Amanda Brever

Tapped In Reflection
May 1, 2007

The framework for the William and Mary School of Education encourages teachers to become content experts, reflective practitioners, educational leaders, and effective collaborators. I have found that Tapped In facilitates each of these elements on a local and global scale. Educators can easily utilize their peers as resources in developing their content mastery. The original posts and responses require continual reflection on personal practices and thoughts. Furthermore, the discussion forum provides individuals the opportunity to become leaders through sharing new ideas. Lastly, the continual communication embodies collaboration in the truest sense. The old adage suggests that two heads are better than one. Tapped In unites infinite “heads” to explore the realities of surviving teaching and surpassing basic planning.

As a student teacher I endured a phase of self-doubt in which I questioned my legitimacy in front of the classroom. While I presented a confident exterior and relied upon my content knowledge, it took time for me to accept myself as a “real” teacher. The mentors on Tapped In aided in my transition from student to teacher by instantly treating me as a peer and professional. They respected each of my questions and concerns and responded with both advice and empathy. As I gained confidence, I recognized that I had valuable insights as well and began to collaborate with fellow student teachers. Aside from the instructional value, I found an emotional support group that helped me mentally prepare each day.

Tapped In enhances a teaching environment by encouraging teachers to recognize themselves as part of a living network. Schools function best when their faculty, administration, and student body are united in common goals. Collaborative tools like Tapped In provide the educational community a means of connecting and communicating so that the profession as a whole can align objectives and attitudes. No two teachers are identical and there is no value in simply creating cookie-cutter lesson plans or assessments. However, Tapped In allows teachers to develop and improve their own style through personal and interactive reflections.

Guide of Websites:
This website has lots of great lesson plans that have technology embedded in the units. I am not a fan of taking a whole lesson or unit from someone else; however, there are many parts of lessons or units on this site that I would love to borrow from. Dante's Infernal Grammar and the Interactive Raven both look like lessons my students would enjoy.
This website is slightly overwhelming at first but it actually has a lot of great ideas. The Tools for Teachers section was a lot to mill through but I found some links that I would probably use during my teaching.
This was one of the tools I was attracted to while I was studying to previous site. I think this could be invaluable when creating a webquest or classroom website for the students. It could be used for primary instruction or it could be used to help differentiate instruction as well because you could give students different tracks.
This seems like a great resource for my seniors when they are putting together their research papers because it has both research information and also formatting rules.
This site has a vast array of lesson plans and I love how it suggests adaptations so you could easily transfer their ideas into your own classroom.
I did not find this site particularly user friendly. I got the "run around" when trying to search for something and so I'm sure my students would be equally frustrated. However I think this is more so a resource for teachers so probably that wouldn't be an issue. In general, I found the site far less useful than the others and I didn't think the page itself was well-constructed.
I went through the webquests offered through this site and it seems like there are some good links. Also, under Language Arts/English I found many interesting lesson plans. Again though, this site is a little more difficult to navigate.
This is a great resource for any teacher who has an interest to integrate technology into their classroom. In addition, it seems rather user friendly and with a little guidance I think the majority of teachers could benefit from these ideas. It's more of a how-to guide than a treasure box full of ideas.
I can say from experience it is important to type "guest" instead of "quest" at the beginning of this address, but that's just a simple mistake on my part. Again, this site is daunting at first appearance. I had absolutely no idea where to begin. The selection of topics covered seems almost random. However, for those topics covered there are some good links. Also, there are some good resources for working with new programs like Inspiration or Dreamweaver.
This seems like a great holistic resource for teachers because it addresses lesson plans, positive classroom interaction, and also collaborative work and support for teachers. All the while, the site encourages the use of technology and suggests interesting ways of integrating technology into the classroom. I thought it was cool that it mentioned Tapped In on this website as a valuable tool for teachers. I feel like I'm finally becoming part of a technological teaching community.

My TI idea:
I am planning on presenting my students in a regular 9th grade English class a webquest on Romeo and Juliet. I had completed the webquest at first with four different sections of various interest and I was going to let the students choose what they wanted to research. However, after coversations in Tapped In, I am working on revising my webquest to make it better. Also, we are going to watch the 1996 movie interpretation to aid in reading the play both to help them with the plot and also to show the differences that can occur when people interpret literature. Some of my original webquest activity sheets are attached.

