"We need to rethink the fundamental principles on which we are educating our children."

(Robinson, 2006)

1. Celestia an model of technology integration into curriculum
2. Classic view of learning versus offical view of learning
3. Learning Adventure #2: Is Ned Kelly a Hero? Blackboard Discussion
4. Learning Adventure #4: MicroWorlds EX Robotics
5. Learning Adventure#1: Finale Notepad
6. Computer as Material
7. ReadingAssignment "What I did on My Three Summer Vacations", by Brian Silverman. Illustrated by Peter Reynolds. Previously published in Mathematics and Informatic Quarterly
8. Kozol Reading and the discussions that followed - Professionalism in Teaching? What makes a professional? What is a professional educator? Passion vs. Emotion in Teaching.
9. Learning Theorists Video Project Concept
10. Tapped In Discussions

1. Celestia, A model of technological integration into dynamic curriculum

Important ideas:
  • Integration spans all subjects
  • Enhances imagination
"...to boldly go where few have gone before." (Townsend, 2006)
  • Makes ties to learning
  • Useful as a tool
  • Appeals to a wide audience
"Astronomy Knowledge Machine" (Andahl, 2006)

A student says Celestia was "difficult to figure out how to move in different directions at first" (Burker, 2006) but this did not stop his learning and as we have discussed, something being a challange does not make students shy away. The Celestia activity represented a look at how differently technology can be incorporated into educational activities as well as how technology is "fit into" the curriculum and therefore not changing the way students learn. Technology offers the opportunity for educational leaders to change the very face of children's learning environments. Some of ideas were traditional (Davey, 2006) and some were transitional (Townsend, 2006).

Makes Ties to Learning
Celestia was a great example of what Seymour Papert would say: “Learning by Making.” Or “Constructionist learning.” Jean Piaget would call this “experiential learning.” (Wikipedia) In either case, the learning is effective because it enables you to make things using your own creativity and knowledge. It provides additional tools such as references (which provides richer or deeper knowledge especially for those who want to become expert learners) and media tools such as video or snap shots of stills that enable you to create learning activities. (Woolman)
This tool reinforces many of the learning theories we have studied so far. For example:
As Seymour Papert and Idit Harel say at the start of Situating Constructionism, "It is easy enough to formulate simple catchy versions of the idea of constructionism; for example, thinking of it as 'learning-by-making'. (Wikipedia) Celestia allowed us to do exactly this. We each had our own ideas of how we could create learning exercises for students as well as how we were able to enjoy using this media as a great learning tool. Here are some examples of what our cadre had to share:
“Just loaded Celestia and this program is going to be bad news for me...tons of fun. I started clicking on every star and visiting planets, moons, and skipping along the rings of saturn. Talk about a program that opens the eyes of every "kid" that wants (or in my case wanted to) be an astronaut. I hope that new versions of this program comes out with even better graphic or incorporates higher definition images much like what is found on google earth or google mars. (http://www.google.com/mars/). Even so this is fantastic! I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do. (Allen Haren)”

“Glad you're enjoying Celestia. The software is open-source which means it will get better graphics and other content when you add it :-) (Gary Stager)”

“I spent my first few hours with Celestia just trying to mess around. I figured out the basic things on my own but went through and read the directions in the help section to learn more about Celestia. After a few hours I figured out how to locate other planets, constellations, you name it; Celestia and I can find it. I also right clicked on the different planets and read up on them. I love facts of information so that was very helpful.

I looked up Celestia on Wikipedia and found that it is capable of watching solar and lunar eclipses. It can also capture movies of where I am navigating. (But not on the free version we have.) According to Wikipedia I can also set the time backwards or forward to see how the planets would be aligned according to the date. I haven't figured out how to do all of this yet but look forward to playing with it some more to take advantage of all the things this neat program can do.

As far as what teachers can do with this program the possibilities are truly endless especially with all the add-ons. During my goggle search I found this website, http://www.celestiamotherlode.net/catalog/educational.php.
This website has a Celestia download for educators that has 12 already designed space tours with instructions and activity sheets to assist students in their discovery of Space and Celestia. "I think using these programs would be a great way to get students familiar with the program. Students can use these programs and work on their own instead of feeling like the teacher is telling them where to go next. Celestia allows the students to decide where they want to go. Students can use this program for all the obvious reasons (learn about the plants, solar systems, constellations etc.) But they can also learn about the not so obvious things about the spacecrafts and satellites that have been placed in space. This program is neat because it makes outer space a lot more tangible. Students are actually able to visually and spatially associate with all the terms that they have ever heard about outer space. Celestia is a great educational tool because it allows students to virtually navigate their way through the solar system as often as they want."
(Kristen Dowling)

” What a fine example of a true collaborative effort. It started rather small and now has grown to become a major commmunity that is all contributing to the enhancement of the experience. It is an inspiring example of what can happen when people work together towards a common goal.

This is a bit of an "Astronomy Knowledge Machine" of sorts. Students could have a virtual experience while learning the solar system. This is even better than "My Very Excellent Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas" for learning the planets (just a bit of sarcasm)...

"Not only can students learn factual information they can also delve into the unknown. The potential for students to create their own add-ons and scripts allows them to be active participants in the collaboration too!" (Scott Amdahl)

”I have been playing with Celestia for hours. I have imagined three simple activities as a teacher to help students utilize the Celestia program and begin to experience it. I would add a fourth that had students doing what I have done and record their activities to look at their interaction with a new technology.

Lesson ideas for Celestia
Lesson 1

Universal Scale Discovery
1. Travel from the Sun to each of the eight planets in our solar system and back
2. Record the distance traveled each time
3. Travel from the Earth to the Moon and ISS recording distances
4. Travel from the Sun to any other star and record name and distance
5. Construct a physical model to scale of the places you have gone

Lesson 2
Planetary tour
1. Travel to all of the planets in our solar system (including Pluto)
2. Record planetary diameters, distance to the Sun, and Radius
3. Draw a image of the planet in your planetary journal
4. Choose the planet most interesting to you (other than Earth) and describe what life might be like their

Lesson 3
Planets of different stars
1. Research planets and other solar systems
2. Choose a star that has an orbiting planet and travel their
3. How far have you gone, where are you in relation to our galaxy
4. Describe what this planet is like including the surface conditions

(Brad Davey) “There are resources out there like celestia for all types of subjects. Interative software is a great way to get kids to learn. In my physiology labs we had lab days where all we did was get on the computer and learn how the body works. It was pretty cool to see how all the different functions of the body work. If teachers could use these programs as additional material to their teaching I believe students would learn even more!" (Heather Walberg)

I have been playing with Celestia for hours. I have imagined three simple activities as a teacher to help students utilize the Celestia program and begin to experience it. I would add a fourth that had students doing what I have done and record their activities to look at their interaction with a new technology.

