Tapped In Newsletter: August 2010

...On the Tapis
August 2010
Issue 153

In This Issue

[1] Last Reminder: Changes to TI Mailings & Newsletter
[2] Member Perspective: Laura Zeigler
[3] Member Reflections: Matt Farber
[4] Tapped In Technology Tip
[5] News Nuggets
[6] Tips and Comments from the Experts
[7] About ...On the Tapis

Quote of the Month: "Are you really sure that a floor can't also be a ceiling?" - M.C. Escher

[1] Last Reminder: Changes to TI Mailings & Newsletter

Starting this fall, the following 3 changes to Tapped In will reduce the amount of email you receive from us and reduce our costs with (we think) minimal impact on you.

1. We're reducing the frequency of the "...On The Tapis" newsletter mailings to a more occasional (we're thinking quarterly) basis starting after this August 2010 issue. View our archive of newsletters.

2. We'll no longer archive monthly ASO transcripts. You will still receive transcripts of ASO sessions that you participate in. If you can't find a transcript for any session (including an ASO) that you participated in, learn how to retrieve a transcript.

3. The monthly "Tapped In ASO Schedule" of events will no longer be emailed, but events will continue to be scheduled on the online calendar and available through our RSS feed. Before attending any event, view the internal calendar that is set to your time zone to make sure there have been no schedule changes. You can subscribe to be notified of all calendar events through our RSS feed.

If you'd like to lead an event or become a TI volunteer, just log in and ask for information about TI Volunteering, or visit TI Presenters Guide, the support group for people who present discussions in Tapped In, or HelpDesk Central, the group room for helpdesk volunteers.

[2] Member Perspective: Laura Zeigler

Meet Laura
Laura Zieger is an Associate Professor of Educational Technology at New Jersey City University. She earned her doctorate in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University. Both her M.A. and B.A. are in English Education. She presents and publishes on the subject of educational technology and distance learning. She recently co-authored a book entitled, Teachers as Technology Leaders. She is currently a judge for the Software Information Industry Association's CODIE Awards. In addition, her research and involvement in online parenting communities has been published in Family PC magazine, Sesame Street Parents and the Morris Record newspaper.

Laura's Perspective
I was first introduced to Tapped In while I attended courses at Pepperdine University for my Ed.D. in Educational Technology. The professors utilized the program for synchronous communication, supplemented by other forms of asynchronous discussions (newsgroups). Professionals in the field were brought in as guest lecturers, supplementing the knowledge we gained and shared with our professors and other cadre members. We collaborated in groups, gathered in all-class lectures, and cultivated our community of learners through both public and private discussions. I was impressed with the technology and how it was utilized.

In the six years since I was first introduced to Tapped In, I have taught over one hundred courses online. My students are primarily New Jersey classroom teachers who want to become Technology Facilitators or School Media Specialists while earning a Master's degree. I teach in-person, completely online and a hybrid of both, with more than 80 percent of my teaching primarily online. Specifically, I teach a course, Distance Learning for Educators, which focuses on best practices in teaching and learning online. It is in this course that I introduce Tapped In to my students as a resource for online teaching and learning.

Read all of Laura's Perspective here.

[3] Tapped In Reflection by Matt Farber

This past winter I chose the virtual world of Tapped In (TI) for my master's thesis project. I teach four sections of 7th grade social studies and wanted to see if students could work cooperatively in an online environment. The project was a Virtual Student Constitutional Convention. Student groups in each class were assigned different Articles (rules from the school's Student Handbook) to re-write. TI was the debating forum. Each group's Article was then added to a wiki, to be written and edited by all students from all four classes. The final Student Constitution was voted on using Edmodo as the polling site. Each student had their own laptop and the project met in class for a week. Students were also able to access TI from home. I chose TI because of the privacy the site offers. BJB and Jeff C helped me set up the 82 accounts for each student.