I left my previous plan so people could see how my TI idea has evolved. I have created a wikispace for my students at where they will complete an initial activity and then proceed to use the site throughout our R&J unit. Students will be able to upload writing assignments and share information. There is a link for a before-reading treasure hunt activity as well as an after-reading webquest. The treasure hunt answers will be posted on their personal pages and the webquest research can be shared on the site as well. Basically, the technology will be integrated over the course of the whole student teaching period. Here is the revised lesson plan for the first day of the Romeo and Juliet unit:

(for some reason this won't work so I'm just going to paste the SLP)

Title: An Introduction to the Era of Elizabeth and William Shakespeare
Content Area/s: English
Grade Level: 9
Time Frame: 90 min
Date: March 1
  • 9.4- The student will read and analyze a variety of information materials (manuals, textbooks, business letters, newspapers, brochures, reports, catalogs) and nonfiction materials, including journals, essays, speeches, biographies, and autobiographies.

  • 9.9- The student will use print, electronic databases, and online resources to access information.

Related SOLs:

Technology SOLs:
  • C/T 9-12.4- The student will practice responsible use of technology systems, information, and software.

  • C/T 9-12.6- The student will use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.
Lesson Objectives: Students will be able to:

  • understand the culture of Elizabethan England
  • remember basic information about William Shakespeare
  • analyze various information sources, including internet
Resources (Texts & Technology):

  • computer lab
  • internet
  • treasure hunt activity

  • Culture of Elizabethan England

  • Brief Biography of William Shakespeare
Instructional Procedures: Include the estimated time for each activity.

(Number steps beginning with Initial Activity and ending with Closing Activity.)

  1. Initial Activity- Students will respond to a prompt on their wiki space:
· What do I know about Elizabethan England?
· What do I know about William Shakespeare?

After letting them respond, students will share their answers and the class will create a group list of previous knowledge on part of the board (leaving part clear for later). (15 min)

  1. Students will go to the treasure hunt activity on the wiki. They will complete the activity pasting all of their answers to their personal page. (30 min)

  1. We will share class findings and add major things they learned to the list on the board. (10 min)

  1. Closing Activity- Students will write on their page about two or three things they learned and found interesting. (5 min)

  1. Students will decide whether they would like to complete the web quest in groups or create their own personal final project.(10 min)


  • student participation will be recorded informally on a checklist

  • webquest handouts will be collected and checked for completion
Extension Activities/
Interdisciplinary Links:
  • Students could work to actually develop a formal presentation of their findings

  • Students could work together to compile a newspaper or brochure that entails all of their findings
Differentiation Strategies/Activities:

  • Students are interacting with technology and visually finding and organizing their results

Reflection/Recommendations for Future Use:

This was difficult because some students were absent and I can't rely on them to have time outside of class to complete this activity. Then, when those students are making up the work, they are falling more behind while we move on in class. The activity itself is good but requires certain resources. If I knew every student had a computer and internet at home it would make this far easier to implement.

Technology Inventory Worksheet
Interviews by Amanda Brever, Victoria Bodanyi, and Ilina Nikolova
Peter Schweizter and Joanne Kirkland, Jamestown High School.

1. What computers are available for you to use?
the teachers’ lounges, the media center, the two student labs, and portable carts with laptops are all available
2. What computers are available for your students to use?
two separate thirty-station computer labs, 25 computers in the media center, and 2 lap top carts with 16 laptops in each
3. What procedures are required in order to use these computers?
Teachers are required to sign up to use them. You can check out the student lab for half a block or a full block, but some teachers sign up for a designated half spot on a given day every single week for the year
4. Is there a shared space for saving files to the school network?
There is an H drive which both teachers and students can save work on. The teacher or students can save things to the H drive for a specific teacher and theoretically anyone with access to that drive can see anything saved on it.
5. Does the school allow the students to use wikis or blogs?
Mostly the answer to this is no. The school division has all of these types of things filtered, but you can get some sites unblocked if it is for educational purposes. Also, the school network does have a feature for students which is similar to a blog but no one really uses it.
6. Can you publish web pages on the school server?
Yes; however, no one has really done this for the last 5 or 6 years
7. Who is responsible for computer maintenance and how do you contact them?
Melanie Halpin; there is only the one person at Jamestown who handles all of their IT related problems and maintains 700+ computers
8. What is the protocol for getting a site unblocked if needed?
You can either email the supervisor and request that a site be unblocked (which is not extremely difficult assuming you have good reasons) or you can click a pop-up which will send a request to the local webmaster who can unblock some sites as well
9. Where is the AUP teachers and students sign?
Theoretically everyone who attends or is involved with Jamestown HS must sign the AUP. The form is included in the handbook sent home every year at the beginning of classes and the students and parents must sign or a student is unable to use the computers.
10. Do students have email accounts?
Students do have email through the network but almost none of them use it.

