Tapped In Member Perspectives: Meet Maryann Angeroth

Maryann started out as a high school librarian in 1972 and has morphed into an instructional technology consultant working for one of Iowa's Area Education Agencies. Along the way, she worked with both secondary and elementary students. In 2001, Maryann became an instructional technology consultant. The new role wasn't much different. As a consultant she got to work with teachers and students as they used the technology tools to increase student achievement. She first started to use Tapped In in 2002. The first excursions suggested that this would be a fabulous resource for teachers in southwest Iowa.

Maryann's Perspective

I am convinced that the more we connect and collaborate via the Internet, the more we can learn from one another. My first attempt to connect my teachers via the Internet was to set up discussion boards with Yahoo Groups and then Quick Topic. Teachers used these resources as part of workshops and classes that I taught. The free versions are minimal in what they can do; basic discussion boards. I started to explore the Tapped In resource to support my own professional development and have attended several of the online sessions on digital story telling and using technology to support the mathematics curriculum.

Over two years later, Tapped In is still part of my life. I have found that This last summer, I taught a one credit class on "Using the Internet to extend the 21st century skills." Collaboration across time and space is definitely one of the skills mentioned by the partnership for 21st century skills at http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/. The teachers taking this class were exploring ways to bring the 21st century skills into their classroom. Most of the school districts that I serve do not allow students to have email accounts nor access Yahoo or Hotmail accounts. Without email accounts, it is impossible to collaborate via the Internet. Along came Tapped In with the possibility of connecting students in the K-12 Student Campus. Students do not need email accounts to use this resource.

I set my class up on Tapped In. I have an office. In my office, there are links for my students to use. Their projects are all uploaded. We have used the discussion board and the chat feature. These teachers are all members of Tapped In. We have set up a group called 21st Century Diggies. Many of the teachers plan to use Tapped In with their students. I think the possibilities are endless in using this resource.

Requirements for teachers are changing all of the time. Tapped In provides a resource for teachers to extend their skills and knowledge in the comfort of their own home by meeting with other educators around the world. Tapped In is an excellent resource to help teachers keep up to date and to bring research based interventions to their students.

I am in the process of developing an online class for teachers. This class will utilize WebCT which is the program the state of Iowa has purchased to use with online classes. The focus will be "Internet Applications for Educators (Connecting the Classroom to Worlds of Information)" and Tapped In will be included in the list of applications.