Tapped In Member Perspectives: Meet David Fish

David Fish teaches computers at Summit Day Center in Santa Ana, California. Summit Day Center is an alternative school for juvenile offenders. The student body is comprised of students who have violated laws and been expelled from their regular school districts. David taught science for the first twelve years at Summit. Upon finishing his Master's degree in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University, luck would have it that the Summit computer teacher transferred to another school, creating an opening for David.

David's Perspective

Like many others I joined TAPPED IN as part of my Master's Degree in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University. Prior to my joining TAPPED IN on September 12, 1998, I belonged to the Pepperdine University MOO, but it was limited. Because of Dr. Polin's vision, Pepperdine became a partner organization with TAPPED IN. We all joined and soon discovered the vastly enhanced capabilities of the TAPPED IN MUVE.

After finishing Pepperdine I took a break and soon discovered I suffered from collaboration-separation anxiety; BJB calls it plain old TI withdrawal. Teachers, especially those working in Alternative/Correctional Education are often isolated from their peers. It was even more so for me as I began applying what I learned at Pepperdine to my own practice. My peers had no clue to what I was talking about when I would go on about Communities of Practice and collaboration in a constructivist environment. My isolation grew so I logged back into TI one Saturday hoping to run into someone from my Pepperdine Cadre or a former professor. It didn't happen. I sort of missed the close association I had come to know working with one group over a sustained period of time. Like so many others, when I logged back in I ran into BJB. What a treat! As I learned, BJ also teaches in Correctional Education. Most importantly I learned how little I knew about functioning in the TAPPED IN environment.

BJ's warm and friendly enthusiasm hooked me back into TI. Soon it was time to remodel my office and expand my abilities in the TI environment. An online graduate program doesn't require any real significant MOO knowledge; about three commands does it. It wasn't long till I found a home. To participate in this environment is both stimulating and exciting. It's an extension of my graduate work but on a much broader scale due to the worldwide membership. Now my family is spread all over the country and globe. In my district, which is sizable as it includes all of Orange County California, the technology leadership is somewhat fractured. It is my hope to lure all of the techies into the TAPPED IN loop for the betterment of our professional existence but most of all for the betterment of our students.

I have had the pleasure of being a volunteer on theTAPPED IN help desk for the last six months. With the patience of Saints, BJ, Judi Fusco, Mark Schlager, Chuck Merritt and HunterG have all helped me develop my skills enough to volunteer at the "Help Desk". Also, I co-host the Alternative/Correctional Education Discussion Group on the third Thursday of each month with BJ Berquist.