Available Hardware Supplies

Projection device
· Overhead projector (50) – can check out for the whole year or for specific days
· Slide projector (6) – art and science normally checks these out
· Opaque projector (2) – (original ELMO)
· LCD projector (20/23) – check it out with the department chair
· Film strips- obsolete(3)
· 16mm- obsolete (13)
· Talk to Melanie Halpin, check out from her
· Talk to Melanie Halpin, check out from her
Digital Camera
· (5) – used by art, journalism; in Media Center and computer labs
Digital Video Camera
· none
Analog Video Camera
· VHS-S (1) – tapes onto a VHS, which can be immediately put into a VCR; can check it out, have to go through some sort of training prior to use
· Small tape (1) – plug into computer or convert to VHS, Joanne goes everywhere it does because it is so expensive
Video Conferencing
· Set up by IT (Melanie Haplin)
· One teacher who was involved with the Rhodes program actually hosted many telecommuting events with his class while he was abroad in Japan
· Record player (4)
· Audio cassette player (2)
· CD/Cassette player (8) – foreign language has a lot of these
· Room size audio cassette (7)
· Small audio cassettes (9) – used for individual study, SOLs, newspaper, etc.
· Videos
o Over 1700 different tapes, have a lot more programs than that; approximately 85 or so are DVD, all the rest are VHS and they can not just be transferred to DVD without getting copyright permission
· TV & Cart (5)
· Carts (40) – used for hauling assorted equipment

Available Software Applications

Word Processor:
· Microsoft Word
· On all computers in labs, library, and lap tops
· Accessible by both teachers and students
· Microsoft Excel
· On all computers in labs, library, and lap tops
· Accessible by both teachers and students
· Star Student and Grade Quick
· On all computers, but the person signed in must be under a teachers name and password
· Accessible to teachers only
· Microsoft PowerPoint, Photo Story, Photo Editing
· There are multiple folders on the desktop of computers hooked up to the network that have all of the specialty software on it (Math, World Language, Other software), or you can go to Start, Program Files, and find it all there.
· On all computers in labs, library, and lap tops
· Accessible by both teachers and students
· World Book Online, Electronic Library, EDiscover, Public Library, etc. Subscribed to by the state.
· There are multiple folders on the desktop of computers hooked up to the network that have all of the specialty software on it (Math, World Language, Other software), or you can go to Start, Program Files, and find it all there.
· On all computers in labs, library, and lap tops
· Accessible by both teachers and students
Curriculum Related
· Math: Algeblocks, Sketchpad
· Math, English, Science: PLATO (mini lessons and mini quizzes/tests)
· Foreign Language Software, Integrated Learning Program (Math, Science, English)
· There are multiple folders on the desktop of computers hooked up to the network that have all of the specialty software on it (Math, World Language, Other software), or you can go to Start, Program Files, and find it all there.
· On all computers in labs, library, and lap tops
· Accessible by both teachers and students
· Microsoft Outlook
· On all computers in labs, library, and lap tops
· Accessible to teachers
FTP/Web Publishing
· Microsoft Publisher, Page Maker, Front page (the last two aren’t very common because they don’t have very many people requesting to write webpages)
· There are multiple folders on the desktop of computers hooked up to the network that have all of the specialty software on it (Math, World Language, Other software), or you can go to Start, Program Files, and find it all there.
· On all computers in labs, library, and lap tops
· Accessible by both teachers and students