Q. Why are there limited Grade Level Groups in TTSN rather than many special area groups?
A. The first year of the network we did have many, many specialty area groups (i.e. elementary math; high school science; middle school language arts teachers; teachers in rural, high needs schools; teachers of PE; teachers of Art; teachers of multiple grades; special needs teachers, etc.) and most participants were frustrated by the need to check so many places for possible useful discussions and we saw that the discussions posted often had minimal responses. So, your TTSN leadership decided to limit grade level groups and ask participants, regardless of specialty area, to post discussions in the Grade Level group most appropriate to the developmental level of the students who were generating the instructional question/issue. By concentrating the discussions in the Grade Level Groups, the discussions seem to be richer because of the multiple perspectives of the larger group membership. In addition, there is a Blog option for those single issues that involve multiple grade levels, or are not related to instructional questions/issues. We also invited the state's professional organizations to sponsor groups - currently we have organization groups for both the SD Science Teachers and SD Teachers of Mathematics. There are also various private groups that are used by our funding agencies for their programs. We conduct a survey of participants at the end of each school year and then re-visit the over-all design of TTSN for the coming school year based on recommendations that are received and are appropriate to the capacity of the network personnel.

Q. Will the NING network allow anonymous posting?
A. No - if for confidentiality reasons, a member would like to begin a discussion and does not want to have that discussion associated with their name, they should ask a colleague to sponsor the post for them.

Q. There are so many discussions and I don't have time to check all of them to see if my topic is already posted - is there a way to search the topics?
A. Not at this time. Members can determine the ranking of discussions by selecting from the drop-down menu items on the discussion page. (Go to View All to see the Sort By options.) We further recommend that if the desired topic is not visible on the first couple of discussion pages, the member should begin a new discussion thread. Remember that that usefulness of this network is its immediacy.

Q. How do I request a Discussion Group?
A. The following SD Education organizations/individuals are eligible to request a TTSN Group: SD Professional Organizations; DOE or TIE professional staff and/or partners that provide leadership for educational programs. The organization representative is asked to contact Lanette Johnston and/or Marlene Rothermel with their request. Lanette and Marlene will work with the contact person to gather additional information, communicate the requirements of the host organization and determine the appropriateness of the request. If the request is approved, the group will be will created. (Group requests may be for an open or private group.)