“Many wonderful activity ideas have been shared so far, and here is another. I was very inspired by the reading titled "Computer as Material: Messing About with Time" by Seymour Papert, and it had me wondering how can Celestia be used as material? So here is one idea, and I'm sure you'll think of others as you read this.
The activity I have in mind would have multiple stages, one building on the other, so for example:
Activity #1: I'd like for the student to just explore Celestia and get comfortable with it.
Activity #2: Compare the surface of the moon to the surface of the Earth, and state what the differences or similarities are.
Activity #3: I'd ask the student to identify the materials needed if he or she was to live on the moon. (They could use any resource for this, books, internet, other students, etc.)
Activity #4: I'd ask the student to use a drawing program, such as Paint, to create a picture of what their living area would look like (their habitat, the layout of their moon city, or whatever their imagination sees), and then use Celestia to tell me where on the moon they would build this habitat or city and why they chose that spot. (Katrin Steele)”

“I loved the software and I couldn't believe its free. I'm going to have students of 2nd and 3rd graders explore the software. Since I like the Vygotskys idea of learning and playing, Im going to ask them ,choose one place that any of you, individually, want to go and visit or stay and live?" (Benaz Nassernia)
As you can see from many of these comments how effective this program was to many of us. How it inspired us to be creative and to use our imaginations. It encouraged us to explore and to want to know more about the content and how we could create lessons for students and also encourage their learning.
Gromik says it nicely: "Constructionist learning involves students drawing their
own conclusions through creative experimentation and the making of social objects. The constructionist teacher takes on a mediational role rather than adopting an instructionist position. Front of class teaching "at" students is replaced by assisting them to understand—and help one another to understand—problems in a hands-on way." (Wikipedia)

Celestia is an important learning tool because it does allow you or a teacher to take on a different role in the classroom. Instead of a didactic style, the student becomes their own teacher and controls their own learning. I use the word student in terms of a classroom setting, but truly this tool can be used by many different audiences. There are times when we are developing programs in the corporate world and often times want to get people to engage in good conversations and be alert and open to new ideas. Celestia is a great brain teaser or "ice breaker" (corporate term to open up a session with a quick activity to wake up our brains..). When I shared this tool with some of my colleagues, they loved it. They didn't want to stop playing with it. I think what makes it different and so engaging is the 3D collaborative environment. People learn when the activity is as "real" as possible. This was a lot of fun for many of us.

Celestia to look at the earth looking up
I then began to think of the importance of myths in human culture, and how different people interpret the constellations that are incorporated into their history and myth. WIth Celestia, a user can identify a place on the planet, and then look out to the sky to see what constellations are visible and when (more people are outsite at night in the summertime then in winter). This learning adventure could be used to identify the locatiion of a historical community (Greece or the Aztecs for example) by looking down from the sky and then reversing the view to look up at the sky to see what is visible and why these particular constellations could be used to facilitate the growth of particular myths.

Besides ethnic migrations and myths, adventures could be created to examine the spread of disease, the growth of a particular industry or technology or the location of geological events that directly affected human history or condition (major earthquakes, volcanos, etc ) (Greenfield)

Cited Works
Robenson, Ken, 2006. TED international conference. Montery CA, February 2006.

Celestia Resources
  • The motherlode site has a great educational programming section with HUGE files (stay away if you have dial-up)
  • The usual "wikized" info and history
  • Lesson plans for one and all
  • NASA site that uses Celestia as base for educational program - very good example of Celestia use
  • A huge, I mean HUGE source for Celestia add-ons

2. Classic Learning Philosophy versus Offical View of Learning

The offical view of learning is the idea that learning is not fun and is determined by how much effort one is willing to expend. The offical view also says the scientific testing is needed to measure what students have learned. The offical view of learning orginated from military practices in the 1800's. The Classic view of learning is based on the idea that we learn from those people and groups that we identify with. In the classic view we are continously learning and often times we are learning without effort. The classic view has been around for many centuries but has taken a back seat this century.

In our discussion of "The Book of Learning and Forgetting" there were many personal experiences shared. Robert discussed his teacher and his impact on Robert's learning. Many others chimed in with stories of amazing teachers/professors that had a profound change on our educational lives. Mitch shared his experience with a teacher who was willing to teach outside the box and use the classic model when she, "She challenged me every day to reach farther and higher than I ever thought possible for a small town boy. Her lessons were interactive, exciting and most importantly fun! We learned how to learn in her class. She inspired all of us to see beyond the material, by giving it perspective, relevance and meaning. Her examinations were participatory rather than by paper test. I remember many instances of other students skipping their classes to sit in her class. She pretended not to see them, but inside I could tell that she was very proud and when I asked her about it the day I graduated, she started to cry. She was so happy, and content, and yet she was about to loose her job. It seemed that she had an ongoing battle with the School Administration Officials concerning her unorthodox teaching methods. She had been formally repremanded several times and she was being terminated for non-compliance. I went ballistic, We organized a campus wide protest, and most of the students threatened to not attend graduation. I went even further to protest the school officials private houses, threatening them with public ostrascism. Eventually, after the results of the WASL or standardized test were posted, her termination was overruled by the head of the School Board. Her students scored on average 20% higher in all categories than those student in the exact same school that has never attended one of her classes. Talk about eating crow! She was my Aristotle, and is with me today in everything that I do."

We also discussed Smith's idea of "The Club" and how often people are counted out by inadequate teachers. Scott relfected on how students learn from the clubs they belong to when he said, "His notion about clubs and kids learning naturally reminded me of my first year of teaching and the impact Pokemon had on my 5th grade students. I was completely amazed by the ability of my students to remember almost every detail of each Pokemon character. They would get together in their little groups before school, during lunch etc. and talk the talk of pokemon. The amount of info they could recall was really considerable. They learned all of this stuff from a combination of playing games, reading cards, and talking to their friends. These were the same kids that appeared to have trouble with basic concepts in class. "

There were personal stories shared of examples of children who were mistreated. We discussed these and how one would go about fixing the situation. Most importantly we learned that learning can be fun if it is approached in the right way!