One of my research questions asked if students could be self-accountable in a chat room environment. Students read and signed a Code of Conduct agreement, which I modified. The research showed that, while many students couldn't recall the particulars in the document they signed, it was useful as a cue to stay on-task. This reminded me of pointing to my bulletin board when students violate our class rules, such as "no food in class."

Students loved Tapped In. Students made plans in class to meet on TI after school. The topics would usually relate to the project, but not always. Someone would invariably write "Mr. Farber's watching," when the topics got personal. A few students were absent during the week of the project. Home sick, they voluntarily logged in from home. Most joined their group in their class, and then joined other classes. There was also a mourning period when I told the class that the project ended.

(Ed. Note: Matt was a student in Laura Ziegler's Masters Class.)

[4] Tapped In Technology Tip

Who, What, Where, When, Why, How?
If you have ANY questions about Tapped In, don't forget the TI homepage. From that location you can learn about "What's New," "Getting Started," and "Giving Feedback." There are links to pages about what educators can do in TI and what features are provided, an interface guide, and help pages. From the tabs at the top of the home page you can also learn more about the vision of Tapped In and read publications that have been written about TI. And, if you still can't find an answer to your question, don't forget that TI Helpdesk Volunteers can give you answers or get back to you with the solution to your problem, concern, or question about TI.

[5] News Nuggets

TI member Dave Keidel will be leading a Tapped In Learning Hub Classroom Showcase on Monday, August 23. Dave runs a vocational ed program in his NJ school district and has created a K-12 classroom for student interaction, a K-12 Resource room for any student interested in Voc Ed, and a Tapped In group for Voc Ed teachers. During this showcase, Dave will visit all three rooms and explain how he has used Tapped In to help his students succeed.
Glen Bull, TI member, is one of the authors published in a recent Cite Journal article, "Use of Digital Fabrication to Incorporate Engineering Design Principles in Elementary Mathematics Education."

Berry, R. Q., III, Bull, G., Browning, C., Thomas, C. D., Starkweather, K., & Aylor, J. H. (2010). Preliminary considerations regarding use of digital fabrication to incorporate engineering design principles in elementary mathematics education. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 10(2). Retrieved from http://www.citejournal.org/vol10/iss2/editorial/article1.cfm
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] Tips and Comments from the Experts

During a private chat with BJB, TI member Wendy Quinones stated, "I love these chats, and the transcript that comes later. That's why I use TI for my [class] chats -- there are so many great ideas and this way they don't get lost."
The Special Education Forum discussions have been focusing on the topic of Universal Design for Learning. In July, 2010, Paul Bohac, the discussion leader, had some interesting insights on skills and testing.

PaulDB: Each state also has their own form of "high stakes" testing with information about the skills that are to be tested. Where the breakdown occurs is when teachers lose sight of the relationship between the instructional tasks and the testing activity. That breakdown is also evident when teachers substitute instructional strategy for instructional content.

An LD child who would benefit from a whole language approach should be taught reading using a whole language approach. The IEP should reflect a whole language approach. If a whole language approach is followed, the child will learn the same skills but will do so through a different (non-phonetic) approach. More importantly, the child's interest in further development of those skills will be enhanced as the child begins to see the results of his/her efforts.

It is not a question of being able to read to pass the test, it is a matter of learning to read so the child can continue to grow and develop.
Some interesting reflection took place during the July 2010 Teaching Teachers discussion led by Dianne Allen.

DianneA: Can I say that what I have found about today's session is that like anything else, incorporating tech in the classroom requires planning/preparation ...

DominicSo: yes....well, patience too. People were too willing to just type without listening

DianneA: and yes drawing on the experience of others. Good point about patience, Dominic. One of the 'unknowns' that I experience, with a session here at Tapped In, that I try to operate with as much openness as possible is how much the session for a classroom grade might require evidence of 'participation' that is text typed, rather than text listened to .. and responded to ...
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 your comment here.

[7] About ...On the Tapis

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

Contact us if you have any questions about your subscription, password or user name, or if you have any news items that you want to share with the community for ...On the Tapis.