Tapped In Member Perspectives: Meet Sheryl McCoy

Sheryl, a member of Tapped In since 2005, is an educator who enjoys teaching math, science, language arts, social studies, art, and technology.

Sheryl's Perspective

What is my perspective and how did I discover Tapped In? I have always thought of myself as a gleaner who shares with my family friends and community. That is why I enjoy working with teachers and students. I gather curriculum, materials and other necessaries to share with my friends and students. Tapped In is the ultimate place for me to join my gleaning and sharing activities to one purpose. I can glean and share ideas, techniques, research and experiences with other members of the Tapped In community in my office and in meeting around the campus.

Having taught, at various levels of education, for many decades, my professional and personal identity continues to evolve... adapt or die. I find this online iteration of my professional life is very satisfying, and I want to thank the Tapped In community for their help in this ongoing process. Frequently, I invite others that I know or meet to join Tapped In also, and I really enjoy that. It is like being Johnny Appleseed to those online who are interested in education, children and camaraderie. Call it synchronicity, serendipity or a discrepant event, I am always amazed at how wonderful it was that I found the Tapped In community. I discovered Tapped In during the winter of 2004 while looking for information about researchers and educators working in the area of projects. This was before the NEW buzz phrase, project based learning and then problem based learning, became ubiquitous. I was looking for research by Art Costa and information about his work. I knew some of his work had been published by Skylight, so I included Skylight in my search string. I couldn't find them (they no longer exist in their previous form). I did find references to SRI, so I followed those links, and they led me to Tapped In. As Professor Peabody always told Sherman in The Fractured Fairy Tales, "...and the rest is history."

I signed up on January 18, 2005 and looked around the campus. It was pretty overwhelming, but exciting. I continued to look around too, to be a sightseer. Since that time, I have learned that a more commonly used term is "lurking," but that word has such a negative image. I like to think that my Tapped In visits were more like excursions. In some ways, I was a tourist. On my first excursions to Tapped In, I would examine the map of the campus and the monthly calendar. From the calendar, I found information about the various groups and their activities. I also really liked the emails that I was receiving, it gave me confidence to go to Tapped In to follow up on the topic of the email or newsletter. As I gathered information, I finally met a critical mass of experiences, so I no longer felt that I wanted to be an onlooker.

As those travelers before me, I discovered the Tapped In Reception Room. At first, I didn't even know what I wanted to know, but BJ Berquist asked me some questions, including, "Had I been to my office?" Well, I didn't even know I had an office, but I thought having an office was a great idea. Then I learned the most important stuff, how to meet and greet other people. I love the info icon. Over the years, I have developed my office, although it still is not up to par. It is open, and I invite you to visit anytime. Also, I have enjoyed developing good working relationships with others at Tapped In. Between Jeff Cooper and BJ, I really made great learning gains over the past year. Jeff knows so much about the ways of the internet, and his instruction is always on point. BJ always seems to know how to ask the right question, and she is always full of confidence in the human capacity. I have come to know people who live in other countries and other circumstances, and that has been most inspiring.

For teachers, parents, students and other interested people, I believe that Tapped In is the best choice for an effective community experience. This past spring, I joined the HelpDesk. It seems that there are always visitors, and sometimes I can help. The TI Festival was another fantastic community experience, and I learned so much that I am still sorting through all the information. My next adventure with Tapped In is to start a professional development group, and I am working on that as we speak.

Having grown up on college campuses across the United States, especially in the South and Great Plains, I really relate my Tapped In experience to those early years. Lots of fun, lots of learning, and lots of inspirational work goes on here at the Tapped In community. People of many different levels of experience and education come together in good company to be together. Technology has changed so much since I was young, when our school schedules were given to us on a punch card and the first computer language I really liked was Basic. There are also many more books and materials available for teachers and students, but we still need each other. No matter where we are in this journey of life, it always seems best when we have great traveling companions. That is what I have found in the community of Tapped In.