On a related path, there were some very interesting ideas inspired by S. Papert's article "Thoughts on Images of the Learning Society". D. Jones started the discusssion by reflecting on one of Papert's opening coments about imagining a world without schools. Her daughter is about to leave the safety of the structure of a school environment and wonders how this will effect her. She goes on to to discuss some of the strenghts and weeaknesses of home school learning. Whereas skill drills may be stronger, and are away from some of "unsavory" environments of the public school. She also writes that home schools do not provide the opportunities of the samba school of LOGO projects that Papert writes about.

Her comments initiated a discussion about the home schooling and the place of community in learning. B. Lolli added a comment about a new home-school program in Pennsylvannia that uses an online system for 1-1 teacher student learning, and how a teacher she knows spoke very highly of this. She also cites Thomas Friedman's observation in his book "The Earth is Flat" that computers and technology in general will carry ideas around the world- a very appropriate comment for an online MA program. Although Friedman is not a "Papert", as a journalist his observations do provoke some interesting dicsussions.

KD responded to Cherilyn's post and Paperts paper, "I also can't imagine a world without school. Even Papert talks about how its hard for him to imagine a world without school, "i am over fifty and yet the number of my post school years has barely caught up with my preschool and school years." Reading this comment made me think about just how much of our lives we spend in school. "

Gary then pisted the question "Are there samba schools in our culture?"

Kim Woolman brought up the idea of martial arts schools: " martial arts is a form of a Samba School. A place where people gather to learn and share an art that has been around for many centuries. It teaches us more than self defence, it's about breathing, self discipline, respect for others and so forth. Many asian arts also have places where music and dance are part of learning about their cultures as well as social proprieties."

D. Greenfield continued the discussion with the idea of intergenerational and commnity-based learning especially in
The idea of generational transferance of knowledge is one of the important aspects of a "school", like samba or martial arts. Learning is done in a group and as a group- the experienced passing on experience to the younger members of the community, who in turn come up with variations and new ideas to keep the content fresh. I cannot think of too many examples in "western" societies. Perhaps the Yeshiva of the Jewish world in which men (it is a gender seperated community) come together to learn talmud (the Jewish book of law) and other biblical and legal commentaries. There is actually a tradition in which groups of learners, similar to our learning circles meet every morning to learn one page of talmud. Groups and learning circles around the world studt the same pages every day and it takes 7 years to complete the cycle. At the end of this cycle, there are huge, arena-size sessions where everybody in local communities come together to study and learn the last pages.

K. Steele writes of this that "we speak of social clubs that support "social cohesion, a sense of belonging to a group and a sense of common purpose" with deliberate teaching, I though of groups such as the Boy and Girl Scouts, or even school clubs"

D. Jones adds "his process is incredible because it incorporates not only the knowledge, but the tradition as well. Such learning communties probably exist in many long-standing cultures in other forms. Much of that can be seen in the oral traditions of storytelling, and in the foundations of theater."

The Official Book of Learning and Forgetting, Frank Smith
Images of the Learning Society (Chapter 8) ,Papert, Seymour. (1981) Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas. NY: Basic Books.

3. Ned Kelly a Hero or Villian?

I believe that Learning Adventure #2, inspired by Gary Stager's travels through Australia and work with Australian students, who are taught that Ned Kelly was a hero, is worthy of inclusion because of the amount of discussion the topic inspired in Blackboard and the calibre of the ideas that were presented, defended, and changed in the course of the discussion. Additionally, I believe that the posts were the first time there were some good disagreements in the class, and people's ideas and beliefs were challenged and perhaps influenced by the dialogue and debate.

Most people started by reading about Ned Kelly in two different placed:


Both give a good summary of the events that happened in Ned Kelly's life. The Iron Outlaw site is exhaustive in its research but more biased in its reporting; it stands to note that the site is produced by an Australian.

With the "facts" out there, the debate on Blackboard began. Kristin Dowling started the conversation by comparing Kelly to a modern day Robin Hood character, but refused to take sides until he had done more research. However, he frames the issue succinctly and without emotional bias:

"How does a man hanged for murder, become an Australian national hero?" (http://www.uow.edu.au/research/unibrewery/2004/2004-04-14.html)//

Did a ton of reading last night on the life and story of Ned Kelly. I had never heard of him before this learning adventure. After reading his story it sounds like a lot of people wonder how someone who commited numerous acts becomes a national hero. Apparently Ned was Austrailia's Robin Hood (wikipedia.com) in that people say he was fighting against corrrupt British rule. He was accused of many crimes including cattle stealing, robbing banks, taking a whole town hostage, attempting to derail a police train, and killing 3 police officers. (wikipedia.org/Ned_Kelly) He appeals to many people as a hero because he was devoted to his family and Irish culture, he came from a poor background yet he was clearly smart, and he also was wronged by the law several times. (theage.com.au) People for sorry for the life he was born into. (Back to nature vs. nuture) His father was also arrested several times. I am not sure yet what i personally think on whether Ned Kelly was a hero. I want to read the Jerilderie Letter and do some more research before I come to my final conclusion. Is he another Robin Hood? Did he give to the poor or was he just man done wrong by police? I have known people who been wronged by the law but does that make them a hero for physically acting out against the law? Was it Ghandi that said an eye for an eye would leave the whole world blind. Stay posted there will be more to come soon. Just my inital reaction right now (Dowling, 2006).

And with that the conversation began. People started feeling that perspective brought much to bear on the decision as to whether Kelly could be considered a hero, most agreeing that Kelly's situation may have necessitated some of his rough behavior. David Greenfield changed the topic, however, by suggesting that people like Kelly might fill a larger need in the public's psyche.

Good question- according to the movies he was a hero. I have been thinking more about the mythology of these heros. There is so much blending of fact and fiction all tempered by time. There seem to be example of this archtype all over the world. Behnaz- is there an example of this character in Iran?

I think that people need the myth of this archtype more than then they need the actual person. The myth seems to appear in societies that are repressed by the authorities- Ned, Robin, Zorro. I remember reading about a woman bandit in India who displayed some of the same characteristics- rob the rich, distribute to the poor, etc). These archtype represent a kind of hope that there exists a protector of them, someone who delves out justice to the reppressor.

Perhaps the question then shifts to not whether these characters really exist, but whatg is the real emotional, psychological and historical need that they fill (Greenfield, 2006).

Further muddying the waters, Katrin Steele argued that in certain situations heroism might co-exist with non-heroic actions.

