Tapped In Member Perspectives: Meet Nancy Haas

Nancy Haas (NancyWH online) is a technology resource teacher in San Juan Capistrano, California and teaches Technology and Career Exploration to 9th graders at Aliso Niguel High School. She has been a member of TAPPED IN since she joined in Summer 1998 as a graduate student in Pepperdine University's Online Masters in Educational Technology. Nancy loves to snuggle up with a feline, chocolate chip cookies and a cup of hot java. She rejuvenates with shiatsu deep tissue massage and is eager to learn it - after she completes her Master's! Her excitement about the possibilities that TAPPED IN can open to colleagues in her district are apparent in her Perspective ...

Nancy's Perspective

TAPPED IN Bridges the Gap

With the recent reduction and elimination of release days for professional growth in California, the staff development department of Capistrano U.S.D. was faced with the challenge of providing 4500 teachers over an area of 195 square miles with quality professional development. The district decided to schedule workshops around the school year in the areas of technology, curriculum, literacy and standards and provide a financial incentive for teachers to attend. I saw these workshops as an opportunity to demonstrate how TAPPED IN can help teachers develop their own community of practice.

The resource people at TAPPED IN, including Terry Gray, Hulda Nystrom, and Judi Fusco, assisted me in planning and presenting two sessions for a Saturday workshop. My first objective was for my colleagues to feel comfortable with the environment; my primary goal was to introduce them to the resources available at this site. By keeping the number of participants small, I was able to provide support for those who had never experienced a MOO or MUVE. Once all had logged in, I asked them to tell me something about themselves, their school and their classes. I then provided them with a list of activities and resources for foreign languages, English, math, science and history that are available in TAPPED IN.

At the conclusion of the workshop I asked participants to complete a survey of their level of technology, their impression of the experience, and how they might use this resource at their schools. The responses were overwhelmingly positive, yet only one teacher has since pursued the use of TAPPED IN.

According to Dr. Talley, whom we encountered at the Connect School Conference in Anaheim, providing sustained support and innovation, legitimate resources, feedback, functionality, and expert help are some of the key elements found in an effective staffing agenda. My workshop did not provide all of these components, but I realized that just as I had been mentored in learning to use TAPPED IN, I in turn needed to mentor my colleagues. To this end I've started a newsletter, "The Capo Tech Times", to introduce my colleagues to ideas and pedagogy relating to technology.

I am also working with our district's technology mentor teachers and the Director of Technology Instruction Services to bridge the barriers of time and distance using TAPPED IN to facilitate communication among them. This approach will enable us to access the support, innovation, resources, feedback, functionality, and expert help recommended by Dr. Sue Talley of Pepperdine University to promote an environment of "sustained cognitive and interactive support", of which TAPPED IN is a key component.

See Nancy's proposal for the TAPPED IN event.

See the Agenda for the visit to TAPPED IN