Tapped In Newsletter: May 2009

...On the Tapis
May 2009
Issue 138

In This Issue

[1] Nings, tweets, and wikis, oh my!
[2] NortelLearniT to Present Mini-Expo
[3] News Nuggets
[4] Tips and Comments from the Experts
[5] Tapped In Technology Tip
[6] About ...On the Tapis

Quote of the Month: "Any fool can know. The point is to understand." - Albert Einstein

[1] Nings, tweets, and wikis, oh my!

Nings, tweets, and wikis, oh my! It seems that the opportunities to communicate online increase exponentially daily. Participation in the many educational environments tends to fragment focus and learning. At some point it might be a good idea for us to stop and consider what we're doing and why we're doing it. If we put all online resources for educators through a Bloom's taxonomy, are we creating opportunities for professional development in this hierarchy of thinking skills? How do we and our students learn? Does learning now take place at hyper-speed because we can access more information more quickly? Can you apply this information gathering to make use of the knowledge you have accessed? As you choose the online professional development environment that best fits your teaching style and your learning style, are you being engaged in analysis, synthesis and evaluation? Do you have the opportunity to brainstorm, argue, assess, verify information?

Have you looked at the Tapped In calendar of events lately? Is there an event on the calendar that applies to your discipline? Can you use this opportunity to meet with colleagues to delve into how you can provide the higher order thinking skills that are needed in your classroom? If you don't see anything relevant to your discipline, or the time isn't right or you have a different idea of how to present a topic, be proactive! The calendar is community driven. Members volunteer their time to present topics they feel would be useful to other members... either for professional development or as classroom support. But, the community must support these volunteer efforts for them to be of any value. If you have any input on this topic, whether you are a teacher educator or a classroom teacher, join the Proactive Educators group and give some feedback. By joining the group you can use the asynchronous discussion board, a feature that is one way to overcome the time issue with which we all struggle!

[2] NortelLearniT to Present Mini-Expo

Instead of the marathon 12 hour Tapped In Festival, this year a 3 hour mini expo is being planned. Sharon Bowers and Michael Connet from NortelLearniT joined BJ Berquist and Dianne Allen to start planning for Tapped In Mini-Expo 2009. The time frame will probably be the 3rd or 4th week of August. Volunteers will be needed to help with pre-mini-expo Tips and Tricks. Join the TI Mini Expo group if you'd like to participate in future planning discussions.

Some of the brainstorming topics discussed were:

* Start with the proposition that 21st Century e-Teaching involves activities and skills that can be acquired and ensure success for participants.
* Discuss how the use of social media change the ways we think about identity, community, and interpersonal communication.
* What should participants "walk away" with after participating?
* Demonstrate that within the social media learning community participants are being supported by their peers... not in competition with them.
* Give participants a flavor of some of the resources/training that NortelLearniT 21 eTeacher contains, but within the context of learning to use a tool for instructional activities that could be used in their teaching.
* Show module example about social media and how can it be used in education.
* Acknowledge that the user community of teachers have unique needs and expertise... and, by using online tools (e.g. twitter) to communicate what participants know and need.
* Collaboration, using new tools one such resource is 21st century e-Teacher, is an important approach to developing those skills.
* It's important to stress how participants can become part of the collaborative community.
* Provide a better understanding of the NortelLearniT resources.
* Provide opportunities for participants to take some ownership of the content.
* Identify where content can be extended and continue to build ideas for best practice.
* Participants would leave this Tapped In mini-expo being excited to put to work a skill that they learned from the 21st Century e-Teacher.
* One concept of the mini-expo is about micro-blogging... so the first part of the expo should make sure that participants have a clear understanding of the purpose and method, and to do that within Twitter.
* Participants, through engagement in the Tapped In mini-expo, can become an "advisory" group for NortelLearniT.

Read our 2005 and 2006 Archived Mini-Expo scripts.

[3] News Nuggets

David J. Rosen, owner of the Adult Education Online group in TI, shares this information: The Adult Literacy Online Professional Development (ALOPD) Work Group has created a set of guidelines for state and national adult literacy education groups that want to offer - or improve their practice in - online professional development, especially to help classroom teachers learn how to teach online and in blended online and face-to-face learning situations. It may also be useful for others interested in OPD. The document is available in PDF in two parts: Part 1 and Part 2.

The ALOPD is a spin-off of the National Institute for Literacy/Association of Adult Literacy Professional Developers discussion list. It's a work group of over 20 people from the U.S. and Canada who offer adult literacy professional development online. For more information about ALOPD contact David at DJRosen @ theworld.com
TI member Bill Zimmerman announced that, with the goal of help in reaching reluctant writers in mind, MakeBeliefsComix Online Educational Comics now offers free PRINTABLES to help ESL and literacy students write, read, draw and tell stories. For copies of these printables and more go to the website and click on the PRINTABLES button at the bottom right. The feature also offers comix templates featuring characters from the web site along with blank talk and thought balloons that students can fill with text to create their own comic strips. In addition, MakeBeliefsComix has added a TEACHER RESOURCES feature which offers educators 21 practical ideas on how to use comics in the classroom.

Bill was a guest speaker in Tapped In on May 13. You can contact him at billz @ makebeliefscomix.com
There are now 35 people following the Tapped In Twitter posts. Tappedinorg posts daily reminders of upcoming calendar events and forwards tweets that others have made that may be relevant to the TI community.
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.

[4] Tips and Comments from the Experts

From a recent BirdSleuth discussion:

BJ: did you join BirdSleuth, Erik?
Erik: If it was as valuable as this discussion has been I will be quite pleased.
Jennifer: Thanks. I wish we had a few more teachers -- it's great to get a group together to share resources. BUT, I will keep my eye out for anything I can pass along.
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 how you use TI.

[5] Tapped In Technology Tip

Finding and Joining a Tapped In Group
Log in with your TI member username. If you know the name of the group you wish to join or are looking for a group for a specific discipline or topic, go to the SEARCH tab in the top right of the screen. After you click on Search, select GROUPS in the purple menu bar. Enter the name of the group or the subject and press the Find It! button. When you get a match select the group that meets your search criteria by clicking on the group name next to the green i. This will take you to the group Identity page where you can choose to join the group if the group is public/open, or request to join the group if the group is public/moderated. Once you have joined the group (or your request has been accepted) you can enter the group room, post to the discussion board, and access the resources in the group room. The group will automatically be added to the drop down Favorite Places menu next to the Go! Button in the top right of the screen. Learn more about Tapped In groups.

[6] About ...On the Tapis

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

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