Tapped In Member Perspectives: Meet Linda Ullah

Linda Ullah (LindaU) is a GATE Teacher at Edenvale Elementary and a Technology Learning Coordinator for the Blossom Valley Learning Consortium and the Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Challenge 2000 Multimedia Project in Oak Grove School District. She has been involved in training her colleagues in how to use TAPPED IN she got membership in January of 1998, and is developing ways of using it with her and other teachers' students.

Linda's Perspective

TAPPED IN's potential as a collaborative educational space excites me. It has allowed me to hold important meetings in a timely fashion to discuss issues on an almost anytime, anywhere basis, and sometimes even in my pajamas! I use it to collaborate with teachers as far away as Sao Paulo, Brazil, or as near as elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area. I use it to collaboratively plan curriculum for students, to organize workshop presentations, to plan Challenge 2000 Multimedia Project workshops and classes, and to keep in touch with summer workshop participants.

I have met wonderful colleagues in this professional community who have invigorating, and motivating perspectives, and ideas to share. I find it especially validating to meet other innovative educators from all over the U.S. and other countries who are doing incredible projects with their students. I value their warm friendship and professional dedication. These are people whose ideas I would never be able to have shared without TAPPED IN.

The greatest potential of TAPPED IN is something I discovered quite by accident last fall: My students have been working on a water pollution project with Idalina High School in Sao Paulo, Brazil. We began the project over a year ago using email as our medium of exchange. But then I began to use TAPPED IN this past summer to plan with the teachers at Idalina, and we presented our project during TAPPED IN's Open House in September. Following that we tried some whole class discussions with the teachers in charge of the keyboards and the students chatting through the teachers.

When in December a delegation from the U.S. Department of Education and Brazilian Ministry of Education visited my school, the Brazilian teachers and I decided to let our students chat without our intervention. This was so successful that we did it again that same month as a culminating event for our joint project. Because Hulda Nystrom and Judi Fusco helped facilitate these discussions, and because I was able to plan ahead of time with the teachers at Idalina, I felt free to allow groups of my students to discuss issues related to our project while I helped other students work on their multimedia projects. I wish we had let our students have this freedom of chat earlier in this project. They had fun, but were serious, too. This became one of the most exciting Aha's of my teaching career! Transcripts of these chats can be found on my web site.