Tapped In Newsletter: March 2011

...On the Tapis
March 2011
Issue 155

In This Issue

[1] Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami
[2] Member Perspective: Dakota Writing Project (DWP)
[3] Sustaining Professional Development with DWP
[4] More on SUSTAINING PD: VBCPS 21st Century eTeacher
[5] The Note Project
[6] News Nuggets
[7] About ...On the Tapis

Quote of the Month: "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

[1] Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami

The Tapped In community sends condolences to all our friends and family affected by this latest disaster. Please join the TI Natural Disaster Help Center and share your thoughts and ideas for help, support, and sympathy.

[2] Member Perspective: Dakota Writing Project (DWP)

Meet Reva Potter, Teresa Berndt, Lindsay Sorenson, and Anne Moege
We are all teacher-leaders with Dakota Writing Project (DWP), Vermillion, SD. DWP is a chapter of the National Writing Project. Reva (Belle Fourche, SD) and Anne (Mitchell, SD) teach middle school language arts, Teresa (Mitchell, SD) teaches high school English, and Lindsay (Austin, MN) teaches middle school science. In addition to our teaching duties, we have recently been involved with co-facilitating a digital writing marathon, a 6-credit online writing and technology course sponsored by Dakota Writing Project through the University of South Dakota, Vermillion.

Dakota Writing Project (DWP) Perspective
Reva, Lindsay, and Anne were all participants of digital writing marathons sponsored by Dakota Writing Project approximately 5 years ago. These marathons were held specifically for teacher-leaders involved in Dakota Writing Project and involved exploration of several online writing spaces throughout two marathon "legs" – one held in throughout the month of July and another held in throughout the month of January. Each week participants explored the "technology space of the week," completing various writing activities. In addition to being one of the spaces we explored as a teaching tool, Tapped In became the "hub" for the marathon activities. Within the marathon "room," marathon participants chatted weekly about their discoveries and also added thoughts to asynchronous discussions.

Last spring Dakota Writing Project director Michelle Rogge Gannon decided to bring the digital writing marathon experience to teachers outside of DWP. Under Michelle’s leadership, two marathon groups formed – one facilitated by Lindsay and Anne (July 2010 and January 2011) and one facilitated by Reva and Teresa (September 2010 and January 2011). The marathons involved exploration of online spaces such as VoiceThread, Diigo, Googledocs, Glogster, and Prezi; however, both groups once again utilized Tapped In as the main center for weekly chats and discussion threads.

Read all of the Dakota Writing Project (DWP) Perspective.

[3] Sustaining Professional Development with DWP

Posted by: Brett Abbotts
Re: Reflection over Chat #1 - Jan. 2011
Message: During the chat session, each member shared their experiences with the technology that they implemented within their lessons and how it applied with their students. For the most part, almost everyone had some moderate success using the technology with their students and were able to make the experience rich and educational for the students, which is the reason why a lot of us are doing this! I think that I will continue using the technology that I have been using with my students such as Tapped In or Diigo/Diigolet. They really enjoyed their time to use the technology and I did as well!
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Posted by: Mary Begley
Response to Chat #1
Message: After registering for Tapped-In earlier in the evening, I dug out my faded comfy sweats, plugged my computer in next to the couch, pulled a blanket over my feet, and settled in for a long winter's digital chat. I logged into the DWP Digital Writing Marathon room at 9:00, read the Second Protocol for Chat #1, and typed on the Whiteboard. Following this, I stared blankly at the screen waiting for something to happen. Nothing happened. No elves responded. No jolly man from the North read my letter. So, I went to the "tree house" to perhaps get a better view, find my bearings, and discover my digital karma. No luck. Not a creature was stirring but me and my mouse. I kept wondering where the chat dialogue box was supposed to appear and it was not delivered by Google or eight tiny reindeer. My blood pressure rose as I looked at my watch, reinstalled Java, and switched browsers. Behold, a chat box appeared, but no one was home. After leaving the room and turning around, JeffC came in with a rescuer's bound. He sprang to my aid, I was in the wrong room, I typed "/join DebraR" but was quickly refused. He invited me in, and I heard him exclaim, ere he left the net site, send Mary a full transcript of this session tonight. I listened to the challenges and benefits of technology in the classroom. I didn't follow everything but was inspired to learn more, and it turned out to be a good night after all.

[4] More on SUSTAINING PD: VBCPS 21st Century eTeacher

Tapped In member Sharon Bowers, the creator of the Tapped In TI: Learning Hub group, sends news that some recent online learning experiences have shaped a new model of PD for VBCPS. The Center for Teacher Leadership based on the model of "teachers teaching teachers," is in early stages of development. This work is inspired by the successful implementation of four UVA graduate courses developed around the LearniT-TeachiT 21eTeacher project. Additional rigor and pedagogy, wrapped around the 21eTeacher content, evolved into Virginia's 21st Century eTeacher Series.

Through the online courses a very strong community was built. This work demonstrated the power of "teachers teaching teachers." The Center for Teacher Leadership will build on this concept."

The original cadre of 26 teachers completed all four courses in less than one year. The group met with Dr. James Merrill, VBCPS Superintendent for two "round table" discussions. Dr. Merrill and other key administrators are so impressed by the cadre's work that they hope to expand upon this success through the development of the new Center for Teacher Leadership.

Course 4 within the UVA series is all about facilitating an online PD course. All participants facilitated their own PD experiences for other teachers in Virginia Beach. Now, as graduates of the project, nearly a dozen 21eTeachers are running PD for schools within VB. Part of the support system to help keep the conversations going was the creation of the VBCPS 21 eTeacher group in Tapped In.

The Virginia Beach 21eTeacher project, is "going viral" as those who were trained are training others. Streamlined PD versions of the UVA courses are being taught by the original cadre, modeling PD "by teachers for teachers."

UVA and LearniT-TeachiT have joined forces to support the 21eTeacher graduate education series (the 4 courses). They’re interested in working with school divisions, locally and across the country, so these courses can jump-start change within their systems, too. For more information, contact Lee-Ann O'Dell.

[5] The Note Project

Appreciation can rekindle a lifetime of memories and emotions. Tell someone "thanks" today. There is a natural fit between literacy and the whole idea of writing notes of appreciation. The Note Project has pledged to donate to at least 12 literacy projects in 12 countries in 12 months through GlobalGiving and GlobalGivingUK. Read more about our 12x12x12 Pledge to help make the world a million times better. Literally.

[6] News Nuggets

Tapped In member Rhonda Bishop is conducting a technology survey and invites you to participate. The project is designed to generate conversation amongst professionals from a variety of disciplines regarding the use of technology in today's world. This project will collect data concerning the types of devices used, the manner in which they are used and consumer concerns regarding their future use in a techno-centric world. Data will be collected from 2/26/11 to 3/31/11.
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Tapped In member Marie White enthusiastically reported from snowy New York, "We had so much snow we missed classes so I used my rooms to conduct class. We had live chats, and it worked excellent! They had reading material which we discussed and the transcript was awesome, they had the entire class notes for later use."
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Gwyneth Jones shared via Twitter that she blogged about her early love for Tapped In!
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Tapped In member Maria Droujkova set up two Google calendars at the Math 2.0 Wiki for two Tapped In event series, Math Resources K-20+ and Math Transformers (Middle School). You can now see them in the Math 2.0 and Friends list.
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Do you have a News Nugget about yourself or another member of the Tapped In Community? Send your News Nugget to BJ Berquist at bjb@tappedin.org

[7] About ...On the Tapis

Past issues of ...On the Tapis newsletters are available online.

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