Tapped In Member Perspectives: Meet Jan Naher-Snowden
Jan Naher-Snowden is part-time faculty in the Department of Curricular and Instructional
Studies at The University of Akron (Ohio). She has taught a variety of courses for
preservice teachers ranging from Science Methods for Elementary School to Instructional
Technology Applications. She is also rapidly approaching the hurdle of her doctoral
program comprehensive exams. Given that she considers that hurdle the largest and most
intimidating, she is eagerly anticipating beginning her dissertation research in the
Spring of 2002. Her research will focus on Inquiry Teaching in undergraduate science
courses and student understandings about the Nature of Science. The interesting
technology piece in all of that is the comparison of the use of real-time on-line
remote data collection with archived on-line databases.
I remember very clearly the first time I heard the Internet mentioned - during a
integrated science curriculum meeting in the Fall of 1995. My youngest son had just
entered Kindergarten and I had returned to teaching. My interest was piqued and I
finally had dial-up service a few months later. Even the text based interface was
enough to keep my spouse and me up into the wee hours of the morning. The detective
and knowledge acquisition addict in me was intuitively aware of the vast potential
of this new medium that was unfolding at breakneck speed.
My required doctoral courses seemed pale when compared with the technology oriented
electives that were competing for my attention. I dove in head first, not considering
the consequences. I *knew* that this avenue had potential and that I had something
to contribute along the road.
I first was introduced to TAPPED IN during an on-line "Teaching With Webquests"
course that I took with Bernie Dodge in the spring of 1999. Little did I know at
the time that I would find TAPPED IN to be a stimulating professional resource and
a link to people who are expanding the boundaries of learning in dynamic conversations.
My erratic schedule has not allowed me to participate in the TAPPED IN community to
the degree that I would like. However, in a weak moment in the early summer, I found
myself volunteering to lead a session for the Crazy Eights Summer Carnival and before
I knew it, I was learning the ins and outs of facilitating a discussion. That session,
Science Webquests, convinced me that leading a monthly session for K-8 Science Discussion
would be a rewarding opportunity.
I would like to see the K-8 Science Discussion to be owned by all the participants,
with shared responsibility for generating topics for discussion. We have vast resources
on hand and not one of us has the time or energy to be an expert in all. We need each
and every one of us to share the treasures we have discovered and to explore
collaboratively the unfolding science oriented riches we have at our finger tips.