On this page you may go to: Introduction , Related links, Ripe environment, Potential pitfalls, Nitty gritty details



Introduction

Tapped In is a web-based learning environment that is one part social network and one part collaborative conferencing tool with capabilities for real-time, text-based conversation (chat) as well as discussion boards for asynchronous learning.

Related links


Ripe environment

Do one or more of the following preconditions describe your school culture and/or your school-based mentoring program? If so, then Tapped In may be an appropriate intervention:
  • Teachers want a safe and secure virtual home in which to try out new learning and skills.
  • Grade level teams, committees, and curriculum groups need a way to communicate, collaborate, and share resources in synchronous or asyncrhonous formats.
  • Mentoring teams wants to facilitate synchronous chats between mentors and novices who cannot meet due to time or geographic limitations.
  • Mentoring team needs a quick-and-dirty way to upload, archive, and share documents and other resources to support their program.
  • Mentors and novices desire a way to post and share resources pertaining to a specific content area, pedagogical concern, or classroom management issue.
  • Staff development activities leave participants with a need to discuss and extend new learning.

Potential pitfalls

  • Firewalls and Internet filters may hinder interactivity or block the Tapped In site completely. Coordination with campus network administrator may be necessary.
  • New users require time to become acclimated to the Tapped In interface.
  • Moderators are needed to facilitate chats and discussions; some training may be required.

Nitty gritty details

  • Installation: none required (web-based)
  • Registration: simple and free, with option to create a member profile and virtual "office"
  • System requirements: browser must be properly configured to enable Javascript. Tapped In developers recommend using the browser installed on your computer.
  • Design/user interface: functional but low frills, minimal opportunities to customize personal spaces
  • Tech support: help index, FAQ, user interface guide, regularly scheduled "Tips and Tricks" virtual field trips, tech support via email, and live U.S. help desk in operation from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST
  • Cost: free for individual users, institutional partners pay for scaling-up services and additional training
  • Scalability: group rooms limited to 4 mb of storage space, individual member offices limited to 3 mb of storage
  • Reliability: Firefox and Macintosh OS X are not recommended
  • Usability: moderately user-friendly. Help desk volunteers and "Tips and Tricks" sessions smooth out the learning curve.
  • User features: secure login with privacy settings and passwords, file uploads and content sharing, chats with transcripts automatically emailed to participants, discussion threads, customizable profile pages called “offices,” keyword and people search, private messaging, and email notification