I apologize for the late response: I have been keeping up with all of your entries, and I've seen a lot of excellent write ups and discussions, and it's challenged my thinking as well. So I decided to look up and see how the word hero is defined. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, a hero is:

1 a : a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability b : an illustrious warrior c : a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities d : one that shows great courage
2 a : the principal male character in a literary or dramatic work b : the central figure in an event, period, or movement
3 plural usually heros : SUBMARINE 2 THIS ONE DOESN'T APPLY HERE!
4 : an object of extreme admiration and devotion : IDOL

I also read quiet a bit about Ned Kelley and his trials and tribulations on line, and at the end, I see him as a man, trying to survive, as things went from bad to worse. I also realized that even though I would not consider him a hero, I'd have to admit that his life and his story would qualify him for a hero status, based on how some viewed him and the definitions above. Regardless of how a hero is defined, it ultimately comes down to personal interpretation, and the determining factors are timing, circumstances and sometimes, the need to believe in something or someone. As for me, I view a hero as someone who would use him or her self as the instrument to make things better for others, through noble and admirable acts. When I think of heroic behavior, I don't associate it with rebellious activities or acts to ensure survival. I would acknowledge that Ned Kelly was ultimately in a loose-loose situation. Back then, if someone rubbed off wrong with the law or someone "enforcing" the law, for what ever reason, they'd be tagged as trouble and that would start the unpleasant courtship. Ned started out doing what he needed to do to survive and to support his family. The law tagged him and those associated with him, and it only got worse. To some, he was an icon, and to others, he was nothing but an outlaw that had to be contained, or destroyed, in his case. So can someone be a hero and a non-hero at the same time? I'd have to say, absolutely!

(Steele, 2006)

Until this point people had flip-flopped on the issue, refusing to take a stand on such a complex issue as Ned Kelly's heroism. Then Heather Walberg concluded he was not a hero.

So I read about Ned the night we got the assignment and it took me a couple of days to decide what I think. I believe that he is NOT a hero in the true sense of the word. In my eyes a hero is able to accomplish his/her goals while upholding ethical value. You could argue that what he did was ethical in his eyes, but if your asking my opinion, I in no think his actions were ethical. There are many ways to solve problems other than robbing banks and killing policeman (Walberg, 2006).

Allen Haren found a flaw in this argument and countered.

You make a very good point on ethics, but let me ask you these questions. If a man saves another man's life is he considered a hero? And what iif this man had a criminal past? Does that strip away his hero title? This is an extreme example. For a more day to day example children can look up to their parents or teachers as heros. I believe a hero is someone you can respect and say that that person performs the extraordinary. The point is that we can all be heros, even those who may slip up ethically.

Do you feel that any of Ned's actions at Stringbark could be considered self defense? Did he ever get a fair and impartial trial for that matter? If you look at his criminal report (found at http://www.ironoutlaw.com/html/documents_57.html ) you will see that it wasn't until the Stringbark incident that he could be considered a dangerous person.

I am not attacking your position, just presenting the other side to further the discussion (Haren, 2006).

But David Greenfield had trouble justifying the actions of the police.

I think that you are generally correct in your definition of a hero. But I respectfully, I am not sure that I agree with you about juding the ethics of his actions regarding the police, expecially given the distance in time, geography and politics. Given the situation in Australia at that time, I am not sure that we would have acted different. When setting up a colony, the British had a tendency to populate it with "undesirables" (debtors, prisoners), and thn send in their administrators and army to "manage" the country. Look at where they have been (the sun never sets on the English empire) and left (India, the mid-east, Asia, and even our own USA) and for better or worse, you will see a trail of problems, revoutions and war. British rule was not always benevolant. So without putting Kelly into the socio-political context, I find it difficult to talk about ethics or methods to solve probvlems via bank robbing or killing policemen.

This is a slippery-slope issue though. I am a supporter of Gandhi's methods of non-violence. I do not believe in violent revolution. Yet there are times when one is faced with a clear and close power that exercies all of its power in methods that are the antithesis of non-violence. Look at the nazis, aparthied, or the governmentds in Cambodia or Rwanda. I am not sure that non-violence could have stopped the governments in power (Greenfield, 2006).

Mitch Townsend then chimed in with an eloquently argued stand defending Ned Kelly as a hero. His argument was long and complicated, and I have excerpted the conclusion here. The full response is here: http://students.pepperdine.edu/mntownse/644_2.htm

In conclusion I would state that Ned Kelly and the "Kelly Gang" were Irish immigrant folk heroes in Australia and to millions of Irish immigrants worldwide. His treatment by the authorities was unfair, and pre-ordained. He was a threat to the established power structure and he had to be made an example of, it was that simple. He met his end with the same cockiness and courage that had marked his life. Because of this he was canonized in a saying that exemplified strength, resistance and courage. "To the last, his mocking courage never deserted him and to be ,as game as Ned Kelly,; came to symbolize, in Australian folk-language, heroism of a reckless, audacious kind" (Ironoutlaw, 2006).

Ned Kelly was a hero, just as was Paul Revere, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and a long list of American Rebels who fought against British authority to create a more egalitarian and inclusive society free from tyranny and self delusions of superiority. They won and he lost that's the difference! (Townsend, 2006)

Allen Haren took issue with the factual basis of the argument and presented evidence that it was Irish vs. Irish and not English vs. Irish as posed in Mitch's arguement. His conclusion is excerpted below. You can read the full post on his website: http://allen.treklog.net/work/edc664-adventure2.html#Adventure2

I am sorry Mitch, while I agree with your end statement, that he was a hero, I have to disagree with the foundations of your argument. So what makes Ned Kelly a hero? Again, I say it is because he saved a life at the risk of his own, but more so than that it is in his protective nature, loyalty to his family and friends all while showing courage in the face of certain death. He was a revolutionary against a corrupt system and he fought until the end. It is this character, honor, fairness, strength and sacrifice that people relate to him as a hero. I believe a quote from www.crimelibrary.com sums it up best, "while the status quo that Ned Kelly so violently challenged is fading into history, the values that Kelly articulated in his letters at Euroa and Jerilderie have become part of the fabric of the nation, and his ethos, real or manufactured for public consumption, has become an essential element of the Australian national character" (Haren, 2006).

Robert Martellacci agreed with Mitch, though.

I'm with Mitch, Ned Kelly was a hero to many in his day, but, not in my books. I aspire to greater qualities. When once considers the context, Ned is an undisputable hero. At an early age he did save a boy from drowning, risking his own life. He was rooted in Irish heritage, having to grow up quickly because of the death of his father and forced to leave school. Living in harsh impoverished conditions with no education, the best option was turning to criminal activities as a means of survival. It's no surprise that kids who drop-out of school today will often turn to criminal behavior.

