Tapped In Member Perspectives: Meet Lynn Shafer

Lynn Shafer is an online facilitator for PBS TeacherLine. She is a former ESL teacher in the Fairfax County (Virginia) Public Schools. She is finishing up her coursework in George Mason Universitys Ph.D. program. She studies language, culture, and instructional technology issues. One topic that she is exploring is how culture and context might affect interactions among online communities of practice.

Lynn's Perspective

I like TAPPED IN because it is an additional way that I can communicate with other teachers. I particularly like it when conversations become layered with what is said out loud to everyone, public thoughts that are shared, and private whispers. That's a pretty cool three-dimensional way to flesh out a conversation. I hope that, in the future, we can find more ways to use online communication to approach topics in more than a linear manner.

I think we're all still learning a lot about the potential online chats. I'm really curious how people use techniques to add context to their messages because right now, it seems to me that there is so much more that the online environment might offer in terms of the context it offers during interactions. (At least, compared to the context we can get face-to-face). It's been really fun learning more about the goodies that are attached to the / command (e.g., /think, /sign, /sepup). Beyond the actual talk, this is what makes interacting with others in TAPPED IN so interesting to me. At some point in the future, I'd like to learn more about adding graphics so that we can add more place to our meeting spaces.

I've been enjoying the fact that, recently people from other countries have started attending our NCTM Math Chats in the TeacherLine suite. I truly wish I had the time to attend all of the meetings that take place throughout TAPPED IN. So many meetings, so little time. :sighs.

/think Which leads me to my final point. Kari, BJ, and I once got into this great conversation about how TAPPED IN language starts to invade your vocabulary. Kari says she even dreams in "TAPPED IN-ese". Very amusing. :smiles. /sign Hope you have a good time in your visits to TAPPED IN!