Meet Bonnie Feather
Bonnie has taught high school music in Australia, preschool, first grade, fourth grade, and University level. Currently she is very interested in helping teachers to integrate technology with their teaching, since students are outpacing us quickly using technology as a learning tool. In addition to providing teacher support for the Northern Arizona Regional Training Center, Bonnie also been actively navigating online courses for the Arizona School Services for Educational Technology and PBS/TeacherLine.
I work as a Technology Trainer in six counties of Arizona. Since our counties are among the largest in land area in the country, that's an area about the size of France! I visit and support all of the districts and charter schools in that area. Of course, many of these schools are rural, and many of them have affiliated sites that are hundreds of miles apart from each other.
When I teach administrators and teachers about Tapped In, it never fails that I hear wide-eyed comments. "This is just what we need..." "How much does a subscription cost?" (I love answering this one!) "We could use this for..."
I use Tapped In as a way to collaborate with colleagues far away. I can post a document to my office, and my colleagues can have access to it for review or revision. I can have access to documents on the web without disks, or even a flash drive! I have collaborated with people from other states, and even one from South Africa!
I have worked with professionals who now have their meetings here in the chat format rather than face to face. Often this saves many people from driving many miles.
Another way some of our schools use Tapped In is for discussions of ideas. We all know that there are many people who don't speak up in meetings or classes, but they do in online classes. These folks often speak up and have great thoughts/ ideas when they can form their thoughts, write them, and review them before posting to a discussion. The discussion is set up in the principal's (TI) office and then staff members login and post their thoughts to the discussion. It saves time and gives everyone equal chance to be heard - we all know that doesn't really happen in real-time staff meetings. This seems especially useful when there are contentious issues - everyone gets to weigh in.
What did I do without Tapped In? I don't know. I think I get a lot more accomplished now. And I wouldn't want to do without it now!