Tapped In Newsletter: May 2008

...On the Tapis
May 2008
Issue 126

In This Issue

[1] Member Perspective: Sharon Bowers
[2] Featured Groups: NASA Resources and NIA Resources
[3] Tapped In Festival 2008
[4] Natural Disaster Help Center
[5] News Nuggets
[6] Fond Farewell from Mark Schlager
[7] Tapped In Technology Tip
[8] Digital Technology Could Revolutionize Math Learning
[9] About ...On the Tapis

Quote of the Month - "Good schools, like good societies and good families, celebrate and cherish diversity." - Deborah Meier (1931- )

[1]Member Perspective: Sharon Bowers

Sharon is a teacher in Virginia Beach City Public Schools, working as an Educator-in-Residence for the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) in Hampton, Virginia. As an EIR, she develops resources to help teachers use instructional technology to integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) into their curriculum. Tapped In is one tool Sharon uses to support professional development training for teachers across the country.

Sharon's Perspective
As an Educator-in-Residence, I have the unique opportunity to maintain active ties to teachers in the classroom AND work with scientists, engineers, and researchers at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) and NASA centers nationwide. In this dual placement, I bring cutting edge Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) content to teachers through NIA and NASA real-world examples and applications.

Not only is it important for teachers to stay current with 21st Century content, but they also need help incorporating 21st Century technology into their instruction. My work with Tapped In helps me share STEM resources and strategies with teachers through a personal, virtual connection.

Over the last few years I have developed two "rooms" for Tapped In as repositories for NASA and NIA resources. I've facilitated several "open houses" for these "rooms," encouraging teachers to use NIA and NASA experiences as real-world connections with standards-based curriculum.

It is exciting to use technology to help teachers and students look beyond classroom walls.

Read the rest of Sharon's Perspective.

[2] Featured Groups: NASA Resources and NIA Resources

National Institute of Aerospace Resource Room
The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) is a non-profit research and graduate education institute. NIA performs research in a broad range of disciplines including air traffic systems, aviation safety, materials and structures, space exploration, and atmospheric sciences. Educational outreach to teachers and students in K-12 is important to NIA. The NIA Resource Room helps connect teachers with "real world" examples and applications of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) content and curriculum. Teacher training opportunities are highlighted and teachers are empowered to mesh online resources into their standards-based curriculum.

NASA Resources K-12
The NASA Resource Room helps teachers and students learn more about NASA's plans to return to the Moon and then travel to Mars. Within this room, which is located in the Student Activity Center, a safe and secure place where teachers can bring their classes, you'll find NASA resources organized to meet the needs of elementary, middle and high school teachers and students.

Both rooms continue to grow and change as new resources are added. Both rooms, open to all members of the community, help teachers integrate 21st Century technology into their teaching, exciting and challenging students to see themselves as 21st Century explorers.

[3] Tapped In Festival 2008

The theme for TI Festival 2008 is "Beyond Conflict: Building Peaceful Communities." This year the exhausting 12-hour marathon event has been split into a two day event which will take place from 2pm-8pm PDT on July 23 and from 8am-2pm PDT on July 24. Four 90-minute sessions each day will provide 1 hour for each discussion with an additional 1/2 hour for questions and answers and transition to the next event. The Festival committee is excited about this year's event and hopes that you will join the TI Festival planning group to contribute your ideas and volunteer your time to make this Festival the best ever!

[4] National Disaster Help Center

Although, as of this writing, Myanmar has resisted aid efforts, it is the Tapped In community's hope that offers of assistance for the thousands of victims of the cyclone will soon be accepted. With this in mind, folders have been added to the Natural Disaster Help Center Group room so that you can add files and links to the groups offering help. Linda Ullah, leader of the Global Project Based Learning Group, has recently returned from the area and has some interesting ideas to present. Join the next GPBL discussion on May 22 to see how you can help.

