National Discovery Educator Conference on the cruise ship Sensation

I just returned from a fabulous conference with other Star Den Educators. We attended the National Discovery Educator Conference on the cruise ship Sensation. I enjoyed so much all of the information shared by Steve Dembo, Joe Brennar, Brad Fountain, Hall Davidson, Scott Kinney, and Jannita Damian. They did a wonderful job of inspiring me to come home and practice some of new things to make my students’ education more engaging and beneficial.

The first evening Joe instructed us with some ways to enhance our digital storytelling. Our group had a lot of fun making a “door” video where our star after becoming too hot in the sun decided to walk through an unknown door which found him the midst of a group of penguins. We used a green screen to place him right in the video with the penguins. What fun!

Later in the week I was able to work with a group of educators where we combined United Streaming video clips with an online story and other activities to make a video to share with young primary students comparing land and water turtles. We also enjoyed and had lots of laughs watching the videos from all of the other groups.

One evening during Discoveries version of “Cruising with Stars” several Discovery Educators shared tips they felt we would all find useful. You might want to take a look at some of these: Someone suggested trying two different free music sites-Pandora and Slacker for free music files. To check out material to use with you students or watch informational videos from other teachers take a look around at Teacher Tube. On Community Walk you can build a map and mark different locations to correspond to a historical study or places in a literature story. If you wish you could link to your bookmarks from any computer try delicious to link to them from anywhere.

Along with all of these and other great ideas the Discovery staff did an excellent job of keeping me on the edge of my seat trying to keep up with all of their suggestions. Joe Brennan helped us evaluate some of our ideas for photographing things by helping us see things from different angles and viewpoints. Steve Dembo shared many free web type things to help make our teaching more engaging and open our little world up to the rest of the world around us. A great site he told us about is Twitter. You too can become a Twit by going to the site and signing up. You have to sign up and experience it to see what your options but a warning Twitting is addicting. I can’t wait to having more fun with my students making videos using Adobe Premiere Elements after listening to Hall Davidson making it appear so easy!

Believe it or not along with all of these FUN educational experiences we had a little time to venture out on our own excursions. I chose to take the excursion of a lifetime by swimming with the dolphins. I would have to say that this ranks up there with the most special things I have ever or could imagine doing!! It was more exciting than dreamed it would be.

After this week of fun, learning, and getting to know so many wonderful educators and Discovery team members I can’t wait to share with educators around me and will jump at the chance to participate in another DEN activity.

Melanie Corn

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