how boring math is? Tired of teaching concepts and having the students complain about not understanding or ask when do we use it? Join Patricia Chen in the new Math Transformers group room to chat and share ideas that you can use in your classroom the next day.

Pat has led the FIRST Robotics discussions in the K-12 Student Campus for a couple of years and was looking for a more effective way to share her teaching experiences with students who may be less than eager to approach the topic of math. Pat has a delightful sense of humor and is an enthusiastic advocate of differentiated teaching and learning.

[2] Are you an "oldie but goodie?"

It's hard to believe that the Tapped In After School Online colloquia celebrates its 10 year anniversary in November 2007! Were you a member of TI in November 1997? Did you participate in or lead any of the ASO discussions in those early years? Help us put together a 10th Anniversary ASO Scrapbook of comments and reflections. Submit your contributions to BJ at bjb@tappedin.org

[3] Tips and Comments from the Experts

What a super introduction to [TI]. I learned a lot [during Tips and Tricks] about accessing the calendar and events and how to get to this form when I am done. Keiko was super. Keiko and the other Tapped In staff connected with me and asked me questions and made me feel welcome in cyberspace. This session met my expectations and then some. I thought I'd spend more time reading the text, but the session was very interactive.
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.

[4] News Nuggets

The podcast challenge offered for TI Festival has been extended to allow students coming back to school this fall to participate. Check out the link to the Festival Wiki and enter a Playing to Learn podcast!
TI member Virginia Richard has an article on Technology Incentives in the Sept/Oct '07 issue of Learning&Leading with Technology. "Technology incentives are a great way to encourage teachers to pursue professional development. Richard, a technology coach, details several incentive strategies to encourage teachers to attend training sessions and employ what they learn."

In the same issue in the Bloggers Cafe, TI member Jeff Utecht has an article on Conference 2.0. Jeff discusses the NECC Conference in Atlanta, GA and comments that, "These Web 2.0 tools [blogs, photo hosting sites, chatcasting], along with podcasts and wiki handouts, are ushering in a new kind of conference. No longer are technology conferences only for those who can attend in person, they have become accessible to those who want to attend virtually as well."

TI member Camilla Gagliolo reviews Grammar Games: Constructor for Palm OS in the September/October issue of L&L. "Constructor takes an innovative approach to learning grammar and makes the practice of grammar skills immediate and engaging for students."
The Sept. '07 issue of Educational Leadership also has articles by several TI members. Barnett Berry, John Norton, and Ann Byrd's "Lessons from Networking" is about how "The Teacher Leaders Network invites 300 accomplished teachers to bond together in an electronic learning community." Included in the article is a quotation from TI member Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, also a member of TLN. "The idea of developing teacher voice is scary for those who are scripting what we say and do. If teachers know how to lead, how to be effective in evoking change, then that creates problems. Teachers start asking questions. Things get messy. We awaken the sleeping giant."

In the same EL issue, TI member Bill Ferriter, along with Carolann Wade, wrote "Will You Help Me Lead?" in which two teachers reflect on how colleagues boosted their confidence as leaders.

TI member Joellen Killion collaborated with Cindy Harrison in the EL article "Ten Roles for Teacher Leaders," outlining how teachers in roles such as instructional specialist or committee chair can change the status quo.
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

* I am new here, but teach special education (Resource Specialist). Maybe more topics dealing with Special Populations?
* I wish there was more information about the teaching of writing... rather than the reading focus.
(Quotes from the TI Festival 2007 Evaluation Forms.)
The first step in finding a topic that is related to your discipline is to look at the monthly calendar of events. Step two is to click on the SEARCH tab in the top right of your screen after you log in and then click on Groups in the purple menu bar. Enter the topic you are looking for and press the Find It! button. You will usually get several matches, depending on how narrowly you limit the search options with your keyword search. Click on the green i next to a group name and you will see the group ID page that explains the groups purpose. You will also see a place at the top of the ID page to either join the group or request to join. Joining the group allows you to post to the discussion board in the group room. Although most groups that post events to the calendar only meet in real time once a month, the discussion board allows all group members to collaborate asynchronously between those real time text chats.

Once you find a group that you feel will benefit your needs, go to the group room and look at the resources that have been stored there. Many groups have extensive files and links that have accumulated over the lifetime of the group and been submitted by the group members.

[7] About ...On the Tapis

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