It was great to see so many friends at the Illinois Technology Conference for Educators in St. Charles last week, and I was pleased to see so many Discovery Educators, keynote speakers, members of the ICE Executive Board, and enthusiastic unitedstreaming users at the DEN Reception on Thursday evening. On Tuesday, Steve Dembo, our DEN Online Community Manager, conducted a full-day pre-conference workshop titled “No More Excuses–It’s Time to Start Blogging.” Steve also conducted a session titled “Podcasting 101." to a very full audience on Thursday, and I had the pleasure of doing a presentation about the Discovery Educator Network for a large and enthusiastic group. Many thanks to all of you who visited us at the Discovery booth and who joined us at the reception.
Lesson Design Competition: Over the past few weeks, I received a large number of great project files and lesson designs from DEN members across the state who entered the competition to win an InFocus LCD projector. Because I received so many good entries, I decided to add two runner-up prizes to the competition. The first prize and the LCD projector went to Bette Nelson, a teacher at Jefferson Elementary School in Morton School District 709. Bette is one of several outstanding teachers in Morton who have become active Discovery Educators, and I am grateful for the efforts and expertise that she and her fellow DEN members have shared with their colleagues in Morton.
I also awarded runner-up prizes to two other DEN members in Illinois who submitted project files for the competition. Marjorie Siuta is the Technology Coordinator in the Woodstock CUSD 200 schools and she actually submitted a series of instructional lessons created by several teachers in her schools. Projects that included unitedstreaming clips and other digital resources included “Everything You Wanted to Know About Research,” “Ludwig van Beethoven,” “Nutrition WebQuest,” “Geometry Review Game,” “Pythagorean Theorem,” and “Inventors and Inventions.” Marjorie was awarded a set of Altec-Lansing powered speakers to enhance the video experience in the classroom, a Discovery Education shirt, and USB flash drives to help teachers with their projects.
The second runner-up prize went to Grace Finn, one of our newer DEN members in Illinois. Grace teaches at Forest Park Middle School in the Chicago suburbs and submitted a very extensive video project in which students explored the issues and challenges facing explorers in their original movie titled the “Lewis and Clark Expedition.” Grace also receives a set of powered speakers, shirt, and flash drives to use in her classroom.
Ultimately, the real winners of this competition will be the larger DEN community across the country because I will be uploading all of the projects submitted to the new DEN Educator Resource library on our website. These projects will be added to a growing collection of materials that are available for all DEN members to explore and download to use in their schools. If you have not yet looked at the new DEN web site, click here to go to the home page. Be sure to register in the green space in the left side of the page because that will give you additional access rights to some of the features on the site.
Thanks again to all of the DEN members who participated in the competition and for showing your active commitment to our growing community of educators.