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Webheads in Action:
Community formation online and its role in language learning

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Week 2 - Feb 1-7

Tapped In

You should already have sent your community profile details to be added to the Webheads in Action Community Page. This is all voluntary, by the way, up to you ...

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  1. Getting familiar with the environment
  2. Becoming a member, getting an office
  3. Meeting other evonline2002_webheads members there
  4. Having FUN: Virtual Pets
  5. Creating, dropping, and projecting notes
  6. Link to your own personal icon as your avatar in Tapped In

1. Getting familiar with the environment

In 2002, Tapped In introduced and tested its beta version of Tapped In 2, which can be examined here: It is anticipated that at some point in 2003 the old Tapped In - classic might be scrapped in favor of the new model. The new interface is a completely separate chat area from the old model and therefore it is a matter of moving entirely, not just entering a common chat area through a new interface. The new model does not retain the MOO features of TI-classic, and when it is adopted, many of the following features will no longer be supported. (Date of this notice, Jan 31, 2003)

Here's how to log on (illustrated):
Going through your web browser from it is a lot easier. Going with MOO client gives you a little old-fashioned, crankier interface:

What if I can't connect?

Proxy server issue is explained at

Firewall issue is part of FAQ

If school is the only place you can connect, have your network administrator read the documents, have them send messages to if neccessary.
What if I have to use telnet?

MOO client software

Configuring (Same info in two pages)

Sincerely yours, Keiko Schneider

Susanne writes about 'the old fashioned text client solution': It works fine for many of us who only use the Internet browser window if we need to see images or get a homepage projected or something. The text client can be downloaded free of charge and is easy to set up. Once it works, you get a very fast and stable connection, and you can open a window in the browser (Netscape or IE - don't rely on the newest versions!!!) as a supplement; in case you lose that connection, the text client may still be open.

Click here for some telnet applications from ZDNet

Keiko sent us these instructions in preparation for week 2!

TAPPED IN welcomes guests and here is how you log in as a guest:

  1. Go to
  2. Click the "Guest Login" Button on the TAPPED IN home page
  3. Be patient while loading
  4. When prompted in the bottom window, erase the text next to the word SAY, and type your name and hit return.
  5. When loading is done, you will be in the Reception area.
  6. To talk, type in the message in the window next to the word SAY. Then press the SEND button or the ENTER key
  7. If you want to participate in Euro Language session it will be held in After School Online room. To get there, you can click on After School Online in the map. Or just anybody around to help you.

Here is a list of commands for whiteboard, but if you log in with a browser, you can do all this graphically by clicking buttons and links.

I would only add: Type in /join VanceS or /join SusanneN (next to the word SAY in the message window) and you will be teleported to wherever they are. This worked for me yesterday. HTH.
Hope to meet you on line, Teresa

Staff and HelpDesk volunteers are around at the reception eager to help.

One handy command. If you see Keiko or KeikoS (both are me), DanB (Dan Blitz), VanceS (Vance) or whoever and not responding, Chances are we are multitasking. Type:
/beep KeikoS (i.e. /beep name, could be /beep DanB, just don't forget the slash at the beginning)
will make my computer make noise. Kind of like online poking :-)

While I am at it, I am going to throw some more info for folks to help acquainted with TAPPED IN.

Download, print and bring this document:

Web Tour:

Rather confused events calendar (I will promise I get this fixed before the week 2 plunge)

I hope to see you all there!

Sincerely yours,
Keiko Schneider


Tapped In user tips from Susanne Nyrop: One idea is to use the Tapped In /MOOD command to signal that you are logged in as as Webhead and ready to chat, as this group seem to be growing fast and we do not know each others' names. in your text field, type /MOOD webhead and the who's online listing will show you like this: SusanneN [webhead]

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2. Becoming a member

Becoming a member:

Just one tiny little addition to those instructions about TAPPED IN membership : Go to and click on the yellow membership button to get the membership form :-)

Respectfully submitted, BJ Berquist

In order to apply for membership:
1. Click on 'Click here for free membership'
2. Fill in and submit the 'Free Individual Membership Application'
3. Await immediate message confirming they received your membership request.
They will email your membership name and password as soon as they've verified the info you submitted.

Getting an office:

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3. Meeting other evonline2002_webheads members at Tapped In

I can recommend the Eurolang group mentioned by Keiko on Tuesday evenings where I have been a frequent participant - the cooperative development of the Viv@ village and the foodquest project shows many fine aspects of direct online collaboration for educators.