The Jerilderie letter helped to convince me that Ned could be a hero to his people. He was a rebel with a cause in his own mind, "the treatment of Irish Catholics by the police and the English and Irish Protestant squatters." (wikipedia.org/wiki/Ned_Kelly). That was the context and the meaning he had in his life ...a man on a mission. He was courageous and fearless, representing his people. There was also talk of an uprising and perhaps the rationale in stealing money from banks was to fund the larger scheme. Were there other motives, perhaps, something to do for excitement as he had no formal training or a career pursuit. The law eventually caught up with him and so did death. He stood for Irish Catholics struggles in a new land. Hence, some 30,000 signatures appeared on a petetion to save him from death. His story is legendary thanks to the power of the media and technology today. I look forward to your thoughts? Cheers, R.


(Martellacci, 2006)

Finally, I chimed in with my statement that Ned Kelly was no hero. You can read the post on this web page:


The conclusion is excerpted here:

The concept of heroism is tied to the contemporary opinion, and it is easy to see how an individual like Ned Kelly would be promoted to hero status by his fellow countrymen. However, through the lends of the twenty-first century Ned Kelly is no more a hero than Bonnie and Clyde, for example, part of another gang who were seen by their contemporaries as heroes because of their bank robberies committed during the Great Depression. Robbery, bloodshed, and murder have never been seen by any civilized culture as being "good" or "noble," and for this reason I am unable to label Ned Kelly a hero (Burker, 2006).

After some sparing with Mitch over the finer points, I posted a rebuttal in which I reconsidered the notion of heroism and came to a conclusion similar to that Katrin argued many posts earlier. You can read the full post here, http://students.pepperdine.edu/jjburker/learning-adv-02.html#followup , but the conclusion is excerpted below.

Where does this leave leave me in my consideration of Ned Kelly as hero? How do I reconcile the historical context of Ned Kelly's heroism with the modern context of heroism, the context with which I feel most aligned and that finds Ned Kelly to not be a hero? I believe my answer again lies in a literary convention of heroism: the tragic hero. The tragic hero possesses a flaw so fatal that it leads to his or her ultimate downfall. Othello, the leader of men and a nation, the devout lover, becomes consumed by the lies planted by Iago, murdering his own wife and Iago's before taking his own life. I see Ned Kelly as a tragic hero, for it considers the attributes that made him heroic in historic context (resistance to unjust system of justice, bush-ranging) with a fatal flaw (an aptitude and propensity for violence). I believe this determination to finally answer the question, "Is Ned Kelly a hero?" and revise my original answer to, "Yes, and a fatally flawed one at that!" (Burker, 2006)

Behnaz Nassernia also had an interesting conclusion that brought us back into the grey area of Ned Kelly's heroism.

I believe in we have to judge people based on his or her circumstances. When I can effort to feed my kids, I can't judge a mother as a thief who steals food to give to her hungry child. I think Ned wasn't a criminal person. As we all read the story he actually helps a child from drawing in his early childhood.
He was in the situation where he was accused of things with which he actually had no connection. Addition, it is very hard for a boy as a head of the family to see how his mother, brothers and sister keep suffering for something that history believes they didn¿' do it. Ned didn't care what is right or wrong. He learned that there isn't any justice in world and he had to fight for his life and those for whom he was responsible.
When I look at several website and read about him, I didn't get the feeling that he was a hero, but definitely I believe he wasn't a villain. Maybe he was born in the wrong family or in the wrong time (Nassernia, 2006).

There were many opinions being expressed, and some of them managed to change my view on the matters. People participated in a very well-thought out debate that called previously held convictions into question.

4. Learning Adventure #4: MicroWorlds EX Robotics "Turtle Power"

The reason this is worthy of inclusion is because this is Seymore Papert’s biggest contribution to education and it deals with kids bring their own skills to learning. According to Martin Boyle this is considered to be the “most famous episode of Seymour papert’s contribution to education life. (Boyle, The History of Papert, 2004)

Papert says of Logo in the introduction to his (Papert's) 2nd edition of the book Mindstorms in 1993, “I see Logo as a means that can can be used by educators to support the development of new ways of thinking and learning. However, Logo in itself produce good learning any more than paint produces good art” (Papert, 1993 p. xiv)

"Working in turtle microworlds is a model for what it is to get to know an idea the way you get to know a person." ( Pappert, p.136)

Cadre reflections took on the full range of responses. Here are a few that will support why Papert's MicroWorlds EX Robotics belongs in this list.

J Burke commented “…so it was very exciting to be able to program a turtle to make it for me!”

K. Steele & B. Davey went back to basic geometry skills, trying to identify the center of the box. They both used the formula of a2+b2=c2 to figure out how to position the turtle as part of a more complex mission, both tapped into the “banked knowledge” that Freire speaks about but both also refer to Papert’s book the Children’s Machine that “Generally in life, knowledge is acquired to be used”. And both did.

Steele puts into words what many reflected one way or another. “What a shame it is to force students to learn something for the sake of fulfilling the requirements of a curriculum predetermined by bureaucrats far from the classroom. How much more valuable and fantastic would it be if children were exposed to math, science, and literature in terms of how it's integrated in the real world.”

M. Townsend recognized the combination of “Seymour Papert's book explanation and the process of messing about with the program created one of those rare and uniquely insightful moments when everything comes together and you say to yourself Ah HA!!!!”

B. Nassernia highlighted the issue of WYSWYG and how it affected her design by trying many different codes before deciding on one.

Even frustration comes up with success as K. Dowling spoke in her reflection: “I spent a lot of time collaborating with my classmates on this project. If it wasn’t for the help of Allen, I am not going to sugarcoat my feelings about this learning adventure. I feel like most of the learning adventures thus far have been centered on the musical, mathematical, logical intelligences, which are not my strengths…. My intelligences are interpersonal and kinesthetic so I am ready for a learning adventure that will tap into my strengths. The only thing that has gotten me through these learning adventures has been my classmates’ ability to share their projects and collaborate with me.

These are just a few of the comments that seem to be continuous in the reflections of the Logo project. Frustration was there but as Papert promotes it is in the working together and sharing that knowledge is gained.

Boyle, Martin. "The History fo Mr. Papert". www.stager.org/omaet2004/papertbio.html. 2004
Papert, Seymore. (1993) The children's machine: Rethinking school in the age of the computer. New York. Books.
Papert, Seymore. (1993). Mindstorms: children, computers, and powerful Ideas, Second Edition, New York. Basic Books.

