Tapped In Member Perspectives: Meet Gail Hoskins

Gail Hoskins is Senior Outreach Coordinator at the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (ENC) in Columbus OH. A K-12 math and science teacher center, ENC is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and produces free print and CD-ROM professional development resources. ENC Online offers almost 24,000 catalog records of K-12 math and science curriculum resources and it logs 1.8 million page views per month. ENC has 125,000 subscribers to its (free) print ENC Focus.

Gail is responsible for presentations and exhibits for the conference presence of ENC. Besides presenting and exhibiting at events like the national meetings of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA), Gail provides training and support for "friends of ENC" around the nation. She has presented to groups ranging in size from two to 1400 and in duration from five minutes to four days.

Before joining ENC when it began in fall 1992, Gail was a high school math teacher and a K-12 mathematics coordinator. She has taught in rural, urban, and suburban districts and has lived in six states and traveled to untold convention centers around the country. Her interaction with teachers has enabled her to continue to be a voice for the teacher perspective at the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse.

Gail's Perspective

I became a member of Tapped In on July 22, 1997. (I still have that email--mentioning Mark and Patti--and notice that Tapped In did not yet have its own domain then!). I did my first online presentation for Tapped In on February 23, 1999, and, as is my custom at each event I do, provided a web page summary. That is still online at http://www.enc.org/training/tappedin.htm (Caution: just like Tapped In has changed and improved and reinvented itself several times, so has ENC. The links from that page to ENC go to the ENC Online of three iterations ago!)

While some members become quite involved in all aspects of TAPPED IN, my use of it has been as a tool for conducting online presentations or training. I have done various After School Online events and participated in several of the summer carnivals and festivals. (Do you remember the Crazy Eights Carnival on 8/8 in 2001? Who else but me would take Tapped In folks so literally and write my blurb for http://www.tappedin.org/info/sc/sc01.html#enc as...

8 Ways to Use ENC with Math and Science
Gr8t resources for K-12 teachers are accessible by visiting the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (ENC), (www.enc.org), the g8way to inform8ion about the ENC Collection of Curriculum Resources. Learn about the Digital Dozen with its six-year archive, ENC Focus, Classroom Calendar, and professional development resources. First-time visitors or experienced users of ENC Online, you'll r8 this d8 one where you'll be glad you weren't l8! Come communic8 with Gail Hoskins.

I have found Tapped In to be a great resource for a number of reasons:

  • The Help Desk folks (BJ and others) are always there and always helpful and always do all they can to make any event a success. Yes, they have the skill and experience to make my online event be successful; they also make me feel good about it too!

  • Tapped In is a professional community for educators. I can count on behavior and interests that make me comfortable inviting others to join me there. I particularly appreciate the way members seem to practice the "presumption of positive intent." Novice and experienced members alike are careful to project competence on the actions of others. Comments that _might_ be perceived negatively are usually followed with an "opps, I mean...." Tapped In is a place where we all learn by doing and everyone works to help everyone look good.

  • Tapped In is always changing. (Change is sometimes hard, I know....) But Tapped In has improved over the past six years and become easier to use and offered more and more features.

  • Tapped In lets me be me. There are features (wonderful features--I have dabbled with them) that I haven't really mastered and incorporated into my own style. And that is OK with the folks there. They let me use (and help me to use well) the tools that I need for what I want to do, but they don't try to make every (or for that matter, any) event that I do be a teaching session "about" Tapped In.

  • There are four other reasons why I have been so pleased with my experiences using Tapped In over the years. Those reasons are practice, practice, practice, and (finally) practice. I value the time that participants in an event that I lead are giving me, and I respect that by doing the best possible professional development that I can. Just like I have a check list of things to do before I travel with staff across the country to a "real" conference to do a training session or exhibit, I prepare both the content that I wish to share and the methods that I plan to use and the safety back-up plan that I'll turn to if "what if" really happens.

    I am pleased to be a part of the Tapped In community and excited about all the new improvements that TI2 offers. And I plan to be a member when Tapped In 3 is launched! (Hear those hard working Help Desk folks groan??)