Click here to see times that Webheads in Action members plan to be at Tapped In each week and for special events

The Tapped In calendar of events is here, updated each month, and accessible by time zone:

Student membership

When you do command /id, if it is a member, profile you filled out when you signed up will read out. If it is a guest, it shows you IP address. HelpDesk uses this information soley to find out if guests are connecting from certain IP address or domain, so that we know where to send people for a particular meeting or find out if they are welcome (if they are connecting from education-looking domain, we can breathe and not to worry about possible unwanted guests) or get some ideas what timezone they are when we talk about time of events.

So this means when you have your students logged in as a guest, it will reveal IP address and at this time of age, that could be a concern. Although I can assure none of HelpDesk is going to use IP address in any malitious way.

TAPPED IN is a lot more safe environment than regular chat room because it is only a place for educators and their students. If you want to make sure IP address is not going to be revealed with /id command, you can sign up your students with student membership.

There are a few different things about student membership and regular membership. I believe Shun's students are assigned student membership. One of the factors is that students are only allowed in Student Activity Center and their teacher's office. That means they are not welcome in professional develeopment sessions held in After School Online or wander around.

I feel very safe in TAPPED IN and I can recommed taking studnets in without hesitation. We always recommend teacher become comfortable before they invite any guests or students. There are guidelines for conversation and meeting tips posted in TAPPED IN site, so you may want to take a look at them, too.

If you need any assistence, stop by ask any HelpDesk or write to

Sincerely yours, Keiko Schneider


More from Keiko: To go to reception from ANYWHERE, you can type /reception. I think going to After School Online room using /aso only works from reception. /home is default set to reception, but you can set ANYWHERE to be your home. It could be your office, Vance's office or even After School Online room if your little heart desires. In order to make a certain room your home, go to the room and type /sethome Then when you type /home, you will get there. This adds to your little databse, so again, only member only features.

There is a feature in TAPestry to DETACH the bottom half chat window to make it separate and bigger. With all that talking, I don't know how many people knew and did this. Sometimes it helps.

At your leisure, I would like to invite you all to check out my office (Keiko's Office) at S2309. From reception, you can take the elevator (click on the elevator in the room map or type: /el) and click on 23rd or type /23rd. Then you get to 23rd floor lobby. Go to the South Wing by clicking in the map or type /s. Then find #2309 and click on the green link or type /2309.

Once you enter my room, click on what's here, right next to who's here, just under supplies and update toward to the top right. You will see objects in my office. Pepper is my virtual dog (an example of virtual pet). Pepper will react to you command when you /pet, /tease, /feed and so forth. There is also a note called "Welcome to my office" on the verrrry bottom of the list (an example of virtual note). My short welcome message is written on it. When you click on the objects from the right, examples of commands show up in the window to the left. Make sure to use slash (e.g. /pet pepper) to see the effect of interacting with objects.

I have quite a few objects in my office so you can sample and think about what you may want to use. Then start from #5 on Things to Try.

HTH Sincerely yours, Keiko Schneider

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4. Having FUN: Virtual Pets

There is a tutorial in the After School Online room on creating a virtual pet dog. The tutorial is called Tutorial for Hole in One. To access the tutorial, go to the after school online room and click on WHAT'S HERE in the top right of your screen. There are also some transcripts in the emailer from the summer carnivals (2001 and 2000) that discuss virtual pets. Only members can retrieve the transcripts from the emailer, but anyone can read the tutorial in what's here.

As a skilled virtual pet creator and trainer, I'd be happy to make a Tapped In pet show today!

Anyone interested in helping out this playful but very educational task, will get their own personal pet, but first they have to register as a Tapped In member! You will learn how to make new commands for a pet, how to attach an icon to the pet, and how to use the pets in a training session with others as well as an easy talking piece in an ordinary conversation. Pets can be stored in your pocket or left in your virtual office, but always do remember to bring your pet along when It had s been used in a foreign office, as the risk is it will otherwise be swept off with the virtual garbage.

Pet owners who are ready to help us, please bring your own pet to perform for the amazed group of trainees!

I'll log in in a few minutes and groom my pets for the session! Guineapig, Frodo the dog and may others are waiting to meet you. In the Tapped In ASO, there are several examples on virtual pet shows, one of them was at the carnival, and the chat log from any ASO session is stored in the trancsript emailer.

Yours Susanne [virtual pet trainer]

PS As an extra feature, we may be able to make drawings of our pets in the Groupboard tool where everyone logged in can see what the drawer is doing simultaneously? Just an instant idea...