5. Learning Adventure #1 Finale Notepad, "A Musical Journey of Educational Expansion"

Finale Notepad software is a great product for users of all ages. It is a musical notation and composition software that enables it's users to create music from scratch. This product is designed for users of all skill levels from novice to expert. Finale Notepad has the ability to not only aid in the creation of music but can also print out the music that you've created in sheet music form. Sharing your musical creations has never been easier with Notepads free version software and a display website specifically dedicated to showcasing individual software users creations. Additionally, This software is a great tool for creating educational and learning opportunities for learners of all ages. Whatever, previous exposure to music that you've had, Finale Notepad offers something for everyone.

Recently, this learning exercise was used by a class from the Graduate School of Education and Psychology from Pepperdine University. The class consensus is that it was a very valuable tool in the process of developing new learning skills. It helped everyone in the class develop new skills in music as well as new skills in expert learning. Some of the benefits of this software are listed as follows.
  • Share user's music on the internet for free
  • Published in seven languages
  • Easy to use software for composing Musical Notation
  • Develop new "Expert Learning" skills
  • Colloborative and Individual Musical Skill Development
  • Enhances Creativity on all levels
  • Effective Educational Exercise for illustrating out of the box mental processes

The reasons that this Learning Adventure should be included are many.

1. Perhaps the first and most important reason is that this is an unothodox product for shaking up and expanding the learning process of students of all ages.
2. The mental process that users engage in has immediate and long-term beneficial cognitive results. It helps people think outside their intellectual comfort zones, forcing them to think in new and flexible ways.
3. It reveals a world of auditory learning. Music and Sound association are proven educational learning tools.
4. Collectively it provides a common contextual reference that enables us to anaylize the benefits this type of learning exercise. With this knowledge we can compare learning experiences to help understand this educational phenomina. A great example of this individual reflection woven into a cllective context is listed below. While each person had a different learning challege, we collectively identified some important commonalities.

Our classmates have have shared some of their obsevations and opinions with us concerning their exploration of Finale Notepad Musical Notation and Creation Software.

B. Davey felt it that learning the software was valuable and this added to creating an orginal piece of music, was priceless."There is a rule about implementing new technology and it is to only do one at a time (don't know who's rule or if I agree with it). This for me was a great example of what happens when you get two new ideas at once to learn. Writing music, definitely a challenge. Learning a new software application can be challenging. Writing an original score on a new software program, priceless."

J. Burker another Pepperdine Graduate student also thought that this was a great learning exercise "I was very happy with my effort. I think that it sounds like the national anthem for some high-tech micronation, and my wife agrees that it does sound high-tech. We'll call it an anthem for Freelardia, the area I inhabit overlooking Freemont and Ballard in Seattle. The composing experience was quite enlightening: I expected to have a very difficult time creating using sheet music. However, I found that the inclusion of sounds as one placed the notes on the sheet helped quite a bit. I definitely think that it helped that I knew how to read sheet music, how the different notes worked, and how to write a very, very basic song. I thought it would be very difficult to come up with a tune but it really just flowed once I started putting notes in the measures."

D. Jones observed "With that background in mind, you'll understand that I do read music, but not the bass clef well, and certainly not the C clef I found when I chose to use a viola. There's help out there, however. I found a web page that explained the C clef, so I used that as a reference. Finale Note Pad is a fairly easy and straightforward piece of software. It assumes some knowledge of music, but one could enter the environment with very little prior experience."

R. Martallecci explained his learning process "What I struggled with most wasn’t the technical issues, rather, the composing of music. I found myself trying to play out a tune in my head. I wasn’t sure what the best approach would be to create the music as it was a language I don’t have a strong command of. Although, I took beginner piano last year, I wasn’t familiar with all the notes and scales. I began exploring and taking some risks that yielded some ok results for my first piece."

M. Townsend described his experience with Finale Notepad as "Looking back upon the totality of the experience it became obvious to me that something very special had happed that day. I had been faced with an insurmountable dilemma and I had persevered in the face of fear, anxiety, and musical ignorance. Education and exploration are not always easy, and can be fraught with personal limitational characteristics. The key is to move past these limiting factors and get busy trying to work it out. The solutions will emerge in the acts of doing! This is the quintessential definition of "Hard Fun", and a central precept in moving past our self embedded resistance to challenges and learning new ideas and techniques."

A. Haren persoanlized his past learning with his current learning experience, "I have never been one to read manuals, I like to try to learn things out on my own. I find that if I discover, on my own, how something functions or operates then I own that knowledge and I am less likely to forget. I used the manual as a reference or a compass for me to play around...The manual offered a good starting point, but about half way through I decided to just jump in. I am a patient person but I believe that the only way you are going to learn how to swim is to be in the water."

All of the forum respondents have veiwed this exercise as a positive chllenge that indeed increased our collective abilities to think beyond our perceived learning limitations. Addditionally, we found that learning can be fun and multi-faceted. In working with this software we were able to learn new music composition skills, software skills, and most importantly how to learn on several levels within the same academic exercise. This is a highly recommeded process exercise that will surely increase it's users ability to think and learn creatively.

1. Main Website http://www.finalemusic.com/
2. Windows Notation Forum http://forum.makemusic.com/default.aspx?f=5
3. Mac Notation Forum http://forum.makemusic.com/default.aspx?f=6
4. Student Reflection and Music Composition Creation
Blackboard Educational Learrning Platform Forum Entries

