Tapped In Member Perspectives: Meet Debra Sprague
Debra Sprague is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University.
I was first introduced to TAPPED IN several years ago by Dr. Chris Dede. We were
co-teaching an Emerging Technologies course and arranged for the students to attend
the Summer Carnival where he was giving a talk. The students enjoyed talking to other
people and interacting with the environment. From that moment on I was hooked and
knew I had to find ways to include TAPPED IN into my courses.
I attended one of the Tips and Tour sessions that are offered weekly. BJ showed me
how to move around and how to talk to other people. That day I established my virtual
office. I taught an online course and held virtual office hours on Saturday mornings.
I loved the idea of having office hours in my pajamas, drinking coffee. I also liked
the recorder which recorded my conversations with the students and then e-mailed me
the transcript. What a great feature!
I had small groups of students meet with me in TAPPED IN and began showing them what
they could do in this environment. I remember one student who was having trouble
grasping the concept of virtual interactions. It took me awhile to get her to understand
that she had to use her imagination. By the end of the session she had cooked a virtual
pizza and was sharing it with her group members. She came so far in such a short time,
thanks to the easy-to-use interface provided by TAPPED IN.
I have my students attend various discussions related to course topics. I also attend
some of the discussions in order to stay current with the technology field. I have
met so many great people in TAPPED IN. They are always willing to help and provide
I frequently give presentations to other faculty around the country. Every time I do
this I show them TAPPED IN and discuss ways they can use it in their courses. There
is always someone at the Help Desk that I can engage in a conversation, which impresses
the faculty. Soon I will be leading my first discussion session. I am very excited
about this and look forward to meeting many more new people.