Teresa reflects, after a pet creation session:

Yesterday was my first try with chat in TappedIn. I visited the site for the first time ever the day before, browsed around and then followed the "Things to try in TappedIn" ( I admit I only started getting some feel of things when I got to #12. However, it was not enough to really help me understand 'how' things were happening at the 'Pet show' yesterday. Above all, they were happening too fast for a true beginner. I felt totally lost and out of context, though I shared in the fun some of you were having through your comments.

I guess that going back and maybe trying things out will help me, though if somebody is willing to explain a couple of relevant things in broad terms, I'd appreciate it. For example, -- I was never able to get a pet. I tried clicking a few times on the option that showed up when I clicked Supplies - basically the Vending Machine option, though I also clicked on Cat and Dog -, but nothing happened, I guess because I didn't know how to go from there; and, -- I got the idea that when the 'What's here' window is open, (double)clicking (?) on an icon will produce an effect. Does it? What kind of effect?

These are a couple of the barriers I remember from yesterday. One last question: should I become a member or just continue logging in as a Guest?

Susanne replies:

I admit this pet session was very spontaneous from my side; I opened my mail one hour before the Sunday Webhead session and saw Yaodong's request for pet training. Then, I thouhgt that I could just as well improvise a session, as I did earlier. But it seem to be quite a while since I last examined closer what those pets actually can and cannot do, as there is actually three levels:
  1. Beginner's level: virtual pets are simple, pre-programmed examples that can be changed a little but not much
  2. Trained user level: teachable things that can "learn" new commands are much more fun, and a bit more complicated
  3. Expert level: the bot, Eliza-like progammable helpers with personal human characters, they need a long time to get hold on for and willingness to experiment.

I mixed up level one and two, as Yaodong started to show us his lovely bamboo eating Panda that is a teachable thing. This must have been very confusing for most of you! I promise to be better prepared for our next pet training show, and we will try to work in smaller peer groups for this event. Let us see where it will fit into the Tapped In week schedule? Until then I will try to read back the log and see where Teresa got lost, and try to figure out from a distance what was your problem, and make some clearer answers to your questions!

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5. Making virtual notes

Click here to see where Webheads practiced this at Tapped In Feb 3, 2002

I think a better progession would be to learn about virtual notes before the virtual pets. A note is a text message you can store in your room or in your virtual pockets. Notes can be made easily, just click the *new note* option, replace the note_12345 with a short headline (name of note), type your text, and save it! This note will be easy to show during a session and allows you to prepare your class. An URL may be attached to a note, too. But one basic thing is: to activate a note you may have to drop it! Unitil it has been droppped, it will be invisible in your pocket! This is a minor detail that we often forget in troubleseeking.

  1. Get new note type this : /DROP notename
  2. click in *update* (will update the java Applet, you have to do it yourself because of possible low bandwidth)
  3. click in * what's here* - and click the note, (or the pet).
  4. Edit and save the note content (do remember to give it a new title)

This means that you may prepare a shorter text before a session, or while others are busy writing on the text chat, and you can store the notes for later retrieval and uses.

Let us meet on Sunday and explore some of the Tapped In advantages and constraints. It is complex, and you will need some patience and practice to become more fluent, but I do find this way of online chatting much more rewarding because of the many facilities, like the chat log script mailed to me after a session, the possibility to store and share my notes and pets and other objects form one session to another, my virtual online office as a private niche (and to meet others in their offices, as well) and finally I consider Tapped In as the place where I met a lot of interesting people which is the most important part of it all - for making friendship as well as professional exchanges!

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6. Link to the icon of your choice

Click here to see where Webheads practiced this at Tapped In Feb 3, 2002

Here is how to get your face, or any graphic, in the icon displayed under Who's Here at Tapped In.

  1. First you have to have or be able to locate a 32x32 pixel graphic
  2. This graphic has to be on a web site somewhere so that it has a URL such as http://www.icon_location.etc
  3. You enter Tapped In and get to where you can speak or enter commands
  4. You enter the command /icon me is "http://www.icon_location.etc"
  5. Click on UPDATE in order to see your icon appear.

For example, suppose your icon is here:

You go to Tapped In and simply enter this command: /icon me is ""

(Copy the line above from /icon me ... jpg" and paste it to your Tapped In chat window, then hit Enter)

This will give you an icon that looks like Ali. If you want your own, write me and I'll help you set one up. Also, Tapped In has a collection of icons you can use; for example

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Last updated: March 16, 2002 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0