6. Computer as Material "The Future"

The article titled “Computers as Material: Messing About with Time”, by Dr. S. Papert, certainly hit home with many of the Revolution 9 Cadre members. In this article, Dr. Papert provides an “example of truly educational computing—active, exploratory, student-directed learning involving the use of the computer.” (Papert, 1988) Some made the connection to experiences at virtcamp and with OMET. One student said “it captured me because I could relate. We all experienced this “object to think with” at virtcamp, and we saw how it nurtured the process of thinking, wondering, asking, reading , observing, interacting, trying and trying again.” (Steele, 2006). Another expressed that “[OMET] has shown me so many ways that I can use the computer for my own learning and inquiry. The students of tomorrow need to experience computers as a piece of the learning process, similarly to what I am learning now as an OMET student” (Dowling, 2006). Others stated that this article offers “… a practical approach for educators to integrate the computer and the Logo language. The notion of student-directed learning allowing students to explore and solve math and science related problems is a vision that Papert shares and was embraced by many educators nation-wide.” (Martellacci, 2006) Some expressed their personal vision on how they see computers used as material in a learning environment: “I have long held a vision of the day when a computer will become not only truly flat but malleable (again as Josh first described a material). I like to call it the DigiScroll, or if Apple is the first to release it, the iScroll. When the day comes that a computer can be made up of a material that is rolled up, stored in a hard plastic tube and unrolled to write on, type on, draw on, read, or whatever just like a piece of paper or book, then I think people will start to view it as a material.” (Haren, 2006)
What some enjoyed most from this article was Papert's set of guidelines at the end of this article. He stated that "Some important guidelines, then, for the placement and use of computers in schools include the following:
  1. Seek out open-ended projects that foster students' involvement with a variety of materials, treating computers as just one more material, alongside rulers, wire, paper, sand, and so forth.
  2. Encourage activities in which students use computers to solve real problems.
  3. Connect the work done on the computer with what goes on during the rest of the school day, and also with the students' interests outside of school.
  4. Recognize the unique qualities of computers, taking advantage of their precision, adaptability, extensibility, and ability to mirror individual students' ideas and constructions of reality.
  5. Take advantage of such new, low-cost technological advances as temperature and light sensors, which promote integration of the computer with aspects of the students' physical environment. (Papert, 1988)"
“These are strong and helpful guides for educators. So much of what we see in theory stays there as theory and is never put into practice for lack of guidance (or perhaps lack of imagination), but this creates a wonderful place to start in the classroom.” (Jones, 2006)

Papert, S (1988). Computer as material: messing about with time, from www.papert.org Web site: http://www.papert.org/articles/ComputerAsMaterial.html

7. Reading Assignments

"What I did on My Three Summer Vacations", by Brian Silverman. Illustrated by Peter Reynolds. Previously published in Mathematics and Informatic Quarterly and "The Man who Cracked the Code to Everything . . .", by Steven Levy.

These two articles pushed us "outside the box" in our thinking. One of our Cadre members summarized the "What I did on My Three Summer Vacations" as saying that the Maze is a metaphor. Life here is the "Maze." We accept the challenge to enter and at first stumble about, without much experience and with little perceived success. We are learning and beginning to become more interested; that is the success. We then re-group, set goals, and enlist the help of others. We try again, this time with a plan. There is some success but not what we intended and along the path, life gets in the way; time passes. More is learned, more help is enlisted, and we try again. Once we are successful, even beyond our original goals, we find that the rules have changed - thus is life! (Davey, 2006)."

In further discussion of the maze, the conversation went to using technology as a tool to solve problems. While one post stated that, "The idea of using technology to help was a good idea, great in fact, but when the idea of using technology became a sticking point and a number of years passed before it could be put to practice, technology no longer became an efficient solution (Haren, 2006)," another wondered whether using technology in this instance was an allowed part of the game concluding " The computer was a tool that helped them to discover and enjoy the maze. It's the process that matters and the way of enjoying it. I think the writer's point was that we gain knowledge and expertise while we are working on the project (Nassernia, 2006)." This point was reiterated saying that, "Because the group spent so much time and progressive problem solving in reaching their goal [using the technology tool], I believe that the end goal was not so important in the end as was proven by the removal of the records. The importance lay in the extension of the learning they gained in the process of attainment (Jones, 2006)." Perhaps the most succinct of these statements, however, is that "technology is only a tool to be used by the best computer of all - the brain (Lolli, 2006)."

Copyright © 1993-2004 The Condé Nast Publications Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1994-2003 Wired Digital, Inc. All rights reserved.

8. Kozol Reading

The reading of Kozol's article "Extreme Ideas", an exerpt from On Being a Teacher, spawned a number of discussions. These discussions challenged our view of being a professional, a professional teacher or educator, and therefore helps us personally move further towards the direction of being professionals in our respective fields. The concept of being a professional has appeared in a number or classes, discussion threads, and in our class sessions. This discussion covered many areas of the topic, it even resurfaced many weeks later in a Tapped In session where Gary answered one of the questions he posed in the forum thread, "When you speak of teach professionalism, what does that mean? What is professional?". A few ideas that came up over and over again were that the person must be an expert, passionate, in a genuine pursuit to educate, they are always learning and improving. There were back and forth debates about what a true professional is a although we agreeded on some attributes their were others we were unsettled on. An individuals values were very important in the idea of a professional.

The initial few posts were very thought provoking and led to a post by Kristen Dowling where she brought up the concept of professional standards. She wrote, "[Kozol's] ideas are very controversial because we are taught to be politically correct and maintain a peaceful medium in everything...Teachers are taught to maintain the professional standard and therefore sometimes become people without emotions and life." It was then that Gary asked us "what is professional?" Heather offered up an interesting thought by implying that professionals are lifetime learners, "Being a professional does not end with the degree you receive upon graduation from college, but it is a life long desire to be the best you can be." Barb continued the discussion in the same vein by adding, "I think a professional is one who knows he/she is always learning, improving, and know that there is always someone who can teach them more and who does know more than themselves."

In answering Gary's question Allen stated "Ultimately there are a number of ways the term 'professional' can be used to describe a person, from actions, to standing in society. If the usage is referring to a behavioral description, I believe a professional would be someone who acts in a way to present a higher level of example, one befitting a mentor set out to improve those who are learning from them." This response led to a follow-up question by Gary asking, "So what is a professional educator?" At which Allen's response was, "I would define a professional educator as a person who is dedicated to constantly improving their practice and knowledge so that they may impart thier knowledge on their students with the goal of assisting in their personal growth. A professional educator is...genuinely interested in educating others."

In order to get to us to analyze the concept of professional a bit further Gary posed another question, "What attributes did doctors, lawyers and the clergy share that made them the only professionals a century ago?" This led to a flurry of opinions, the two most common were level of education and the respect they recieved from the public. Debby stated that they shared a "higher learning and responsibility for the public welfare." Allen added a symbolic twist and answered, "Their level of education and the respect they recieved from the public because they were the only ones that could 'save' you." Robert included, "shared knowledge, power and respect in the community." It is interesting to compare these answers to the ones that Gary gave us as answers in Tapped In, "Professionals get to define the field, determine who has entry into the profession and a responsibility to mentor and advance practice."

Another discussion that came out of the Kozol reading was challenging the passions of teaching. Should teachers express passion or emotion? This idea came up many times in discussion. Balance seemed to be the main idea when it came to emotion. People preferred that teachers were real and let students know that they are human beings, but that there was still a level of respect between the teacher and student. When teachers allow students to see them in this light they are better able to connect and enrich the lives of their students. Debby put it perfectly when she said that it is best when students know their techers are "fellow learners."

