Saturday, July 21, 2007

Tapped In To U of M

I had the opportunity yesterday to use Tapped In for the first time. Two teachers from my staff development (Anne Smith and Barbara Stahlhut) and I had an opportunity to chat with graduate students from the University of Michigan. They’re enrolled in a graduate teacher certification program and are taking a class titled "Teaching with Technology." According to one of the instructors (Jeff Stanzler), the class attempts to "expose our students to different ways of thinking about schools and about pedagogy (along with some peeks at web 2.0 technologies, video editing, etc.)." They set up "virtual conferences" with a few folks, including us, to "learn about the creative ways in which you're thinking about both professional and community development, and could hear more about the role that technology has played in this endeavor."

If you’re interested, here’s the transcript of the session (pdf). I don’t think there’s anything particularly earth shaking in there, but I thought I’d link to it in case anyone wondered how a group chat might look. It was fun to do and I hope it was at least a little bit helpful for those graduate students. I’m still learning how to be comfortable in real-time online conversations; they definitely don’t feel natural to me yet. It’s still hard for me to translate what’s in my head into relatively short sentences in real-time, and to keep up with multiple questions at the same time. And I do still feel somewhat at a loss without the face-to-face contact to get a better feel for how the conversation is going. Definitely some skills there I need to work on, so thanks Jeff and Liz and grad students for the practice.


  1. A good online virtual learning text is: The New Virtual Classroom; Ruth Clark, Ann Kwin, Publisher: Pfeiffer. It focuses on how Presenters can exploit the use of real-time learning . It claims it is possible to be "a guide on the side rather than a sage on the stage". I am in the process of reading it currently. Steve Madsen, Oz

  2. karl--
    We used tapped in to connect a class of 3rd graders to their HS science buddies--there is ENDLESS possibilities with tools like this and I particularly like TappedIn as you get transcripts of everything your students do...

  3. Tapped In is a powerful tool for educators. I used it at Pepperdine University during my Masters of Educational Technology program (online). Professers can plan out questions in advance and copy/paste to keep the conversation flowing. Many times classmates met in Tapped In to collaborate and discuss group projects - we even posted files to share. Having a copy of the transcript emailed allows you to review the class information (which is very helpful!) and capture any links that were shared. Other online group colloboration programs like Skype and IM are also powerful tools to encourage communication and colloboration with your students outside of class.

  4. I have used Tapped In since 2004. It is a great walled garden approach to community. We used it during our When Night Falls culminating event with K12Online 06 too.

    Most recent use was last week with a cohort in NY as a way to keep the workshop/learning/conversation going long after the conversation was over.

    I talked about it in this post
    21st Century Collaborative