Tapped In Member Perspectives: Meet Debra Sprague

Debra Sprague is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University.

Debra's Perspective

I was first introduced to TAPPED IN several years ago by Dr. Chris Dede. We were co-teaching an Emerging Technologies course and arranged for the students to attend the Summer Carnival where he was giving a talk. The students enjoyed talking to other people and interacting with the environment. From that moment on I was hooked and knew I had to find ways to include TAPPED IN into my courses.

I attended one of the Tips and Tour sessions that are offered weekly. BJ showed me how to move around and how to talk to other people. That day I established my virtual office. I taught an online course and held virtual office hours on Saturday mornings. I loved the idea of having office hours in my pajamas, drinking coffee. I also liked the recorder which recorded my conversations with the students and then e-mailed me the transcript. What a great feature!

I had small groups of students meet with me in TAPPED IN and began showing them what they could do in this environment. I remember one student who was having trouble grasping the concept of virtual interactions. It took me awhile to get her to understand that she had to use her imagination. By the end of the session she had cooked a virtual pizza and was sharing it with her group members. She came so far in such a short time, thanks to the easy-to-use interface provided by TAPPED IN.

I have my students attend various discussions related to course topics. I also attend some of the discussions in order to stay current with the technology field. I have met so many great people in TAPPED IN. They are always willing to help and provide information.

I frequently give presentations to other faculty around the country. Every time I do this I show them TAPPED IN and discuss ways they can use it in their courses. There is always someone at the Help Desk that I can engage in a conversation, which impresses the faculty. Soon I will be leading my first discussion session. I am very excited about this and look forward to meeting many more new people.