9. Learning Theorists Video Project Concept

This is primarily a summary of a project idea generated from a discussion started by Robert Martellacci of Revolution 9. The chronology of the Bb discussion:
On October 2nd, 2006 Robert wrote:
I wanted to share with you my awesome experience in meeting Seymour Papert last fall at a Project Inkwell (www.projectinkwell.com), a think tank session in Maine that included EdTech industry folks, exploring the notion of one-to-one computing. Besides being treated to a keynote from former Governor King (the man behind Maine’s 1:1 initiative), Professor Papert also addressed our small group of about 40 people in a round table forum.
I must confess, I didn’t know a whole lot about Seymour Papert, other than his research in one-to-one computing and his connection to Lego Logo. After his talk, I felt like a child going up to a pro athlete or a rock star for an autograph. I expressed how much I enjoyed his talk as he looked me up and down, then, he proceed to give me a folder (in the MIT colours of course) that contained several articles of his. Learners, Laptops, and Powerful Ideas, Scholastic Administrator, Fall 2002¿T&L, May 2005: 25 that made their Mark, Professor Papert was no. 1 out of 25; Curriculum Administrator, December 1999, 100 Years of Education Leaders; his bio and his business card. He was clearly proud of his work and all too happy to share. It was a moment I’ll never forget and one that I’ve come to appreciate more and more as I get better acquainted with his work
Below are my Palm (rough) notes from his talk that I thought I’d share.
Prof Seymour Papert-MIT
-'69...first mentioned computer for everyone....logo got a bad rep in 80s...T&L article on logo and programming...how computers work...France proposed an initiative open access....$100 laptop...present tech can be achieved ...design is complete ans to be presented ...Linux...low cost ..high res and unbreakable targeted to 3rd world countries...red hat Google news corp AMD partners...Brazil is the frontrunner......breaking the spell...that laptops are too fragile....like a digital watch...should be long lasting and inexp....Nov 19...Media Lab MIT for design....ed world currently adopts biz offerings...desktop, laptop and PDA....form factor is going to change
Feel free to ask me any questions about the experience. I hope you enjoyed the moment with me. Cheers, R.

October 2nd , Mitch wrote:
I am so jealous, meeting and talking to Seymour Papert, What a treat! So tell me what was he like? Did he have Charisma? Was his voice deep and commanding? Did he have a presence about him? You mentioned that you felt like a kid going up to a star did he command that kind of awe? How did he speak? Measured and slow or staccato and fast?
I am fascinated by important people and how they communicate both verbally and non verbally.
How did the audience receive his presentation? What was the buzz?
Some questions for you from envious people who want to know and share your experiences.

October 3rd, Robert responded:
Hi Mitch, Thanks for your interior's. Papert was very professor like in his look with a bushy white beard and soft spoken. It was a year ago this month that we met. I believe that I could also detect his South African accent. The audience seemed quite interested in what he talked about....there were some highly influential people, like former Governor King, founder of Ask Jeeves and myself...not sure how I lucked into an invite...smile. Cheers, R.
P.S. Wouldn't it be cool to interview famous people like Papert talking about their learning theory and their most memorable educational experiences....I think there's a project in the making for you and Brad...I could see the title now...."Learn Like a Genius....Unlocking the the Secrets on How we Learn Best"....could be book, DVD and available online... intended to inspire parents, teachers and students....count me in....smile

October 3rd, Brad responded:
Robert, I agree that it would be interesting to interview educational theorists and get them to talk about their own learning theories. Get them on video and audio and load onto a site where anyone could stream them. What a resource...the ideas and concepts shaping education today in their own words!
I am going looking now for something like this...

October 3rd, Robert responded:
Good stuff, Brad. This could be a very interesting project. It strikes me what a shame it is that the overwhelming majority of people in our society will never gain the knowledge that we are acquiring through this program. Is it not vital to teach students about how they learn at some point in their curriculum?
October 3rd, Katrin responded:
I was just going to recommend having a segment with the up and coming new stars in the field, such as, oh, let me see now, how about OMET students from Cadre 9? What do you think of that?
October 4th, Robert responded:
Katrin, I think you're on to something....smile. We'll have to do a focus group session in Florida (seriously) to look at the viability of a business case as a means of accelerating the pace of changing the public education sytem for the better by harnessing video interviews, perhaps creating a portal. Who's in? Cheers, R.

Our discussion has peaked the interest of many of our Cadre mambers and Brad has agreed to bring digital video equiptment to the FETC conference in January, 2006 to begin our exploration as an experiment in learning. Perhaps as an activity we can begin interviewing Cadre faculty and members about their favourite theorists and philosophy on learning.

10. Tapped In Sessions

Tapped In serves as an online meeting place, connecting cadre to professor. It's a unique opportunity for people to meet from across the globe (in our cadre from as far as southern California to Toronto, Canada! )

Tapped In is a valuable tool to get clarification on assignments, "check in" with the professor and others in the cadre. For instance, in the October 18, 2006 8pm Tapped In Discussion we learned that Gary was ready to become a doctor! He also shared some stories with us at-risk youth in Maine and Australia. In addition, we were "told" about upcoming assignments, Learning Adventure #5 and received feedback on the turtle project. (Zukley, 2006)

Tapped In has the added benefit of copies of the conversation of each session being sent after the session. No need to worry about note taking, just read through what is sent to you via email. It is not as easy as Skype since talking to each other gives you a better flair for the conversation, but the typed out session received is great! (Lolli 2006)

Tapped in is also a great way to have discussions about a particular topic. People are allowed to make comments towards a topic or to someone online. It allows great conversations and debates to take place that will often times challenge us. Since the technology records the conversations as well, we can use this tool as a past or future reference. We also have a lot of fun on tapped in. We pass cookies and lemonade out and sometimes share with the processors as well. I also like tapped in because you know who is talking to you or to the group. This is a great feature. If you were using a conference room setting, you may not know who is talking. You'd have to ask for a name. In tapped it it shows you who is talking. It's immediate and comfortable. You can also fnd posts from the professors during or before a session is going to start as preparation for the session/class. It's also a place where we have our own rooms, so it's a location we are all comfortable with. As Frank Smith would say: " We live in the information age, we are told and electronic technology is the way in which information is organized and made available. If you need to know something, ask the technology. The technology will enable you to learn something, submit to the technology. The technology will enale you to learn, whatever the information is that you are expected to acquire." (The Book of Learning and Forgetting, page 75). (Woolman 2006)