Tapped In Member Perspectives: Meet Michael Hutchison

Michael Hutchison is a social studies teacher at Vincennes High School.

Michael keeps very busy online and offline. Online he's an active member in TAPPED IN, is part of ED's Oasis staff, frequently leads After School Online sessions, and is part of the TAPPED IN Help Desk, is co-editor of the Virtual Blackboard teacher resource site, and in the past has been a moderator/mentor/consultant for OnlineClass. He also won first place in the National Rikfin and Associates' 21st Century Teacher Contest in 1996 and 1997 and was a prize winner in the Compaq Lesson Plan Contest in 1998. No wonder he wrote an article for Global School House called "The Busy Teacher's Guide to Using Classroom Technology"! On the personal side, Michael has been married for 20 years to his wife Suzie, a physical therapist, and is kept busy and on track by their two daughters Katie (18), a college freshman majoring in social studies education, and Molly (15) who attends Vincennes High School. The family cocker spaniel named Lady also keeps Michael busy.

Michael's Perspective

(or, why MOOing isn't just for cows)

I've used, and completely enjoyed TAPPED IN since January, 1998. When I started, I didn't have an idea that I would use it as often as I do, or that I would find it as important a resource as I do. Not only do I use it personally in order to interact with other educational professionals, but I've also used it as a classroom resource and have used it to help other teachers see the power of Internet connectivity. TAPPED IN has allowed me to be able to interact and know people not just locally, but nationwide and worldwide as well. For me, that makes TAPPED IN a great asset. I just wish more people in my school district utilized TAPPED IN, and one of my resolutions for 1999 is to use it more myself.

In a way, it's like an ensemble television show like the long-running show, M*A*S*H, for example. In that show, several people from varied backgrounds and geographic areas were brought together for one purpose, to work in a field hospital during the Korean War. Yet, in the middle of all of that, the characters not only saw each other as important professionally, they saw each other as important personally. They became a sort of informal family, and were just as close knit as if they were related by blood. In my experience, I've been able to participate professionally, but also been able to make many close friends through just being online in TAPPED IN.

In my own experience, I've been a host, or co-host, of several After School Online sessions, was a participant in the 1998 Civil Rights Forum, and have on several occasions, conducted office hours for ED's Oasis. All of this is a great professional experience for me, and I'm glad to be part of the TAPPED IN family!