[5] News Nuggets

The May/June issue of SchoolArts includes an article on p. 11 by TI member and presenter Kevan Nitzberg: Creating Photomontage Videos. Their site allows subscribers to view some of the student videos that have been made.
Sometimes ya just can't edit the spontaneous delight that takes place in a real time TI text chat! Take a look at this exchange between BJ and Johnathan Chase who leads the monthly Learning from Lyrics discussions:

JohnathanC: quick visit have some news to share
BjB listens eagerly!
JohnathanC: are you familiar with the TED web site?
BjB nods...it's fantastic
JohnathanC: http://onceuponaschool.org/?p=176
BjB: oh, how cool! Congratulations!
BjB hopes John isn't going to become too famous to lead discussions in Tapped In!
JohnathanC: never!
BjB: I'm so happy for you, John...what a wonderful achievement
BjB: you must be so proud of your students
JohnathanC: absolutely
JohnathanC: thank you
If you're thinking about becoming a helpdesk volunteer, all doubt will be removed when you read the following exchange between BJ and guest Glenne!

BjB: hi, Glenne. Welcome
GlenneGst2: HI!
BjB: anything I can help you with, Glenne?
GlenneGst2: We are researching your site for an online learning class in our PhD program. We have been on the site before & are coming back to finish our observations. What would you say are the stated goals of your site?
BjB: to provide a place for professional development and collaboration for educators
BjB: K-12 teachers, librarians, administrators, and professional development staff, as well as university faculty, students, and researchers gather here to learn, collaborate, share, and support one another.
BjB . o O ( from the TI homepage )
GlenneGst2: Thanks. That's how we saw the site as well. You should be very proud! You have by far the best educational networking site we've seen. Kudos to you and the rest of the Tapped In staff!!
BjB smiles happily...Thanks!
BjB . o O ( may I quote that for our newsletter? )
GlenneGst2: Sure! There's a definite shortage of good press in education! No problem!
Thanks to TI member Ruth Walker for letting us know that Kathy Schrock (also a TI member) had the Tapped In campus map as part of her presentation keynote at MICCA 2008. TI member Paul Reynolds also was a keynote speaker at this same conference.
Thanks to Helpdesk Volunteer and presenter Jeff Cooper for pointing out an article about TI by member and presenter Karen Lemmons in the Winter 2007/2008 journal of the Michigan Association for Computer Users (MACUL).
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.

[6] Fond Farewell from Mark Schlager

Dear Tapped In Community:
I have left SRI (after 18 years!) to begin a new chapter as Director of Research and Evaluation at the Cisco Learning Institute (no, not Cisco!). CLI is a nonprofit started by Cisco board chair, John Morgridge). First and foremost, I want to assure you that SRI's commitment to Tapped In will remain in full force. Tapped In co-founders Patti Schank and Judi Fusco will be taking over my duties, and of course, I will still be an advisor. It has been an honor and pleasure working with you. Without your vision, dedication, and trust in Tapped In, we would not have a community that has stood the test of time (11 years!). Together, we pioneered the concept of online educator communities, proved a lot of critics wrong, and learned a lot in the process!

With much fondness and respect,
Mark Schlager, Associate Director of Learning Communities
Center for Technology in Learning, SRI International

[From the Tapped In Team: We'll miss Mark and wish him well in his new adventure! He has supported us through many crises and his kindnesses and tenacity are gratefully acknowledged.]

[7] Tapped In Technology Tip

YOU are Tapped In!
As you may have noticed, several of the contributions to this month's ...On the Tapis were made by Tapped In members, presenters, and helpdesk volunteers. YOU are the one who makes the Tapped In community. If you see (or write) an article, attend a conference, or meet someone interesting while participating in a TI event, share that information. What does this have to do with technology you might ask? You are using technology to build community, to communicate with colleagues, and to be the Tapped In community's eyes and ears in the vast world of education. Alone, we may not have a huge impact, but together, we can do great things!

[8] Digital Technology Could Revolutionize Math Learning

Rather than use massive math textbooks meant to encompass 50 disparate sets of state standards, digital curricula with print-on-demand technology could allow teachers to impart the foundational concepts to students while still affording them access to more in-depth lessons, write Charles M. Patton and Jeremy Roschelle of the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International. Such a system could also be used to tailor lessons for students with different learning styles or abilities, they add. Education Week 5/6 (premium article access compliments of Edweek.org)

[9] About ...On the Tapis

Past issues of ...On the Tapis newsletters are available online.

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