Participation in Online Professional Development
Learning about technology and teaching is an ongoing activity that you'll continue long after this course is over. Fortunately, there are many free resources online that will help you along the way. In this assignment, you'll spend an hour participating in an interactive session on Tapped In, a network of teachers. Almost every day of the month, you'll find discussions taking place on topics of interest to educators. It's a wonderful resource that will put you in touch with new ideas for teaching with technology whenever you like.
To get started, go to Tapped In and get an account for yourself. The account is free and will not generate any extra spam in your mailbox except for a weekly notice of upcoming chats.
Once you have your account, you can log in an look around. Click on the Calendar and see what talks are coming up next. It would be very smart to attend one of the guided tours that take place every Tuesday at 2:30pm or Saturday at 11:00am. You'll find the helpers at Tapped In to be the best feature of the place. They're friendly and smart.
Here's a one-page overview of the interface at Tapped In.
If you'd like to practice, join Philip Molebash in his virtual office at one of the following times:
To enter the conversation, select Philip's name (PhilipM) and under the Actions popup button, select Join. We'll just chat about the course or whatever you like. This will provide a low pressure way to get comfortable with Tapped In's interface.
What Counts for This Assignment? This is meant to be an experience in Professional Development. I recommend that you attend one of the tours of Tapped In scheduled twice a week or visit me in my office at the designated time, but these don't count for the assignment. You need to attend a formal scheduled chat that's about something other than Tapped In itself. Unless you are a teacher of ESL or a foreign language, we do not recommend attending the Writing for Webheads sessions. Those mostly informal get togethers and are not representative of the other sessions on the Calendar.
A Note About Procrastination: Occasionally a scheduled chat at Tapped In will fizzle out early because of lack of attendance, a missing discussion leader, or technical glitches. Describing such a session will not qualify to complete this project. It would be wise to set aside time to attend more than one session and do it well before the due date for this assignment.
Some Notes About Netiquette: The meetings you will sit in on at Tapped In generally have a discussion leader. It's not a free for all. It's more like a college lecture/discussion than a party or AOL chat room.
Text-based chat has some unique characteristics. One is that anything said by anyone fills the screen with equal prominence. If the discussion leader makes a point and people are chiming in with side comments, the clutter on the screen makes it difficult to follow what's going on. Speak sparingly.
Please remember that...
You'll complete this assignment by posting to all members of the class via the OPD forum on Moodle a description of the session.
This assignment counts for 10% of your final grade. Your posting should therefore be substantive.