Tapped In Member Perspectives: Meet Kim Foley
Kim Foley is a researcher working at the Field Trips web site in Spokane, Washington.
Kim leads the monthly "Virtual Field Trips with www.field-trips.org" and
the monthly "Creating Virtual Field Trips" After School Online discussions
at TAPPED IN.
In the early 80s, I worked in film and video with a side interest in computers. As
technology moved ahead, video and computers became entwined. In the late 80s I
pursued a graduate degree at MIT's Media Lab. I got involved in creating and producing
interactive projects and educational software. Wearing many hats, I was senior
instructor at the first company to develop digital video editing software, adjunct
professor teaching web design at the University of Massachusetts, digital video editor,
and producer/co-author of multimedia textbooks for Prentice-Hall and McGraw-Hill, to
name a few. In 1996 I co-founded a startup called Tramline. We developed TourMaker
software for creating virtual field trips with the goal to create some order out of
the chaos of the web. We also developed a site of virtual field trips (initially known
as Virtual Field Trips Site, then shortened to Field Trips Site) that educators could
use in their classrooms, and students could use at home.
Despite the fact that I have been heavily immersed in technology, I am one of those
people who simultaneously resist it. If it does not have a practical use in my life,
I do not want to invest my time and energy. For instance, though I have been using
email for 15 years, I have steered clear of chat rooms. It just did not hold any
interest for me. That is, until I discovered TAPPED IN. I finally saw a practical
and excellent use of the chat functionality.
My introduction to TAPPED IN came as a result of being asked to play a supporting role
when someone else was demonstrating field trips they had created using our TourMaker
software. I was awed by the power of TAPPED IN and the enthusiasm of the participants
was contagious. Eventually, I decided I would like to use TAPPED IN, which brings me
to the present. I offer two monthly sessions at TAPPED IN: one on using TourMaker
software and the other on using the field trips at the Field Trips Site. The goal is
to inform teachers of an easy to use tool and resources that can make their classroom
Internet use more productive.
Teaching TourMaker online looked like it might present a challenge (and it does)
but in the few months I have been offering the sessions, the participants have been
very enthusiastic and watching people "get it" is a blast. Also, I cannot
say enough about the Help Desk/support people at TAPPED IN. They are welcoming,
encouraging, knowledgeable, and well-supportive!
One last note. I have just completed a new book titled, "The Big Pocket Guide
to Using & Creating Virtual Field Trips." You can find out about TourMaker,
the field trips, and my book at