Tapped In 2: Global Collaborative Learning
I volunteered at Tapped In between 1999 and 2013 when it closed its virtual doors due to lack of funding for programmers. I helped educators create accounts as well as virtual K-12 classrooms and resource rooms. My one bucket list item is to see this excellent system reborn.
TI has its roots in some of the earliest internet programs, namely MOOs and MUDs. Educational institutions created their own and at one point using a client named Tinyfugue I could simultaneously connect to over 50 educational MOOs. TI developed the graphic interface you see above. It is a free and open source program that is Java based. I'm told that it will take at least 100 programming hours to make it viable again. Following is my rationale why this should happen.
One of the reasons TI never really caught on is because use was piecemeal; only a few teachers from a district would use it. But what if a school district could create their own on their own server? What if every teacher had their own virtual classroom with collaborative possibilities with other teachers within their own district for free (and ad free)? Now, expand upon that idea a bit and tweak the system with the following:
Speech to text
Text to speech
Imagine the first day of kindergarten; kids draw a picture. Teacher tells them to start a story about it and their words come up on the screen. After they log off the chat log automatically emails to the teacher and the kid's parents. Day 2 and the kid draws more pictures and continues the story. Day 3 and the kid hooks up with a kid in China, or Peru, or Pakistan who draws another picture and continues the story in their own language, which instantly translates into English. Now you have a bilingual book developing during the first week of school. Imagine years of international collaboration, Project Based Learning, Problem Based Learning and Portfolio Assessment rather than focusing on test scores.
Imagine classes not based on age, but on student objectives and skill levels. From plumbing to Pakistani, rooms could be built to facilitate student-centered learning. Rather than one centralized site there could be thousands, even millions eventually, connected by desire to learn instead of state mandated curricula and standards based tests.
Other improvements could and obviously should be made, but this is a future I envision utilizing technology to enhance individual learning and facilitating global collaboration.
1997 conference research paper where Mark Schlager and Patti Schank introduced Tapped In:
TAPPED IN: a new on-line teacher community concept for the next generation of internet technology
My NETC Article (written in 2005, many links won't work but the narrative gives strong examples of international learning from as early as 1996)
Building 21st Century Collaborative Learning Communities
Free download to view or install Open Source Tapped In Zipped File
Contact Jeff Cooper: firstname.lastname@example.org 503-415-9940
Helpdesk Notes (need updating & not all links will work):