Letter to the Editor

I enjoyed Marty Alderman's article in the fall 2008 newsletter. I feel that mentoring is an important factor in retaining teachers. I prepared a talk for the joint meeting of AAAS/AAPT in Chicago "Social Networking for New and Cross-over Physics Teachers". I will be part of a panel How Educational Technologies Can Reach New and Cross-Over Teachers Who Also Teach Physics.

In preparing for my talk, I found the TappedIn system and set up a group for physics teachers. This will enable meetings using a chat room. I ran my idea by Marty and he would like to take the idea even further using Skype and video cameras. Here is the information about TappedIn. It has been around since 1997 and was originally funded by NSF. It is now run by SRI International with financial help from NSF and Sun Microsystems. SRI International was founded as Stanford Research Institute in 1946 by the trustees of Stanford University, became independent of the university in 1970 and changed the name in 1977.

TappedIn offers chat rooms for educators. There are roughly 5,000 members and over 700 special interest groups. I have joined two groups, science materials for K-12 and Collaboration. I have set up a group for physics teachers. In addition to the chat room, there are links to useful materials.

Patricia T. Viele (ptv1@cornell.edu), Physics & Astronomy Librarian, Cornell University

Disclaimer - The articles and opinion pieces found in this issue of the APS Forum on Education Newsletter are not peer refereed and represent solely the views of the authors and not necessarily the views of APS.