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Article  January 1, 1999

From Moo To Meow: Domesticating Technology For Online Communities



Schank, P., Fenton, J., Schlager, M. S., & Fusco, J. (1999). From MOO to MEOW: Domesticating technology for online communities. In C. Hoadley (Ed.), Computer Support for Collaborative Learning (CSCL) 1999, pp. 518-526. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.


TAPPED IN is an on-line teacher professional development (TPD) research testbed designed to meet the needs of a large and diverse community of education professionals. The MOO technology that supports the testbed has demonstrated sustainability, usability, desirability, and utility across a wide-rage of activities and users. However, we are quickly coming up against technology scaling and integration issues as our community grows and demands new collaborative capabilities emerging on the Internet. Informed by our experience with TAPPED IN and reviews of related work, we are developing a new online “community-ware” technology called MEOW (Multi-user Educational Online Workspace) which can scale to handle large virtual communities. Under development in Java and related frameworks, MEOW introduces the concepts of persons, places, and things in a way intended to bind together many existing and emerging Internet services (e.g., web, email, ftp, search, recommendation) that are useful to a virtual community. Our goal is for MEOW to become a flexible, powerful, yet inexpensive platform for all forms of educational research and practice on the Internet. We invite others to join TAPPED IN and help us design the social spaces and technology to address the implications of online communities.

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