OPD - Online Professional Development


A Summary and Reflection on TappedIn Group Chat

Name of TappedIn group: The Art of Storytelling
Date of the session: July 11th, 2007

Purpose of the group

Exploring the use of a variety of methods, including digital storytelling using visual art, to create and tell stories.
The group was started in 2003. The purpose was set to explore the use of a variety of methods, including digital storytelling using visual art, to create and tell stories. After four years of moving forward, they have expanded the topics to cover digital storytelling in teaching and learning setting. From the articles on Files menu, we can find that the groups see storytelling as a learning tool. They believe that ‘story's structure and rhythm, as well as the emotional involvement it encourages, can help us remember important information that might be forgotten if it is delivered to us in the form of reports, lectures, or as isolated bits of information’. Also, the groups believe that storytelling is a very good information organizer, ‘In many ways, story is the antidote to information overload."
This group meets about once a month.


There are 95 members in the group currently. About 85% of them are K-12 school teachers. The others have various backgrounds such as school media specialists, technology coordinator, pre-service teachers, students of teacher colleges, and professional development providers.

Summary of the discussion

The discussion started with discussing on the National Gallery of Art Digital Storytelling workshop. The group owner, BJ Berquist, soon pulled the attention together to the Quotables, Presentation, Hand-outs, and subTechst Journal in Jason Ohler website, http://www.jasonohler.com/. Members were reading and commenting. Quit a few members expressed their interests in the website.

During the period, two participants came across technical problems and were bounced out by the system repeatedly. The moderator and owner had to help them solve the problems.

Then they turned to talk about the favorite software for digital storytelling. Some like Apple computers some don’t. This topic continued only for a while before it was shifted to ‘In what ways do you incorporate technology into plays?’ One member said that he/she incorporated proper lighting, sounds, microphones and speakers in the class. Another member said that he/she used to record students’ plays and have them listen to or see themselves so that they can understand the feedback. The other member said he/she used to display graphics as a stage set/background in storytelling class.

Finally, the group share experiences of embedded storytelling in classroom. One member talked about how his/her students wrote plays, shot movies, and edited their work’. Other members asked he/she questions about how to divided students into groups, how to grade individuals and groups; and etc.

Links included

In this chat, two links were discussed:
Digital Storytelling at the National Gallery of Art http://www.archimuse.com/mw2004/papers/springer/springer.html
Paper presented in the event.

Jason Ohler website
Books, handouts, and resources for digital storytelling.


About TappedIn

TappedIn is a well-known platform for international online communities of education professionals. Participants communicate informally and collaboratively on TappedIn every day. The advantages of this solution include:

  • TappedIn will send transcription to every participant soon after the chat automatically.
  • Late comers can review former discussions by reading meeting transcriptions that were uploaded on Files section in group room.
  • Participants can use whiteboard to support synchronous as well as asynchronous discussion.

I am not sure about this, but if TappedIn can’t support video and audio communication, it is really a drawback.

About The Art of Storytelling

I found the topic very interesting and the reference links are very informative; however, just like other live chat session, this chat was not very effective, too. Participants wandered from the pre-defined topics easily; they signed in and out from time to time; and many of them joined the meeting without prepared themselves with the knowledge. How to improve the effectiveness of the communication should be a key issue to be considered for teachers who plan to leverage TappedIn.


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Last updated on July 4th, 2007