Tapped In Newsletter: January 2009

...On the Tapis
January 2009
Issue 134

In This Issue

[1] Member Perspective: Kathleen Fulton
[2] News Nuggets
[3] Tapped In Technology Tip
[4] About ...On the Tapis

Quote of the Month - "If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: If we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." - Anne Bradstreet, poet

[1] Member Perspective: Kathleen Fulton

Kathleen is Director, Reinventing Schools for the 21st Century, for the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF). She was the developer of the Teachers Learning in Networked Communities (TLINC) project, funded initially by the AT&T Foundation, then Microsoft, and now supported by a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education.

Kathleen's Perspective
We developed TLINC as a way for teachers, especially teacher candidates and those new to the profession, to stay connected with their professional peers and colleagues. Our data had shown that too many teachers leave in the first five years of teaching (up to 46% nationally, with even greater turnover in high need schools and districts). We knew that mentoring support for new teachers is variable; too many new teachers, including candidates doing student teaching, feel "lost at sea" when they enter the classroom. We knew that online communities can make it possible for our newest educators to connect with those they most trust professionally. We also hoped that if we built online communities during preservice education, and used TLINC to help build the links between teacher preparation institutions and their local districts, we could create opportunities for online collaboration and community that would become a "habit" among educators as a vehicle for professional learning and support and build their comfort with using technology.

Our partners (University of Memphis, University of Colorado at Denver, and University of Washington) explored a number of potential platforms for the project. Fortunately, Mark Schlager, Tapped In's "godfather", was on our design team, and when the partners chose Tapped In, we had a strong advocate. We were able to "lease" a building on Tapped In and have now over 900 members in our TLINC community.

Read the rest of Kathleen's Perspective here.

News Nuggets

TI member and discussion leader Kimberly Lightle announced that Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears, an NSDL site, is going to have a Polar Festival the last week of February/first week of March and have simultaneous things happening all over the US. They'll be blogging about all the specifics, so keep and eye on the TI calendar and the web site.
TI member and creator of the TI Physical Education group, Bonnie Mohnsen publicized her group in her "Using Technology in Physical Education Newsletter." Bonnie is in the process of creating a community of technology using physical educators at Tapped In. Topics include:
* Using Technology in Physical Education
* Standards-based Physical Education
* Be one of the first to voice your opinion.
Vanja Ivosevic took some time to look around and to get to know TI for a research project and article for Scienter. [SCIENTER is a research centre and service provider organization, active in the field of education and training. It is a non-profit making consortium, which was set up in January 1988. Both Italian and other European public and private organizations involved in training systems innovation have joined it. SCIENTER is interested in innovation of training systems, with main reference to the field of open and distance learning and organizational learning.] Vanja has contacted some TI members to ask if they would be willing to answer a few questions on their experiences with TI. She would appreciate TI member participation.
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.

[3] Tapped In Technology Tip

Tapped In Vision Supports Tenant Organizations
Research has shown that student achievement is directly linked to teacher quality. State and national teaching standards provide a framework for teachers' professional growth that requires teachers to engage in ongoing professional development throughout their careers. The increasing demand for continuous professional development means that providers must expand face-to-face programs to include online activities and content that engage teachers anytime, anywhere. The growing recognition that no single organization can satisfy teachers' ongoing professional development needs requires that educators and providers form communities to share strategies, resources, and support. Tapped In was developed to support this vision.

Tapped In offers TPD (teacher professional development) providers and other organizations the latest in online technology, along with the online learning strategies and support needed to use online technology effectively. Through TI, organizations can develop, implement, and manage online courses, workshops, seminars, mentoring programs, and other collaborative activities that supplement, or function in lieu of, face-to-face activities. Tapped In experts work with organization staff to design and facilitate online activities that are motivating, standards based, and attuned to the learning styles and technical facility of participating teachers. We help organizations address the dual challenges of sustained follow-up support and scaling-up services to reach all who need them. Organizations also benefit from the resources and expertise of other tenant partners that participate in the TI community.

See more About Tapped In

[4] About ...On the Tapis

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