SOURCE: TapSmack

April 13, 2010 13:00 ET

TapSmack Has Merged Social Networking With Co-Creation Thus Enabling Social Engagement and Commerce for Students, Teachers and Schools

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - April 13, 2010) - TapSmack.com's hybrid social network is helping 4th and 5th grade students at St. Leo the Great elementary school in San Jose complete their homework assignments early, much to the surprise of their teachers. Instead of scribbling something, anything, minutes before class, these young scholars are using the TapSmack website to post their assignments.

Remarkably, some are turning in assignments as soon as they can get to a computer for the "prize" of being first. 

The TapSmack co-creation platform provides the students with a safe, secure portal to post their work, share their concepts and combine their ideas with classmates. Their safety is assured by password protection that allows only teachers, students -- and parents -- access to the site.

St. Leo's principal Marie Bordeleau learned about the program from one of her parents. "I was looking for a way to grow technology in the classroom, and this seemed like a unique start," she says.

"I suggested it to our 4th grade teacher, Dan Karlsten, and his students took to it like ducks to water. They are excited about learning and remembering the lessons better than the old-style drills. They see it as an accomplishment rather than more work. Response from parents has been positive, too."

"They love it," Karlsten says. "Their children are more motivated about school work."

Once the assignment is given, students respond online in a first-come, first-served fashion. As the next students post their thoughts, they can also respond to those already written.

"One of my students doesn't have a computer at home, so he uses one in the school library. He's usually the first online," Karlsten says.

Before TapSmack was introduced, the computer-literate students were already producing PowerPoint presentations and podcasts to display their work. Completing their homework via computer was an easy extension for them.

If 5th grade teacher Sondra Wheeler has a problem, she says, "It's wonderful -- the students are quick to help."

Wheeler has used TapSmack to engage students to comment on artwork and social studies issues.

Karlsten has had his students using a blank outline to build an essay.

"We chose a topic to be built, in outline form, one line at a time by each student in turn. After assembling their ideas, we fine-tuned the outline so that the students could see the process of how an essay can be developed," he says.

In their math classes, students post word problems they make up for other students to solve.

Although the process is similar to classical teamwork in corporate meetings, TapSmack CEO Vagish Kapila says, "This social engagement is powered by collaboration, and we then take it to a level of co-creation by the class. With TapSmack, users share, combine and evolve their resources through this new form of interaction.

"The schools can either print it, share it or publish it as work of their students right from the site. This has fostered a healthy competitiveness among students, and at the same time they can share their work with parents, friends and grandparents. It shows an educational aspect of co-creation that we have only imagined."

It looks like "the dog ate my homework" won't work anymore.

TapSmack has merged social networking and co-creation enabling collaborative commerce technologies in a global community. This sharing can be for purely social, social enabler, creative expression or to convert an idea/concept into reality. Users can personalize their favorite pair of shoes, create stickers, tattoos, customized apparel, brand ambassadors. TapSmack has also extended this co-creative platform to include business processes, schools (social engagement), niche marketing for micro brands, co-creative designs of homes to automobiles, and music. TapSmack enables individuals, brands and/or organizations to create and explore their own identity, creating their own very personal brand name.

Website: http://www.tapsmack.com

Contact: 415-971-2327

St. Leo
This year, 2010, marks St. Leo the Great School's 95th year. The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur first opened the school's doors in 1915 with 90 students. The school, a mission of St. Joseph's parish, began with four grades and added a subsequent grade every year for four years until there were eight grades and 200 students. In 1923, St. Leo the Great became a parish in its own right under the pastorship of Rev. John McNally. The Sisters were forced to close the school in 1925 when the Order made the decision to leave the area. The parish church was built in 1926. In 1927, Rev. Henry J. Lyne reopened the school with the support of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM). St. Leo the Great is truly a great school with a long, proud history. It remains as successful and vital as it ever was. All this is thanks to the continued support of the community of parents, students, and staff. Almost a century of service to the Church and the community has been realized by St. Leo the Great School.

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